Research done by VIPRE Security Group determined that 15% of emails sent in 2023 were malicious, which was discovered through an analysis of more than 7 billion data points. The report also discusses key trends seen in 2023 that are predicted to influence email users in 2024.

In the past year, threat actors favored the use of links as a delivery method for attacks. Links such as QR codes or attachments outnumber other methods nearly seven to one. This is an increase from the previous year when the user of links compared to other methods were nearly equal, and the increase is expected to continue in 2024. The report suggests that the popularity of links is due to the application of more refined links. 

The prevalence of malware delivered through emails is increasing. From January to December of 2023, malware distributed via email rose by 276%. Overall, this method of delivering malware makes up 5% of total malicious spam. It is preceded by commercial scams, general scams and phishing.

The financial sector was the most targeted at 22%, trailed by information technology at 14%. Information technology saw an increase of 59% in attacks in 2023, whereas the government sector saw a 16000% increase. 

For more information, read the full report here