The newest data from security vendor Barracuda provides insight into exactly how attackers execute BEC attacks and what makes them so successful.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are responsible for $26 Billion in losses over the last 4 years, according to the FBI. It makes sense for organizations to pay attention to these costly attacks, working to understand what an average attack looks like so a proper security response can be put in place.
According to Barracuda’s Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends, Volume 3 report, BEC attacks tend to follow some very specific behaviors that demonstrate how specifically executed these attacks are:
- 91 percent of BEC attacks occur on weekdays
- 84 percent are “urgent” requests
- Attacks generally appear to come from “trusted” sources with Gmail addresses used in nearly half of all BEC attacks
- The average attack targets 6 people or less in an organization
With the average BEC attack costing organizations $270,000, it’s imperative that preventative measures be put in place. Given the attack vector is email, and that most of these attacks have no malicious attachments, it’s up to the user to act as your last line of defense.
These attacks are successful simply because users take the emails received at face value, believing them to be from a known individual. Putting users through Security Awareness Training helps to educate users on how to identify BEC attacks, and how to avoid falling for them.