Sure, you’ve heard of the data breaches that hit Equifax, Yahoo! or Uber last year, due to WannaCry. Did you know that in 2017, according to State of North Carolina which released in January 2018 its Security Breach Report 2017, which highlights a 15 percent increase in breaches since 2016. Another report from IBM released in June 2017 showed at least 419 major data breaches in the world and these are just the ones we know about. Data breaches don’t just happen to the biggest companies — they happen to everyone. Now, you might think of email security as a thing that you have complete control over, the reality is that it’s easy to become a casualty of a major data breach. This is especially true when you consider how many people use shared login info for multiple accounts, practically inviting digital thieves into their email accounts. That also means that you need to lock down your account in every way you can. If you want to keep your email security in check, you need to know what you’re up against. If you’re interested in keeping hackers out of your inbox read on to discover the 4 biggest threats to your email security in 2018.
Look at the cloud-based email tomorrow’s threats.
The 4 Biggest Threats to cloud-based email
While email has always been a target for hackers, as prosumers have become more aware of the dangers facing their inbox, hackers have had to adapt, changing their methods, and shifting their targets. Cloud computing has significantly transformed the way business is conducted, with more organizations than ever taking advantage of the power of cloud-based tools. Industry research found that 93% of organizations are currently using cloud services and that within 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will consist of cloud spending. One of the major drivers for cloud technology is using cloud-based office products. Gartner predicts that, by 2021, more than 70% of business users will be substantially provisioned with cloud-based office capabilities.
The cloud-based email typically comes with its own security features, security managers still worry about the small portion of threats that succeed in slipping past the filters. These include ransomware, attachment-based malware, URL-based threats, impostor-driven schemes like business email compromise (BEC) and spear phishing attacks.
The email threat landscape is continually evolving, but here are the most common threats
Spear phishing attacks
Spear phishing is the most sophisticated type of email attack. This typically entails an email sent to gain the trust of the receiver of the email. The email includes information that is legally accessible on the Internet (social networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and in the media. This attack has the highest success rate and is the most dangerous.
Ransomware, attachment-based malware
Malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. A more specific type of malware that prevents you from using your computer or accessing certain files unless you pay a ransom. A common example of malware includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, and spyware which enable access to all information stored in a user’s computer. With the increasing number of zero-day loopholes and the proliferation of source code (NSA Leaks), we are witnessing a significant increase in the volume of malware targeting corporate mailboxes. From August 2017 to November 2017 alone, the volume of email containing malware has increased 100%, for an estimated volume, just for November 2017, of 46 million emails.
Phishing attacks are mass emails that try to trick recipients into disclosing personal information or clicking on links that lead to malware. Since these requests often appear real and can contain familiar company logos and cleverly faked web pages, recipients often get duped into falling for the attack.
Impostor-driven schemes like business email compromise (BEC)
This is a social engineering tactic to trick email recipients into taking an action, such as transferring funds to a fraudster’s account. After spear phishing, the business email compromise (BEC) attack is perhaps the most serious example. In a BEC attack, the attacker poses as a CEO and orders a worker to issue a quick payment to a non-existent, fraudulent foreign-based “vendor.”
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