Hackers Hone Their Skills While Consumers Remain Complacent

  • Norton Cyber Security Insights Report Finds Recent Cybercrime
    Victims Most Likely to Repeat Risky Behaviors
  • Consumers are Letting Hackers Sneak into their Homes Through
    Connected Devices

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Norton by Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), today released findings from the
annual Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, which sheds light on the
truth about online crime and the personal effect it has on consumers.

The report found that consumers who were victims of cybercrime within
the past year often continued their unsafe behavior. For example, while
these consumers were more likely to use a password on every account,
they were nearly twice as likely to share their password with others,
negating their efforts. Further, 76 percent of consumers know they must
actively protect their information online, but are still sharing
passwords and engaging in other risky behaviors. Additionally, 35
percent of people have at least one unprotected device leaving their
other devices vulnerable to ransomware, malicious websites, zero days
and phishing attacks.

“Our findings show that people are growing increasingly aware of the
need to protect their personal information online, but aren’t motivated
to take adequate precautions to stay safe,” said Fran Rosch, executive
vice president, Norton Business Unit, Symantec. “While consumers remain
complacent, hackers are refining their skills and adapting their scams
to further take advantage of people, making the need for consumers to
take some action increasingly important.”

Given the rampant rates of cybercrime the complacency in consumer
behavior is concerning. Within the past year, 689 million people in 21
countries were victims of cybercrime, an increase of 10 percent across
the 17 countries that were measured in 2015.

Overconfidence in Connected Devices Leaves Consumers Vulnerable

With every connected home device purchase, consumers are unknowingly
giving hackers a new avenue to launch attacks. In some instances, poor
consumer security habits and vulnerabilities in connected devices are
letting hackers into consumers’ homes.

  • One in five connected home device users don’t have any protective
    measures in place
    for their devices.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of consumers surveyed don’t believe there
    are enough connected device users for them to be a worthwhile target
    for hackers
    . Yet, just as hackers learned to benefit from
    targeting social media and financial accounts, they are on their way
    to learning how access to connected home devices can be lucrative.
  • Over six in 10 (62 percent) consumers said they believe connected
    home devices were designed with online security in mind
    . However,
    Symantec researchers identified security vulnerabilities in 50
    different connected home devices ranging from smart thermostats to
    smart hubs that could make the devices easy targets for attacks1.

Consumers Admit the Risks Are Real

The prevalence of cybercrime has merged with peoples’ perception of
real-world risks. Many now see cybercrime dangers as equivalent to risks
in the real world.

  • Half of consumers said that over the past five years, it’s become harder
    to stay safe online than in the real world
  • Six in ten (61 percent) said they believe entering financial
    information online
    when connected to public Wi-Fi is riskier
    than reading their credit or debit card number aloud
    in a public
  • Almost half of parents (48 percent) believe their children are more
    likely to be bullied online
    than on a playground, compared to only
    23 percent in 2015.

Bad Habits Are Hard to Break – Online or Otherwise

Experiencing cybercrime is a potential consequence of living in a
connected world, but consumers still remain complacent when it comes to
protecting their personal information online.

  • Millennials exhibit surprisingly slack online security habits, and
    are happy to share passwords that compromise their online safety

    (35 percent). This is likely why they remain the most common victims
    of cybercrime, with 40 percent having experienced cybercrime in the
    past year.
  • More than one in three consumers never connect to a Wi-Fi network
    using VPN
    , which can potentially allow a hacker to steal data as
    it travels on the network.
  • Consumers are still willing to click on links from senders they don’t
    know or open malicious attachments. Nearly three in 10 people
    cannot detect a phishing attack
    , and another 13 percent have to
    guess between a real message and a phishing email, meaning four in 10
    are vulnerable.
  • Thinking about cyber security doesn’t mean you’re secure. People who
    experienced cybercrime within the past year were more likely to
    be concerned about the security of their home Wi-Fi network (66
    percent vs. 50 percent non-victims), but less likely to password
    protect their home Wi-Fi network than non-victims
    (22 percent vs.
    14 percent of non-victims have unprotected networks).

To learn more about the real impact of cybercrime and how consumers can
protect their digital information, go here
for more information.

About the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report

The Norton Cyber Security Insights Report is an online survey of 20,907
device users ages 18+ across 21 markets, commissioned by Norton by
Symantec and produced by research firm Edelman Intelligence. The margin
of error for the total sample is +/-0.68%. The U.S. sample reflects
input from 1,002 U.S. device users ages 18+. The margin of error is +/-
3.1% for the total U.S. sample. Data was collected Sept. 14 – Oct. 4,
2016 by Edelman Intelligence.

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world’s leading cyber security
company, helps businesses, governments and people secure their most
important data wherever it lives. Organizations across the world look to
Symantec for strategic, integrated solutions to defend against
sophisticated attacks across endpoints, cloud and infrastructure.
Likewise, a global community of more than 50 million people and families
rely on Symantec’s Norton suite of products for protection at home and
across all of their devices. Symantec operates one of the world’s
largest civilian cyber intelligence networks, allowing it to see and
protect against the most advanced threats. For additional information,
please visit www.symantec.com or
connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

1 Ballano Barcena, M., & Wueest, C. (2016). Insecurity
in the Internet of Things
, Symantec [White paper].


Symantec Corporation
Spring Harris, 650-527-0742
for Symantec
Katy Klein, 206-505-6553