Since the early days of the internet, when Nigerian Prince scams started appearing, email has been exploited by hackers and criminals.
Data from FBI reports shows that email-based attacks like CEO fraud and phishing are now the most costly cybercrime categories.
Despite the rapid evolution of the digital workplace, every business still relies on email to do the majority of their daily communication. Everything from stationery orders to corporate mergers is organised and negotiated through email, and that makes it an attractive target for criminals.
A growing vulnerability
A Radicati survey examining email use found that the worldwide volume of emails sent daily is growing at a rate of 4.4% and is expected to reach 319.6 billion messages a day by the end of 2021.
All criminals need to break into a business is a cleverly worded phishing email. If they can trick just one person in a company into clicking on a malicious link they can gain access to all kinds of sensitive data from contact lists to financial records.
When your customers are looking for ways to improve their cybersecurity, securing their email services should be a top priority.
Australian companies targeted
The 2018 AusCERT report found that organised crime is responsible for around 50% of cybersecurity incidents in Australia.
“Australian Businesses are targets and are generally underprepared,” AusCERT states in their report. “Phishing and email attacks are still the most prevalent form of cyber security incidents affecting respondents... Phishing emails are the most widely used infection vector employed by 71% of all threat actor groups.”
The ASBFEO, Australia’s small business advocate, released survey figures in 2017 that illustrate the severe damage cyber-attack can do to SMBs. The ASBFEO reported that 43% of cybercrime attacks target smaller businesses, not large corporations and that 60% of small companies hit with a cyber-attack are so badly affected that they go out of business within six months.
Every team member is vulnerable
People are the most cybercrime-vulnerable part of a company, which is why criminals use email to attack. The average person sitting at a desk has little or no understanding of cybercrime techniques, so they don’t know what to look out for.
One well-crafted email is all a cybercriminal needs to get inside a company’s defences. They’ll send millions of messages to random inboxes, using tricks like fake notification messages made to look like they come from big, recognisable companies. The criminals objective is to trick an unwary person to click on a link and submit their password details or download a file infected with spyware. With those simple tricks, hackers can get inside a company’s computer system and access all kinds of valuable data like contact lists and financial files.
If your customers would like to learn more about the complex cybersecurity challenges facing their business, please invite them to download the e-book Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime by MailGuard CEO Craig McDonald. This plain English handbook explains the most common threats and provides essential guidance on managing risk.
“Cybercrime is a serious and growing business risk. Building an effective cybersecurity culture within an organisation requires directors and executives to lead by example. Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime is a must-read for directors and executives across business and in government and provides strong foundations for leaders determined to address cyber risk.” - Rob Sloan, Cybersecurity Research Director, Wall Street Journal.
Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime is available for free, here.
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