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Email security awareness in SEA soars the highest amongst developing regions at 43.2%: report

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Azunta Gaviola

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2 days ago

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Southeast Asia – A recent report from software development firm Zoho found that the Southeast Asia region emerged as the highest scorer in terms of email security awareness among other developing regions, with a 43.2% average, compared to the Middle East and Africa at 40.7% and South America at 39.9%.

Data from the report also showed that respondents from the SEA region were top performers globally in anomaly detection in email behaviour and data protection in file sharing. In an industry breakdown, however, the technology and education sectors exhibited strong resilience, while manufacturing, healthcare, and government were notably exposed to email security threats.

Findings of the study further reveal that the education sector demonstrated high awareness levels across all types of threats, noting areas of authentication and access control and anomaly detection in email behaviour as the most remarkable.

Meanwhile, the retail and finance sectors showed moderate awareness levels, suggesting opportunities for improvement in areas including attachments and phishing as well as anomaly detection in email behaviour.

A significant 62% average level also made the technology sector a leader in data protection in file sharing, which implies a focus on safeguarding sensitive data. However, the data found a need for improvement in areas such as email identity verification and attachments and phishing, suggesting a need for enhanced email security measures.

In the healthcare sector, vulnerabilities are likewise evident, particularly in attachments and phishing, with a low awareness of only 34%.

It is also worth noting that awareness of email identity verification is completely lacking, highlighting the crucial need for improved email security practices.

The government sector was further identified as vulnerable, with significant gaps identified in email identity verification at 29% and web content and URL safety at 34%. This emphasises specific areas where focused enhancements in email security protocols are important.

Additionally, the manufacturing sector also stood out as the most vulnerable sector, with the lowest awareness of web content and URL safety and data protection in file sharing at 27% and 29%, respectively.

Meanwhile, a notable gap in email security awareness between small- and medium-sized enterprises and larger enterprises was revealed, showing Southeast Asian SMEs scored 40% on awareness, far behind the 51.1% of their larger regional competitors.

This awareness lagged behind developed regions such as North America (NA) at 61.6%, Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) at 57%, and Europe (EU) at 54%. In comparison, developing regions like India performed better at 42%.

On the other hand, employees at Southeast Asian SMEs were marginally ahead of peers in the MEA at 39.7% and SA at 39.2%.

For this survey, the firm gathered responses from 1,814 participants globally and serves as an essential benchmark for businesses, IT leaders, and cybersecurity educators.

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