cyber resilience

New research: The risky behaviors exposing Australian organizations to cyberattacks

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The cyberthreat landscape facing Australian organizations has transformed over the past few years due to digital transformation, disruptive changes to working practices, and geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacific region. New evidence suggests that not all organizations have realized this.

A new Barracuda report reveals a suite of high-risk employee behaviors that are making Australian organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks — particularly those attacks out to exploit weaknesses in remote access, authentication, and trust.

The study asked more than 500 IT and non-IT employees in Australian businesses about the security challenges of remote or hybrid working arrangements and security culture.

Key findings

One-in-five (23%) of the companies surveyed have experienced a security breach, with just over half (51%) of them hit in the last 12 months.

Organizations are intensely vulnerable to email-borne threats

  • 52% of mobile users will click on a link if it comes from a “sender” that they trust.
  • 60% of respondents assume a link in an email is safe to click on if the email has come through the corporate IT system.
  • 20% of those who clicked on a malicious link only discovered this when their machine was infected with malware or ransomware.
  • 37% of respondents have not had training in key areas of cybersecurity awareness such as email security, malware, or ransomware, and 14% have had no training at all.

Security takes a backseat to flexibility and productivity — with senior management leading the way

  • 44% of respondents say that security systems prevent them from working efficiently.
  • 33% admit to bending the rules to get a job done. This includes using a non-approved browser (31%), running traffic through a private VPN (29%), and using unauthorized third-party software (22%).
  • Senior managers are the most likely to bend the rules, with 52% saying they use unauthorized third-party software or cloud services to complete their work.

The research was commissioned by Barracuda from StollzNow Research. StollzNow surveyed 504 Australian IT decision-makers and non-IT workers in organizations of at least 50 employees that use a computer for work.

Get your copy of The State of Cyber Resilience in Australia 2022 today to learn about the impact of hybrid and remote work practices on security and the changing threat landscape for Australian businesses.

Get your copy of the report


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