As more and more employees are now working from home, emails have become an important form of communication within the organisation. But with that, comes an increase in email spoofs which can be be detrimental to the security of your whole organisation. In this blog, we explain what email spoofs are, what are the threats they post and how you can try to avoid falling victim to email spoofs.
Email Spoofing threats to Companies, its Evolution, and Prevention.
Emails are one of the most significant ways of communication in this digital world. Businesses use email services to connect with their employees and customers and hackers utilize these emails as a tool to scam people and cause harm to companies. This misuse of emails is usually done with different email spoofing techniques.
The spoofed emails can contain malicious files that can harm your device and compromise your accounts, or they can be used to perform different scams. The hacker just needs access to a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server for sending forged spoofed emails to anyone.
Financial Loss due to Email Spoofing
Many big companies have faced substantial financial losses just because of spoofed emails. Spear Phishing methods are utilized by hackers to scam employees and cause financial loss to the companies. The spear-phishing attacks in 2019 caused an averaged loss of $1.5 million per incident. Only 3% of companies around the world had remained safe during these spear-phishing attacks, and while some big companies faced tens of millions of dollar losses in 2019.
According to a report from Ponemon Institute, in 2016, hackers performed successful phishing attacks on big companies having more than 10,000 employees, and according to an estimate, each of those companies lost around $3.7 million per attack. With the Covid-19 global epidemic, there is a 667% increase seen in the phishing emails. Hackers are using new Covid-19 themed techniques to trick people and perform successful spear phishing attacks.
Data Leaks due to Spoofed Emails
Data breaches are pretty common, and hackers use spoofed emails to carry out such attacks. Slickwraps, a company that makes vinyl-style skins for phones, laptops, and tablets, had a huge data breach in which personal data of 330,000 customers was compromised. Hackers sent targeted spoofed emails to their customers to carry out the attack.
Microsoft also faced a huge data breach in January 2020, where 250 million customer support and services records were breached, and hackers used email spoofing there as well.
Evolution of Email Spoofing & Its Current Stage
The email spoofing has evolved a lot in recent years, and hackers keep introducing new phishing methods and techniques combined with email spoofing attacks. Hackers are using social media spoofing techniques, ransomware targeting, and Google or Dropbox phishing pages.
Hackers can hack your personal or even work emails by just sending you a spoofed email with an attached file. The file redirects you to a fake login page where you unknowingly put your credentials, and your account is hacked in no time.
There are various ways to secure yourself from any kind of email spoofing attacks in the future. You have to take some precautionary measures yourself to prevent any type of these attack. If you own a website, then make sure that your domain is not being used in carrying out any spam email attacks.
You must teach your employees to spot any spoofed emails and tell them not to engage with any of such email senders. Here are some of the most effective precautionary measures you can take to make your emails much secured:
- Avoid directly clicking on any embedded links in your emails.
- If some email seems to be suspicious, verify it first with your IT team.
- Keep anti-phishing services enabled in your browsers.
- Use DKIM, SPF, and DMARC email security standards.
- Give cybersecurity awareness training to your employees.
Use a password manager and never use the same password on multiple platforms because if one of your account’s credentials are compromised then hackers may try to access your other accounts as well. Email header information must be checked before you perform any action. The email header provides you a lot of useful information about the email For Example, browser information, spam or suspicious flags, threat scan results by Microsoft Exchange and much more.
While these are simple precautionary measures, it is still best to consult with experienced IT experts to prevent email spoofs from infiltrating your organisation in the first place. I-Net Dynamics has a team of professional IT engineers who are more than capable of assisting you in the setup of security filters and help prevent phishing emails from getting to your staff’s inboxes. Contact us here if you would like to find out more.