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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 20:33

Mimecast concern at ‘alarming’ number of impersonation attacks on emails

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Mimecast concern at ‘alarming’ number of impersonation attacks on emails Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Global email and data security company Mimecast says its most recent email security risk assessment testing results highlight the alarming number of malwareless impersonation attacks incumbent email security solutions are unable to stop.

According to Mimecast, most organisations are concerned about malware being the main risk to their email-related security posture, but the testing result reveals an increased risk of impersonation attacks as compared to attacks leveraging malware.

It says the results highlight the continued challenge of securing organisations from malicious attachments and spam, and the findings follow a recent PhishMe study that found approximately two thirds of IT executives surveyed had dealt with a security incident originating from a deceptive email.

“Impersonation attacks are an easy and effective way to dupe unsuspecting victims by gaining trust through a combination of social engineering and technical means,” said Ed Jennings, chief operating officer at Mimecast.

“This latest ESRA report reveals that many email security providers are leaving organisations very vulnerable to these often hard to detect impersonation attacks. Cyber criminals know that many traditional email security services are improving their ability to stop email-borne malware, but remain ineffective against impersonation attacks.”

Jennings said the latest ESRA reflected findings by inspecting the actual inbound email of almost 100,000 users over a cumulative 631 days.

He said these organisations used a variety of common email security systems, and more than 55 million emails to date had been inspected as part of the Mimecast ESRA program, all of which had passed through the organisation’s incumbent email security vendor.

According to Mimecast, completed assessments had found more than 12,400,000 pieces of spam, 9055 emails containing dangerous file types, 1844 known and 691 unknown emails with malware attachments, and 18,971 impersonation attacks missed by incumbent providers and delivered to users’ inboxes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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