Global Market Survey: 80% of Australian Businesses Expect to Fall Victim to Email Fraud in the Next 12 Months

Thousands of IT decision makers indicate 82% of boards globally are concerned about email fraud, and yet only 40% of organisations have full visibility into email threats and fraud

Sydney, Australia—March 20, 2018 – Global research from Proofpoint, Inc., (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading cybersecurity company, today reveals 82 percent of boards are concerned with email fraud and more than half (59%) consider it a top security risk—no longer just an IT issue. Yet 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,” said Robert Holmes, vice president of Email Security Products for Proofpoint. “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. Survey findings demonstrate that email fraud is pervasive, disruptive, and in many cases, catching businesses unprepared. Insights include:

  • 80 percent of Australian organisations (75 percent globally) experienced at least one targeted email fraud attack, with 33 percent 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 (54%) of Australian businesses have implemented a user-awareness program on phishing, and 48 percent use email authentication.
  • 80 percent of Australian businesses (77 percent globally) expect they will fall victim to email fraud in the next 12 months and yet only 43 percent have full visibility into email threats. There is a clear anxiety felt by IT decision makers in Australia when it comes to protecting the organisation from email fraud. Alarmingly, 62% of Australian businesses didn't have financial controls in place to protect their business against wire transfer fraud. In terms of email fraud protection, 49% of Australian businesses stated they were already implementing a solution.
  • Cyber criminals are 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 1 in 3 attacks on Australian businesses (35%) led to loss of funds to cybercriminals. Other consequences included business disruption (55%) and loss of sensitive data (43%); Email fraud also puts employees directly at risk: nearly one in four attacks (24%) resulted in employment termination.

“With 59 percent 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. As the volume of attacks and level of sophistication employed by cybercriminals increase, organisations need to proactively shut down these tactics before the damage is done,” continued Holmes.

Proofpoint research shows email fraud has a direct impact on both employers and employees. Businesses suffer downtime and loss of revenue, and individuals could potentially lose their jobs. 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. 


To download Proofpoint’s 2018 Understanding Email Fraud Survey, please visit:

And to access the infographic, please visit:

About Proofpoint, Inc.

Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) is a leading next-generation security and compliance company that provides cloud-based solutions to protect the way people work today. Proofpoint solutions enable organizations to protect their users from advanced attacks delivered via email, social media, mobile apps and cloud applications, protect the information their users create from advanced attacks and compliance risks, and respond quickly when incidents occur. More information is available at


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