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Email attacks are on the rise

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka)

The number of organisations that use email security as part of their threat defences is actually shrinking, new figures from Cisco are showing. The Cisco 2019 Cybersecurity Series says that this year, 41 per cent of organisations have this type of security set up, down from 56 per cent last year.

At the same time, the number of email threats is on the rise, and email as a threat in general is considered one of the top issues keeping CISOs up at night.

A third of all emails that travel through Cisco’s Email Security Appliances are outright blocked, if nothing else, than based on the IP they’re sent from. This means that the volume of email attacks is increasing. At the same time, fraud is one of the main drivers behind cybercrime losses.

Fraud has brought more than $1.3 billion in losses for companies all around the world, while ransomware - a much more popular threat in the media – raked in just $3.6 million.

Profit from digital extortion is decreasing, Cisco argues.

Cybercriminals are usually using email to find victims within organisations which they can target with phishing attacks. Impersonating someone else, or straight up bluffing and just sending an email with a malicious attachment, hackers are usually betting that victims either don’t have the time, or vigil, to double-check every email, and will sometimes just download and run an attachment to see what it is.

This often gives hackers access to networks, which can have dire consequences for the business, both in earnings, reputation and fines.

Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka