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How hybrid work and collab tools are posing new security loopholes

According to Adaptavist’s Reinventing Work Report, Australia had the highest percentage of hybrid workers (34%) compared with those in the US, UK and Canada (with an average of 29%). With increased hybrid and remote work in Australia, opportunities are ripe for cybercriminals to attack businesses with a reliance on collaboration tools to carry out their work.

Mimecast today released its annual State of Email Security (SOES) 2023 report, finding that while 83% agree collaboration tools are essential to the well-ordered functioning of their companies, 67% of respondents believe that collaboration tools pose new threats and create new security loopholes that urgently need to be addressed.

Nick Lennon, VP of APAC, Mimecast comments, “Since we started this research seven years ago, we have closely monitored the challenges reported by CISOs and IT managers, and every year we find that employees are easy targets for cybercriminals, especially as communication rapidly grows across multiple platforms. While email remains the primary attack vector for bad actors, collaboration tools provide a new threat surface for cybercriminals to infiltrate. This in turn creates even more risk for CISOs and their teams to manage.

“With 8 out of 10 respondents believing their company is at risk due to inadvertent data leaks by careless or negligent employees, it’s important for organisations to have frequent education and awareness training in place to help avoid potential attacks, as well as basic cybersecurity hygiene such as firewalls, data segmentation and zero-trust frameworks.”

Additional Key Australian data from Mimecast’s State of Email Security 2023 Report shows that: 

  • 30% say the number of attacks due to collaboration tools is on the upswing
  • Two in five (41%) complain that employees routinely download and use new tools that have not been vetted or approved by IT
  • 63% of the respondents believe that their organisation needs to increase its budget for securing collaboration tools by an average of 7%
  • 77% of respondents are providing awareness training to their workforce at least once a quarter, however this is down from the previous year (85%), and concerningly 5% don’t offer any training, the most globally
  • 43% said that insufficient employee awareness of cyber threats would be their organisation’s biggest security challenge in 2023

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