4 Common Email Security Threats
Losses due to cybercrime are projected to grow by 15% every year over the next five years. Emails are commonly abused by hackers who send malicious messages with the intention of stealing information, funneling money, or obtaining illegal access to a company’s system.
According to Tessian, the most impersonated brands in Q1 2021 were Rakuten, Chase, Ikea, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, DHL, and LinkedIn.
Here are four prevalent email security threats that you should know about:
1. Spam traps
According to Statista, about 60% of the world’s email traffic volume is spam. Spam, or unsolicited messages, usually present themselves as ‘must-see’ important notices. China, U.S., Brazil, Russia, and France send the most spam messages.
It clogs mailboxes with unimportant junk messages, causing a waste of time and resources. Anti-Spam companies and services attempt to combat these types of bulk messaging by creating ‘spam traps’ to catch the spamming parties in the act. Spam traps are purpose-built email addresses controlled, operated by, or monitored by Anti-Spam Sites or Services with the intent to blacklist the resources of the sending party. In other words, if you were to send to any of these spam traps in your own marketing campaigns, you run the risk for being seen as spamming operations and thus potentially lose valuable mailing resources or the ability to send email successfully. In a similar manner, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) convert old inactive email addresses into traps to see who’s keeping good hygiene practices and not mailing to older emails. These are called Recycled Traps and can damage your sender reputation and block your ability to inbox or deliver mail to the intended recipients. EmailOversight’s real-time validation detects email-based threats and eliminates them to improve your email system’s deliverability.
2. Malware: Trojan and ransomware
Malware, an abbreviation for malicious software, aims to steal data with the intention of causing damage. The two common examples of malware are ransomware and Trojan. According to a Verizon report, 17% of data breach cases involve malware, 27% involve ransomware, and 15% involve a Trojan virus.
Ransomware uses encryption to block the operating system and demands a ransom payment in cryptocurrencies to restore the system. Trojan provides complete access to a system password and webcam. EmailOversight helps companies verify the validity of each email address to avoid traps and malformatted emails.
The following measures can protect you against malware:
• Regularly update operating systems
• Periodically backup data to a safe cloud storage system
• Limit administrative privileges of company software
• Upgrade firewalls and always have an active antivirus software
• Integrate commercial email security system
3. Phishing and spear phishing
Phishing emails use fraudulent messages to steal valuable information, such as credit cards, bank accounts, credentials, and money. According to Tessian, 75% of companies worldwide experienced some kind of phishing attack, and 35% have experienced a spear-phishing attack in 2020. The frequency of phishing attacks has also doubled between 2019 and 2020.
Spear phishing is a targeted attack where criminals perform extensive research on a company or individuals to make their messages seem legitimate.
4. Business email compromise (BEC)
65% of organizations around the globe experienced spear phishing in 2020. It is an advanced cybercrime where the hacker impersonates the director, president, CEO, or employee to commit crimes. The goal is to obtain confidential information, steal money, or distribute malware.
Spoofing is a strategy to falsify an email’s header to con the employees into carrying out bank transfers or divulging sensitive information.
If you want to avoid these email-based threats and maintain your mailing infrastructure, EmailOversight should be your one-stop solution. We help companies validate emails, enrich existing data, verify phone numbers, and improve email activity with insightful real-time reports. Our solutions are 99.5% effective, and we offer services in over 156 countries.
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