Nearly every day a new headline about a security breach seems to pop up. In fact, during the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine, phishing attacks increased by 350%. Your company may be sufficiently evolved, equipped with a secure email gateway, strict encryption policies, and phishing awareness and training to boost your readiness for an attack. But with the ever-evolving landscape of email threats, how prepared are you and your employees really?
Email security requires a proactive approach to threats, which may mean it’s time for you to take a hard look at your email security stack. This piece will cover the reasons why email security should be a high priority for all companies, how to spot advanced email threats, and which tips to follow to start bolstering your current email security strategy today.
No organization is immune from these threats which often cause significant damage. Back in 2015, cybercriminals assumed some of Sony’s employees’ identities and sent malware-ridden emails to unsuspecting colleagues.
The result? Over 100 TB of data was stolen, costing Sony over $100 million. Even tech giants Google and Facebook fall prey to email security attacks. Between 2013 and 2015, hackers sent convincing counterfeit invoices to both companies, collecting over $100 million in their 2-year stint.
Originally created without built-in security, email communication proved particularly vulnerable to phishing and other threats. Early on, attackers leveraged the inherent accessibility of email to develop spam prototypes, like spoofing “to” and “from” addresses.
Email filters were developed to look for specific patterns that could help weed out these suspicious emails using white and black lists, and many companies tried using encryption keys for email authentication.
Despite that, scammers kept finding new ways to expose information. Spammers opened fake AOL accounts to send phishing messages, and eventually began creating and disseminating viruses, malware, and worms. Even 10 years ago, 88% of email was spam.
Many companies have adopted multi-factor authentication, secure email gateways, and are training their employees on how to spot phishing scams in an attempt to mitigate risk.
Having employees work from many different locations leads to a scattered perimeter--much more to defend and much more margin for human error. A distracted employee at home may easily click on a malicious email.
As emails with malicious links and attachments became more prevalent, companies adopted secure email gateways to bolster their email security. Today, email still presents a huge risk to companies big and small, and remote work has only complicated the job of security professionals.
While those strategies are useful, they only go so far. Phishing accounts for 1 in every 4,200 emails and 94% of malware is delivered through email. Failing to equip your business with the appropriate email security can have dire consequences in terms of cost and customer exposure.
Just this April, the FBI reported that exploitation of cloud-based email services cost the US over $2 billion. To take security to the next level, security companies have developed API-integrated email security at the mailbox-level, AI-powered phishing incident response systems and advanced URL and malware protection.
These advanced methods of protection prevent, detect, respond, and even predict attacks so that companies can be proactive about their security.
So what threats does your company need to prepare for? Let’s take a closer look:
Whaling, a subtype of phishing targeted at an organization’s senior leadership, resulted in losses of over $12.5 billion in 2018, according to the FBI. Since the scammer’s end goal is convincing targets to deposit money into fake accounts, whaling requires extensive research and preparation. Scammers need to be sophisticated enough to impersonate and/or deceive people at the board or C-suite level.
Malware is any software aimed at destroying, compromising, or accessing an operating system. Symantec reports that 1 in 13 web requests lead to malware, and Accenture points out that businesses lose 50 days of productivity for every malware attack. When a computer is exposed to malware, it’s at risk of losing sensitive data, core functionality, and privacy. Some malware spies on people’s activity without them knowing. Worms, Trojan horses, viruses, and spyware are common types of malware.
Following email security best practices can help create a solid foundation for protection against malware, phishing, business email compromise, and more. Successful approaches often blend several tactics together. Protecting yourself proactively will require a multi-faceted approach.
Many companies only stick to one or two of these methods, but that is simply not sufficient. As cybersecurity threats morph and gain sophistication, best practices must keep up. A layered approach to email security ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.
Layering complementary technologies, such as:
Firewalls and network protection
A world-class secure email platform
Helps bolster your cybersecurity stack against cyber attacks.
No matter how strong you believe your email security stack currently is, there’s always room for improvement. IRONSCALES is a self-learning email security platform that detects advanced threats better than any other cybersecurity provider.
IRONSCALES combines several point solutions into a single platform, so your company benefits from top-of-the-line prevention, detection, and remediation solutions. Out-of-the-box BEC, ransomware, and malware protection defends against both known and unknown types of cyberattacks.
Don’t take any chances一request a free trial of IRONSCALES today.
The word is out: IRONSCALES is leading the pack in email security!