Email is one of the most popular channels for business communications, but it’s also a favorite target for cybercriminals. Inadequately secured accounts give malicious parties an open door into a wealth of sensitive data and mission-critical systems, even if your employees aren’t in the habit of sending highly confidential information via email.
Most data breaches involve some form of email compromise, such as an account takeover or a social engineering scam targeted toward a specific individual or department. The effects of such incidents can be devastating, potentially resulting in substantial economic loss, serious reputational damage, and even litigation in cases where the company was deemed negligent.
Chances are, email is a vital part of running your business. Even without something as serious as a data breach, lesser events can still cause significant disruption to productivity, especially now with so many people working at home during the pandemic. These are the overarching reasons why you need enterprise-grade email security. Let’s take a look at the most common
threats to business email:
1. Social engineering attacks
Almost all successful data breaches contain a social engineering element. After all, it is much easier for attackers to exploit human ignorance than to try and hack their way past encryption and multifactor authentication. Most social engineering attacks happen over email, due largely to its ubiquity.
Phishing emails may be sent out in vast numbers in the hope someone will fall for the scam, but most of those never make it past a simple consumer-grade spam filter. Far more worrying are the targeted spear-phishing attacks, which are tailored to individual victims and are rarely picked up by your average spam filter.
2. Business email compromise
Business email compromise (BEC) refers to a category of cyberattacks that use email fraud to target commercial, governmental, and other organizations. These scams typically target companies that have suppliers located abroad and conduct wire transfers. A common attack method is to use keyloggers or phishing scams to carry out fraudulent transfers.
The fact that BEC scams generally don’t include malicious links or attachments makes them notoriously difficult to detect. Also, they’re usually targeted toward specific individuals, such as high-level employees in finance. This means they can easily evade traditional solutions like regular spam filters, hence the need for a more sophisticated and evolved solution.
3. Email account takeovers
The most effective and profitable way for a cybercriminal to attack a business is to gain direct access to email accounts belonging to high-level employees and company executives. These account takeovers often leverage a range of tactics, such as social engineering and malicious attachments or links.
Email account takeovers are especially dangerous, because criminals often use compromised accounts to cause further damage. For example, they might use an otherwise legitimate account to target other employees or departments within the organization. This is why every business needs an email security system that tracks all login attempts, locations, and devices.
4. Malicious software and URLs
The most sophisticated attacks against business email tend to use a combination of phishing and malicious links and attachments. For example, a phishing email may attempt to dupe the victim into clicking a link to a malicious website. Others may include malicious attachments in the form of executable files or documents containing malicious macros.
Most email services automatically scan for malicious attachments but, like other conventional anti-malware measures, they can only detect known threats. It’s the new and unknown threats that are the far bigger concern, hence the need for an AI-powered threat hunting solution that focuses on suspicious behaviors rather than known malware signatures alone.
Graphus provides a simple, powerful, and automated solution for protecting against phishing, malware, and other threats facing your email systems. Contact us today to get a demo.