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Email attacks are reaching a major high

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka)

Email attacks are on the rise. A new report by Mimecast, which assesses the efficiency of popular email security systems, claims that the number of Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks is rising, significantly. We’ve had a 269 per cent increase in these attacks this quarter, compared to the previous one.

BEC attacks are simply emails carrying malicious workloads, viruses or other forms of malware. Most frequently, they’re targeting workers and are impersonating a high-ranking officer within the company, either a CEO, CFO or similar. Mimecast argues that because of the very nature of these attacks, they can easily evade many traditional security systems, everywhere.

Impersonating a higher-ranking officer is not necessary, for the attack to be successful, it was added. Sometimes, a simple spam email, or a regular email carrying malware, would suffice. Mimecast concludes that the entire industry needs to work harder and create a “higher standard of email security”.

“This ESRA report pointed out that impersonation attacks continue to menace all types of organisations, but I think the real issue is that there are tens of thousands email-borne threats successfully able to bypass the email security systems that organisations’ have in place, effectively leaving them vulnerable and putting a lot of pressure on their employees to discern malicious emails,” said Joshua Douglas, vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast.

“Cybercriminals will always look for new ways to bypass traditional defences and fool users. This means the industry must focus their efforts on investing in research & development, unified integrations and making it easier for users to be part of security defences, driving resilience against evolving attacks.”