Cyberattacks are on the rise. In fact, nearly 50% of organisations in South Africa reported seeing the volume of targeted spear-phishing attacks with malicious links increase over the last 12 months, while impersonation fraud with requests for wire transfers increased by 36%.

This is according to Mimecast’s second annual State of Email Security report that identifies the latest email-borne threats facing industries and organisations of all sizes globally.

Making cybersecurity a priority should start from the top, yet this isn’t always the case: one in 10 South African respondents said their C-level executive sent sensitive data in response to a phishing attack, and 42% of C-level employees are likely to have accidentally sent sensitive data to the wrong person in the past year against a global average of 31%.

In addition, 46% admitted their management teams are not knowledgeable enough to identify and stop an impersonation attempt.

“Email-based attacks are constantly evolving and this research demonstrates the need for organisations to adopt a cyber resilience strategy that goes beyond a defence-only approach. This is more than just an IT problem,” says Peter Bauer, CEO of Mimecast.

“It requires an organisation-wide effort that brings together many stakeholders, puts the right security solutions in place and empowers employees – from the C-suite to the reception desk — to be the last line of defence.”

Mimecast conducted the research with Vanson Bourne on the state of organisations’ cybersecurity, their expectations and needs and what attacks they’ve seen increase. Findings are based on responses received from 800 IT decision makers and C-level executives globally.