With the sudden shift to remote work culture due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has witnessed an unprecedented spike in cybercrime. Emails have always been and still are the major channel used by threat actors for deploying malware, spam and phishing attacks. Many businesses, governments and charities around the world have been targeted by attacks possible through emails all year long. The same trend is expected to be continued as we enter 2021.
Counted amongst the most prominent aspects of cybersecurity, email security is dedicated to continuously evolving and upgrading the methods and protocols for securing email communication and accounts. The existing email security structures face several challenges including phishing, malware, lack of identity verification and message interception and manipulation. Spear-phishing, whaling attacks, ransomware, whale phishing and various other malware attacks are listed amongst the most widespread email threats in cyber security.
2020 Statistics Showing the Severity and Extent of Email-Based Attacks
Email security is a huge concern for the majority of organizations around the globe. Email-based attacks are wreaking havoc on businesses everywhere. Here are some shocking statistics representing the current cyber threat landscape:
- According to a report by Verizon, 96% of phishing attacks are launched through email.
- The same report by Verizon mentioned how nearly one-fourth of all the data breaches in 2020 involved phishing.
- NetSTAR reported a significant increase in phishing attacks from February to May 2020, with some areas witnessing up to a 600% increase.
- According to Verizon’s report, more than 60% percent of phishing schemes intend to harvest credentials and around 50% are seeking personal information.
- As per CSO Online, 94% of malware is delivered via email.
How can Organizations Reinforce Their Email Security Framework?
It just takes one careless click to shut down an organization with ransomware or one errant response to hand over access to employee records or sensitive data. For this reason, email protection solutions have become a basic necessity for organizations of all sizes. Organizations can protect themselves against advanced email-based attacks by adopting certain cybersecurity practices and implementing automated email security tools. So, here are some effective measures you can take to shield your business from cyber attacks.
- Generate cybersecurity awareness amongst employees
No matter how big or small your organization is, it is vital to educate your employees about the prevalent cybersecurity threats. Due to cybersecurity unawareness, employees often cause data breaches unintentionally, putting the company at risk. Providing your employees with cybersecurity awareness training can significantly reduce human error and mitigate the majority of cyber risks.
ThreatCop is a comprehensive cybersecurity awareness tool that helps secure your workforce against all types of cyber attacks. It simulates the top six customizable dummy cyber attack campaigns on the employees and helps assess your organization’s real-time threat posture.
- Implement a phishing incident response tool
Implementing a competent phishing incident response tool enables organizations to easily identify and address various malware, cyberattacks, exploits and other external and internal security threats. Threat Alert Button (TAB) empowers employees to identify malicious emails and instantly report them.
- Use standard email authentication protocols
It is essential to prevent threat actors from impersonating your company’s email domain. Utilizing standard email authentication protocols such as DMARC, DKIM and SPF can effectively defend your organization against domain forgery.
KDMARC is an anti-spoofing and email authentication solution that monitors all three outbound email authentication protocols and offers protection against email-based attacks like BEC, spoofing, spamming, etc. It not only provides you with a deep insight into your email channel but also improves your domain’s email deliverability and engagement rates.
- Ask all your employees to use strong passwords
Passwords often serve as the first line of defence against hackers. Using strong passwords is one of the most basic and effective cybersecurity measures you can take. A strong password should involve both lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters. Also, make sure your employees do not use the same password across multiple platforms.
- Use two-tier authentication
Using two-tier authentication can add an extra layer of protection to your email. Even if threat actors do manage to get their hands on your passwords, two-tier authentication will prevent them from accessing your emails or data without an additional code.
As email-based attacks pose a major threat to organizations in all parts of the world, it is vital to implement various types of email security solutions to protect your company against these threats. So, stay vigilant and prepare yourself for combating the emerging email security risks in 2021.