Prevent BEC attacks with enhanced Email Security

By VARINDIA - 2019-09-19

Prevent BEC attacks with enhanced Email Security

Business Email Compromise, commonly known as BEC attacks, are among the biggest email security threats faced by enterprises. The most popular case of BEC that comes to mind is the one that happened to the Indian subsidiary of an Italy-based multinational organization Maire Tecnimont, earlier this year. The massive BEC scam led to a loss of USD 18.6 million at the hands of a group of Chinese hackers!

 

How BEC attacks work

 

In a BEC attack, a hacker sends highly targeted emails to enterprise personnel by impersonating a trusted authority in the organization. They use email IDs that uncannily replicate those of the people being impersonating. These emails are targeted at personnel who have financial authority, I.e., those who can transfer company funds. These emails are masked so well that most basic firewalls and other security systems are unable to identify them as fake. And what do you do when your boss emails you to transfer company funds to a third party account? You comply. And that’s how companies lose thousands, if not millions of dollars every year. And the number of BEC attacks is on the rise. In fact, BEC attacks have increased by almost 500% over the last year alone.

 

How enhanced email security prevents BEC attacks

 

To prevent BEC attacks, you need to have an email security system that can apply multiple analysis methods to scrutinize incoming email communications. These email security systems run the DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) protocol. This ensures that the email network is protected by SPF and DKIM, which check the sender’s IP address and use encrypted keys to ensure that the sender of emails is authorized to do so. These authentication systems help in identifying email forgery attempts and prevent BEC and other attacks based on spoof emails.

 

Hence to prevent costly BEC attacks, it is important for enterprises to use a firewall that provides DMARC-based email security. That way, you can prevent your team and yourself from falling prey to even the most sophisticated cyberattacks.


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