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Benefits of Anti-Phishing Email Software to Enterprise Businesses

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Benefits of Anti-Phishing Email Software to Enterprise Businesses

Anti-phishing email software is one of the most effective ways to protect your business from a data breach. Phishing is a primary tool for many attackers, mainly for its ability to prey on unsuspecting employees unable to identify email-based threats. Sophisticated phishing threats, including spear phishing and impersonation, are complex for employees to detect. Still, anti-phishing email software takes the burden of detecting, quarantining, and protecting data away from employees and manages anti-phishing strategies for you.

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Advanced Impersonation Threats and Phishing

Business email compromise (BEC) gives attackers access to employee accounts to send messages without spoofing. The first step in BEC is to trick at least one high-privileged user into divulging their account credentials. Attackers need to build a phishing threat specific to a targeted organization to trick specific high-privilege users. Advanced threats work towards bypassing common email cybersecurity, and they give the reader a sense of urgency to bypass security awareness training.

BEC is one of the most effective ways for attackers to inject malware into the corporate environment or steal highly sensitive data. The attacker can access a targeted user’s email account through credential theft. With the email account in hand, several additional phishing emails can be sent from the official business account. Because the messages come from a legitimate internal user account, most recipients will open malicious files or send information to the sender.

Email security doesn’t help much when a business email account is compromised. The sender address isn’t spoofed, and the domain is the official domain for the business, so nothing sent from the attacker would trigger email filters. Business security must rely on other aspects of threat detection to stop the attacker from delivering another payload. A firewall might detect unusual traffic, or antivirus software might prevent malware from installing on a local machine.

A sophisticated BEC attack might start with a standard phishing email. Email filtering software blocks the initial phishing message, so an organization must stop a phishing campaign early instead of retroactively performing an incident response. Cleaning up after a malware or phishing attack is much more overhead than being proactive and blocking a malicious message from reaching the intended recipient inbox. Being proactive is critical and can stop months of data exfiltration from an advanced persistent threat (APT) that creates backdoors and other ways to avoid detection.

Ransomware is another common phishing payload. Since hacking is a business for many online criminal groups, ransomware is an effective way to profit from their efforts. For businesses, many ransomware authors ask for seven figures in payment in exchange for keys to decrypt files. As you can guess, encrypting files in a business setting can be crippling for productivity. Any critical file is unavailable, so files used to handle day-to-day business or allow for network function would be destroyed.

BEC, ransomware, and credential theft aren’t the only threats to business security, but they are the most common. Numerous other attacks, from insider threats to outside attacks, target businesses large and small. Cybersecurity should be integrated to detect common and targeted attacks with slightly different strategies than common threats in the wild. Remote control trojan malware is also common, and this type of threat persists for months and allows attackers to take control of a corporate machine.

Remote control software has legitimate purposes but can also be used to authenticate onto the business network using a connected device. With remote control trojans, an attacker waits for the targeted user to leave their office to take control of the machine. With a connected device, the user’s account can be used to make changes to data, send sensitive files to a third-party server, make changes to the environment if network permissions allow, or install additional malware on corporate machines.

An advanced persistent threat (APT) can remain in a business environment for months. Some businesses with poor detection don’t detect APTs until months later when tremendous damage has already been done to user privacy, customer data, and the integrity of internal applications. The cost to remediate these threats –which often start from a simple phishing email message—extends from the immediate incident response costs. Businesses often suffer from long-term costs, including legal fees, compliance violations, audits, the cost to upgrade security infrastructure, revenue loss after customer trust is lost, and the loss of customer loyalty.

Incorporating Anti-Phishing Email Software

With so many threats using email to deliver payloads, organizations, and administrators responsible for protecting corporate data need ways to stop phishing. Traditional methods blocked specific keywords and phrases, which wasn’t enough to prevent malicious attachments. Administrators were then given ways to block specific file attachments (e.g., .zip or .exe) to avoid ransomware or malware payload delivery. Embedded links are now used to trick users into downloading malware without using a file attachment. Organizations need a better system to block sophisticated phishing attacks, and anti-phishing email software has the answers.

In a practical anti-phishing email application, artificial intelligence catches zero-day threats and stops messages meant to bypass traditional email security. New generations of email security incorporate threat intelligence to detect the latest internet threats. Threat intelligence is a collaboration of cybersecurity organizations and researchers who set out to find dark web activity and understand the vulnerabilities attackers recently discovered to exfiltrate data from corporate environments.

Anit-phishing software scans email for suspicious content, including embedded links, file attachments, the sender’s email server IP address, and several other factors. If factors add to suspicious activity, the anti-phishing email security quarantines the message. A quarantined message is stored in a safe location where the recipient cannot access it, but administrators can further review its content. False positives are sent to the recipient’s email, and administrators can change configurations to better avoid sending legitimate messages to a quarantine. Messages considered a true positive can be further reviewed or sent to researchers to determine a payload and possibly the reason for the attack.

Some phishing threats target specific organizations. In targeted spear phishing, attackers first perform reconnaissance. Reconnaissance is the first step in building a phishing threat specific to the targeted organization. Attackers research LinkedIn to find high-privilege users, read the website for particular departments and company culture, and find potential targets in third-party vendors. With the public information available online, a savvy attacker can customize an email targeted to a specific employee within the organization.

Anti-phishing email software stops targeted spear phishing so that high-privilege users don’t fall for sophisticated attacks. Whether it’s an executive, an accountant, or a financial employee, anti-phishing software stops malicious file attachments, messages with embedded links pointing to malware downloads, and messages with suspicious content from reaching an intended recipient. Security awareness training is still necessary to stop any false negatives, and antivirus software is also required to prevent false negatives and protect the environment. Both security awareness training and antivirus are ineffective against zero-day threats, so anti-phishing software should always be your first line of defense.

What Can PhishTitan Do?

PhishTitan is an advanced anti-phishing email software built to stop malware and malicious content. Advanced artificial intelligence detects zero-day threats, so users are not victims of the latest spear-phishing strategies or targeted attacks that more effectively trick employees. PhishTitan integrates with Microsoft 365 as an additional layer of email security, which makes your defense more effective at stopping various email-based threats.

Learn more about what PhishTitan can do for your business and book a free demo today. 

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