The Need for Email Security – Protecting from Ransomware and more

When it comes to cyber-attacks, email is still the most common threat vector. Businesses can be bombarded with socially engineered phishing attacks with malicious attachments that can lead to the compromise of sensitive information. All it takes is for one person not to recognise a spoofed sender address or to unwittingly click on an attachment or link to an unsecure site for extensive damage to be caused. Just by visiting a compromised webpage a ‘drive-by’ download could occur where the malware downloads in the background.

One form of attack that uses email as its gateway to your machine is ransomware.

Ransomware can be extremely costly to a business, and the frequency of these attacks is on the rise. Since 2017, the occurrence of ransomware from phishing emails has increased by 109%. The problem with ransomware is that paying the ransom in no way guarantees that the hackers will give you back your encrypted files. The only thing that it guarantees is that the attackers receive a hefty sum, sometimes alongside banking information, and on top of that, the money that is paid can be used to create new, more advanced ransomware attacks. And while the files remain encrypted, the cost of the attack increases; the average cost of a ransomware attack on a business has been reported to be around £100,000.

Ransomware can inadvertently affect all of us. Our personal data is everywhere, as we trust companies more and more with keeping it safe. However, even the most important of companies can sometimes have only rudimentary protection. For example, over half of the ransomware incidents reported in 2018 involved healthcare companies, and of course we all remember the ransomware WannaCry that targeted the NHS in 2017.

So, it is clear that attackers rely primarily on email to distribute malware and other threats, so good email security is paramount.

An obvious solution is Cisco’s email security, which offers multiple layers of protection from attacks.  It comes with Advanced Phishing Protection, which defends on the on-premise level, as well as cloud email platforms such as Office 365. What makes it so effective is its advanced machine learning techniques – it analyses behaviour in real-time to better assess what is a threat and what isn’t. It looks at expected sending behaviour to spot anomalies, and measures relationships between users to check if an incoming message fits the trend of communication. In addition to this, Cisco can provide unmatched protection due to Talos – one of the world’s largest threat intelligence teams. If there is a new exploit, with Talos your security system will know first, with automatic updates every few minutes.

When looking to protect your business, of course there are many different avenues an attacker might take that need to be considered, but it is clear that email security is essential – the threats it poses can be devastating, from malware, spam and ransomware. But, the best solution for any business can be found, and Equilibrium Security Services can provide that protection.

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