Story image

1/4 of email attacks result in employee termination - survey

21 Mar 18

Global market research from Proofpoint, a cybersecurity company, has revealed that nearly one in four email-based attacks (24%) resulted in employment termination.

The study also showed that 82% of boards are concerned with email fraud and more than half (59%) consider it a top security risk - no longer just an IT issue.

However, almost a third (30%) of respondents cited a lack of executive support as a key challenge to email fraud protection deployment.

“Email fraud is highly pervasive and deceptively simple; hackers don’t need to include attachments or URLs, emails are distributed in fewer volumes, and typically impersonate people in authority for maximum impact,” says Proofpoint email security products vice president Robert Holmes.

“These and other factors make email fraud, also known as business email compromise (BEC), extremely difficult to detect and stop with traditional security tools. Our research underscores that organisations and boardrooms have a duty to equip the entire workforce with the necessary solutions and training to protect everyone against this growing threat.”

Proofpoint’s 2018 ‘Understanding Email Fraud Survey’, asked 2,250 senior IT decision makers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Australia for their email fraud experiences from the last two years.

The survey, conducted by research firm Censuswide, demonstrates that email fraud is pervasive, disruptive, and in many cases, catching businesses unprepared.

It also found that 75% of organisations experienced at least one targeted email fraud attack, with 41% suffering multiple attempts in the last two years.

However, some organisations are taking proactive measures to protect both their brand and their employees.

More than half (57%) have implemented a user-awareness program on phishing, and 46% use email authentication.

More than 77% of businesses expect they will fall victim to email fraud in the next 12 months, and yet only 40% have full visibility into email threats.

There is a disconnect between the anxiety felt by IT decision makers in relation to protecting the organisation from email fraud and the buy-in from the boardroom to implement preventative methods.

Cybercriminals are also reaching deeper into the organisation beyond the C-suite.  

Respondents deemed the finance and accounts payable departments most at risk of receiving spoofed emails, with the C-level executives almost on par with the general workforce.

More than half (56%) of respondents who were aware of a breach in the last two years, suffered downtime and disruption, and a third (33%) experienced a loss of funds.

“With 59% of organisations considering email fraud one of the top security risks to their business, it is encouraging that some are adopting techniques to protect their employees, partners, and customers,” adds Holmes.

By implementing a multi-layered defence strategy, organisations can protect their systems from advanced data-stealing attacks and their employees by blocking, detecting, and responding to email fraud attacks.  

Hillstone CTO's 2019 security predictions
Hillstone Networks CTO Tim Liu shares what key developments could be expected in the areas of security compliance, cloud, security, AI and IoT.
Can it be trusted? Huawei’s founder speaks out
Ren Zhengfei spoke candidly in a recent media roundtable about security, 5G, his daughter’s detainment, the USA, and the West’s perception of Huawei.
Oracle Java Card update boosts security for IoT devices
"Java Card 3.1 is very significant to the Internet of Things, bringing interoperability, security and flexibility to a fast-growing market currently lacking high-security and flexible edge security solutions."
How SMBs can use data to drive business outcomes
With the right technology, companies can capture consumer, sales, and expense data, and use it to evaluate and construct future plans.
Survey shows that IoT is RoI across Asia Pacific
A recent Frost & Sullivan survey across Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore shows that IoT deployment improves business metrics by around 12%.
IDC: Aussie spending on IT Services to hit $23.5B by 2023
the project-oriented market which is predicted to achieve the highest CAGR through to 2023; though no market is expected to decline
Sophos hires ex-McAfee SVP Gavin Struther
After 16 years as the APAC senior vice president and president for McAfee, Struthers is now heading the APJ arm of Sophos.
Security platform provider Deep Instinct expands local presence
The company has made two A/NZ specific leadership hires and formed several partnerships with organisations in the region.