The rapid rise of impostor email, or business email compromise (BEC), has caught some organizations by surprise. Just this week the FBI issued its annual Internet Crime Report, which included a section on this rapidly escalating situation. This threat can strip an organization of money, private employee data and intellectual property at a very rapid rate, but there’s something else that it can also take—and that’s your job.
For example, in two cases over recent months, C-level executives have lost their jobs due to successful impostor email scams. The CEO of FACC, an Austrian aerospace manufacturing company, was recently fired after falling victim to a scam that defrauded the company of over $50M. As you might expect, the organization reported a substantial loss for the financial year. The main factor in the loss was the successful business email compromise attack. The CFO was also fired earlier this year.
The CFO of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, one of New Zealand's largest learning institutions, also learned that falling victim to an impostor email threat has a high price. She lost her job after wiring more than $100,000 to a foreign account thinking that it was at the request of the CEO.
These threats can have severe financial consequences for organizations, but the personal impact of falling for an impostor email scam can’t be underestimated. For information on how to combat business email compromise—including what to watch for and protection recommendations—please visit our tips page: www.proofpoint.com/bec-tips. To help stop fraudulent messages, we also recently released the industry’s only dynamic fraud protection in our Proofpoint Email Protection solution and prevent sensitive documents from leaving organizations with our data loss prevention capabilities.