92% of Australian orgs hit with phishing attacks in 2021

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 02 March, 2022

92% of Australian orgs hit with phishing attacks in 2021

Australians are harder hit with cyber attacks compared to other countries including the US, the UK and Japan, with 92% of Australian organisations experiencing a successful phishing attack in 2021, according to Proofpoint.

Australian organisations fared worst at fending off phishing attacks than any other country surveyed, with successful attacks up 53% from the prior year, Proofpoint’s latest State of the Phish report shows.

One in five Australian organisations experienced 10 or more successful phishing attacks in 2021, more than any other country, and 80% of Australian organisations paid a ransom to resolve a ransomware infection compared to the global average of 58%.

Meanwhile 80% of Australian organisations experienced a ransomware attack in 2021, above the global average of 68%.

Proofpoint Senior Director of Advanced Technology Group APJ Steve Moros said the findings point to an underperformance among Australian organisations in terms of staff cybersecurity training. But despite this, more than three-quarters (78%) of Australian organisations implement discipline or punishment for employees who interact with real or simulated phishing attacks, well above the global average of 55%.

“Our research paints a concerning reality that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and successful in their attempts to compromise organisations and target people. Email remains a very attractive entry point and we are seeing email-based ransomware become a weapon — where last year, Australian organisations experienced one of the highest rates of successful ransomware attacks,” he said.

“The rise in the number of email-based attacks highlights the ongoing need for vigilance and the importance of regular people-centric cybersecurity awareness training, an area [in which] Australians are falling behind compared to the rest of the world. A lack of regular cybersecurity awareness training can contribute to more adverse outcomes and, unfortunately, we are seeing this play out in Australia.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/yingyaipumi

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