Legacy email security systems vulnerable to attacks: study

Latest Mimecast ESRA finds tens of thousands of different types of attacks being delivered to inboxes

Cybercriminals continue to adapt their attack methods, particularly email-borne attacks, to evade the detection of traditional security solutions, Douglas said.
Cybercriminals continue to adapt their attack methods, particularly email-borne attacks, to evade the detection of traditional security solutions, Douglas said.

Many email attacks, ranging from opportunistic spam to targeted impersonation attacks, are getting through incumbent email security systems, a report by Mimecast shows.

The latest quarterly Email Security Risk Assessment (ESRA) found 26,305,457 spam emails, 27,156 malware attachments, 55,190 impersonation attacks and 466,905 malicious URLS, were all missed by these incumbent providers and delivered to users’ inboxes, an overall false negative rate of 11% of inspected emails. 

“Today’s threat landscape continues to evolve as cybercriminals adapt their attack methods, particularly email-borne attacks, to evade the detection of traditional security solutions. This is becoming a huge problem for companies regardless of size -- across the globe. The ESRA results offer deep insights so our customers can better understand the types of attacks threatening their business,” said Joshua Douglas, vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast.

“Through better email security, paired with improved security awareness, Mimecast can help customers build a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy that prepares them to take on and defend against both known and unknown cyber threats,” he added.  

Many organisations believe their current email security systems are up to the task of protecting them from phishing. Unfortunately, many of them fall short and do not keep their organisations safe. Impersonation and phishing attacks are becoming a growing problem.  According to the recently launched State of Email Security 2019 report, 85% of the 1,025 global respondents experienced an impersonation attack in 2018, with 73% of those victims having experienced a direct business impact – like financial, data or customer loss. Not only that, but 94% of the respondents said they experienced a phishing attack, with 55% noting an increase in this type of attack year over year.

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