Email security threat affects 87pc of companies

A photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. — AFP pic
A photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Email security threats affected around 87 per cent of companies, globally, last year, says Barracuda Networks Inc.

Its Asia Pacific Sales vice-president, James Forbes-May, said phishing was one of the cheapest and easiest strategy used by hackers to target companies as it took advantage of the weakest link in an organisation’s security chain – its employees’ email accounts.

“Most malicious emails attempt to steal login and system information from users to take over their account and launch attacks into a company with the now compromised internal account.

“All they need to do is lure one untrained user with a click-bait link and the hackers have access to any company data,” he told a press conference here today.

Forbes-May said phishing attacks were difficult to spot and there was a strong possibility that cyber-criminals would turn to artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to learn the writing styles and messaging behaviour of employees to insert fake emails that were highly convincing.

However, he said white hats, ethical computer hackers or security experts, were already using AI-based capabilities to automate phishing detection.

“No company is too small or free from being a target, once an account is compromised or infected with ransomware, the company and its data can be held for a high ransom,” he said.

In May 2018 alone, Barracuda blocked over 1.5 million phishing emails and saw over 10,000 unique phishing attempts.

“Email threats will continue to be a large problem unless companies employ multi-layered approaches and train their employees to be security conscious,” Forbes-May added. — Bernama

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