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Bet on Email and Lose

Nov. 1, 2020
The Odds of Gambling on Cybersecurity — Wire, the world’s most secure collaboration platform, recently launched its ‘Odds of a Bad Bet’ report, which details the alarming scale of risks […]

The Odds of Gambling on Cybersecurity —

Wire, the world’s most secure collaboration platform, recently launched its ‘Odds of a Bad Bet’ report, which details the alarming scale of risks businesses are up against in a time when email is proving an open door for cyber criminals and malicious actors looking to disrupt, exploit and destroy businesses.

The report is developed in collaboration with poker champion, Liv Boeree.

Poker is a game of making calculated, strategic decisions in high-stakes situations. As such, Liv is able to draw parallels between the poker table and the business world.

Within the report, she shares the odds of risk in the context of cybersecurity. Key findings include the odds of falling prey to cyberattack, the business cost of such an account, and the best bet of future-proofing against an attack.

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In one of its central findings, the report identifies email as a company’s greatest cybersecurity vulnerability. Email offers the most significant access point for criminals by exploiting a human fallibility: the inability to spot malicious emails. Just as with gambling, the outcomes are influenced by people and their judgement. The fact that employees are unable to discern malicious emails from safe ones points to the inherent vulnerability of email.

Per the report:
An employee is 3 times more likely to infect a colleague with a malicious email than they are to spread the flu to their partner.
An employee’s chances of spotting a phishing email are as slim as hitting a specific number on the roulette wheel.


Odds on a Bad Bet goes on to underscore relentlessness of cyberattacks leading to heightened odds of a business falling victim.
The chances of your business avoiding a malware attack are as unlikely as pulling the Ace of Spades from a shuffled deck.
A company has a 50/50 chance of suffering a costly DoS (denial of service) attack — effectively the same chances as a flip of a coin.
A company is over 10 times more likely to suffer a week-long downtime from a ransomware attack than you are to suffer a house fire.

Given these odds, failing to future-proof is not a risk business owners should be willing to take. When cyberattacks prevail, the resulting impact has the potential to cause huge damage to the company.


Investigating the likelihood and impact of cyberattacks on a business, the report also considers the following comparison odds.
Your business is 5 times more likely to suffer a debilitating ransomware attack than you are likely to be involved in a car accident.
The chances of your business suffering a costly ransomware attack are the same as a hurricane hitting Florida next year.
You’re almost as likely to go out of business due to a cyberattack as your startup is to fail because it didn’t get the next round of funding.

The odds of risk demonstrate the clear necessity of implementing future-proofing methods across business. There’s simply too much at risk not to. And the business benefits of implementing heightened cybersecurity methods are equally clear:
The average ROI for future-proofing your business with end-to-end encryption is twice as high as investing in the S&P 500.
Cybersecurity costs are rising so fast that waiting another year to invest in cybersecurity is the same as letting 10 years’ worth of inflation erode the value of your cash.

With the stakes so high, and the benefit of investing in preventative measures so apparent, businesses have every reason to play their hand carefully.

“When playing global poker series against the world’s best, it pays to understand the odds to reduce the risk, as any miscalculation could mean losing millions of dollars,” said Liv Boeree, global poker champion and contributor to the report. “To see businesses fail to put the best cybersecurity measures in place, such as a secure alternative to email, when the return on investment is so clearly beneficial, is the opposite of good risk management. It’s more akin to the behavior of a delusional problem gambler.”

Wire CEO Morten Brøgger comments: “People’s use and reliance on email is businesses’ greatest security vulnerability. More secure modes of communication and collaboration with end-to-end encryption need to become the standard as email recedes into the past. Especially since the average return on investment for such measures is twice that of investing in the S&P 500. Any business that fails to prepare is betting against the house, and the house always wins.”

Odds of a Bad Bet also features contributions from a number of leading cybersecurity experts, including Edward Whittingham, Founder & CEO of The Defence Works, an award-winning provider of security awareness training.

Whittingham commented on the report’s findings: “Cybercrime continues to plague businesses but it’s a problem that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Emails, in particular, are a huge risk area for business as it’s the main vehicle through which cybercriminals are attacking business. Businesses can dramatically increase their defenses by considering what technical measures they have in place, reducing those risk areas — including email usage — and implementing security awareness training for their employees.”

The report is a product of months of research and review, with odds set by the report’s co-author, poker champion Liv Boeree. It is the first in a series of reports that look set to understanding the risks and gambles that businesses take and how they can make the right bets when it comes to cybersecurity.

The full Odds of a Bad Bet report is available to download from:

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Wire is the most secure collaboration platform, transforming the way businesses communicate in the same way and speed that our founders disrupted telephony with Skype. Headquartered in Switzerland with offices in Berlin and San Francisco, Wire launched its collaboration and communications platform for businesses in early 2018 and today they have over 700 enterprise customers, making Wire the fastest-growing collaboration platform.

Wire offers messaging, voice, video, file sharing, and search, all protected by end-to-end encryption. Wire’s product suite has been recognized by both Forrester and Gartner as one of the most effective and secure communications platforms. Wire is consistently delivering ground-breaking innovation from a unique “message fortress” architecture to encrypted video conferencing, guest rooms, and Messaging Layer Security (MLS). For more information, please visit:

About the Author
Liv Boeree is primarily known for being a poker player, and she is to date the only female player to have won both European Poker Tour and World Series Championship titles. Originally trained in astrophysics, she now largely focuses on TV science communication. She is also a TED speaker and a regular on the speaking circuit, specializing in topics relating to decision-making and game strategy. Liv is also a keen philanthropist, and in 2014 co-founded Raising for Effective Giving, a fund-raising organization that helps philanthropists identify and donate to the most scientifically proven and maximally impactful-per-dollar organizations and charities. For more information, please visit:

About the Author

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