Press Release: August 27, 2014

HP Study Finds Nearly 70 Percent of IT Professionals Experience Weekly Phishing Attacks

Six out of 10 attacks stem from malicious communication with the command and control site

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 27, 2014 — HP today unveiled the results from a national network security survey of IT professionals, revealing the top network security concerns plaguing enterprises today. 

Conducted by research organization Ipsos Observer and sponsored by HP TippingPoint, the State of Network Security survey revealed that 69 percent of IT professionals experience phishing attacks at least once a week, with customer data cited most often as the type of data attacked, followed by financial information. In addition, the survey found that seven out of 10 attacks generated within the network perimeter stem from a malware-infected host(1) highlighting the importance of  taking a layered approach to security to block suspicious communications at every point on the network—from the perimeter to the core.

“Organizations are increasingly challenged to protect their networks from advanced targeted attacks, in fact, it is likely that most environments have already been breached with systems infected by malware,” said Frank Mong, vice president, Solutions, Enterprise Security Products, HP. “It’s important that IT professionals understand how attackers are trying to break through the network, and have confidence in their ability to mitigate attacks when every second matters.”

Based on the Ipsos Observer online survey of more than 200 IT professionals based in the United States, the new study also yielded the following findings(1):

  • Approximately six out of 10 attacks stem from malicious communication with the command and control site, and over half are taking advantage of a software vulnerability. Top threats relative to these new attacks are primarily within the data center, mobile and branch networks.
  • Among the organizations surveyed, China is stated most often as a country of origin for external network attacks, followed by Russia and the United States.
  • Eighty-five percent of survey respondents indicated concern for illicit file sharing and use of non-work-related applications; 63 percent are concerned with employees visiting adult-only websites on the corporate network.
  • Roughly seven in 10 claim that social media is a type of abuse occurring on their corporate network.
  • In the event of a network breach, 67 percent of survey respondents listed customer data as the most likely to be attacked, followed by the company’s financial information (63 percent). Other data at risk includes corporate intellectual property (59 percent) and employee data (49 percent).
  • As companies look to adopt software-defined networking (SDN), 54 percent indicated network manageability as a top concern, while 44 percent are concerned with an attacker compromising the SDN controller. 
  • On average, enterprises are spending approximately $2.6 million annually on network security, and more than 60 percent of IT professionals surveyed expect to increase spending in the next year.

The complete set of findings is available here.


A sample of 205 IT professionals across the United States was interviewed via Ipsos’s American online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian credibility interval. 

Additional information about network security solutions from HP TippingPoint is available at, and additional information about HP Enterprise Security Products at

HP’s annual enterprise security user conference, HP Protect, takes place September 8-11 in Washington, D.C.

(1) Ipsos Observer: Identifying Challenges in Network Security, July 2014

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