1 in 8 Email Threats Now Make It Past Email Security Solutions

Email Threats past Email SecurityPhishing attacks that can evade detection by email scanners are improving their chances of reaching the inbox, thanks to an increase in the use of one specific attachment type.

According to new data found in HP Wolf Security’s latest Security Threat Insights Report for Q4 of 2022, 13% of all email threats being sent make their way past layered email security defenses to reach the user’s inbox. This, up from the previously published finding of 11.7% of threats doing so by Acronis. While a little over 1% may not seem like much, with approximately 3.4 billion malicious emails sent daily, that accounts for an additional 44 million malicious emails daily.

So, why the increase? According to HP Wolf, one of the reasons is the continued use of PDF files containing malicious links. They also mention the use of archive files (e.g., ZIP files) as the most popular malicious file type used (in 42% of the cases) for its inability to be scanned easily – something HP Wolf first covered late last year.

This rise in malicious emails getting to the inbox means you have one of two paths to take. The first is that you assume the user is going to unwittingly fall for the likely social engineering tactics used in the malicious email and your endpoint protection is going to need to do the work of hopefully stopping the attack. Or you educate your users through Security Awareness Training so they can easily spot an attack and, by failing to interact with the malicious links or attachments, stop the attack before it has an ability to arm itself in the first place.

Find out which of your users' emails are exposed before bad actors do.

Many of the email addresses and identities of your organization are exposed on the internet and easy to find for cybercriminals. With that email attack surface, they can launch social engineering, spear phishing and ransomware attacks on your organization. KnowBe4's Email Exposure Check Pro (EEC) identifies the at-risk users in your organization by crawling business social media information and now thousands of breach databases.

EECPro-1Here's how it works:

  • The first stage does deep web searches to find any publicly available organizational data
  • The second stage finds any users that have had their account information exposed in any of several thousand breaches
  • You will get a summary report PDF as well as a link to the full detailed report
  • Results in minutes!

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