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Malware Attacks Are on the Rise Again, and Your Email is the Main Target

Rui Serra By Rui Serra • March 14, 2019

We’ve written many times before warning you about the dangers of cyber threats and how many are on the rise again, as proved by many statistics.

A specific form of threat that’s targeting your business email security, malware attacks, is one of the most serious and prominent threat.

How Do Malware Attacks Affect Your Email?

As you probably already know, malware can spread in a lot of ways, one of which is through email. The worst thing about this is that email is one of the primary delivery methods of malware as it’s both the easiest and the most successful approach.

The thing about email attacks is that many are sent each day, and it’s not necessary for a lot of those to be successful. A company can lose millions of dollars from only one email attack – as long as the attachments or links are opened. It’s worth mentioning here that there has been a shift towards the usage of malicious links instead of attachments in the last year.

All of that happens more often than many believe, as it’s effortless to let your guard down. We all open dozens of emails every day, and hackers mask their emails to look trustworthy. They can make them appear to look as if they are coming from your colleagues, reputable organizations, and other trusted sources. That is called Email Spoofing which consists of the creation of email messages with a forged sender address and is a tactic used in phishing and spam campaigns because people tend to open an email when they think it has been sent by a legitimate source.

The Dangers of Malware in Numbers

Malware attacks don’t seem like much until you look at the alarming numbers connected to them.

  • The total number of malware infections has been on the rise in the last decade. Research says that in 2016 there were around 580 million infections, in 2017 702 million, and 2018 812 million.

  • According to research conducted by Verizon, an overwhelming 92.4% of all malware delivers through email.

  • Cybersecurity firm McAfee states that there are 480 new threats developed every minute.

  • Web-based attacks and malware are the most costly types of attacks. According to Accenture, companies spend 2.4 million dollars in defense against these.

  • Out of every 13 requests, one leads to malware.

  • According to the 2018 Symantec report, the most common disguises of malicious emails are: bills or invoices, email delivery failure, legal and law enforcement, and scanned documents.

  • According to the 2018 Cisco report, the most common malicious attachments used are office files, archives, and PDFs.  

What Can You Do to Protect Your Business Email?

Companies need to work towards proper training of their employees and executives, as both are targeted by hackers through email. The training should include explanations on the importance of:

  • Cyber and more specifically email security

  • Checking the validity of every email

  • Keeping the systems protected and ensure that protection is updated continuously

Besides the training of personnel, the other important part of cybersecurity is to have an advanced email security service that protects against malware attacks, ransomware, phishing, and business email compromise.

With all of that in effect, you should be well protected against malware attacks and other types of email attacks. Are you interested in seeing how AnubisNetworks can protect your business? Start your free trial today.

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Author: Rui Serra

With degrees in Computer Engineering and Marketing, Rui started his career managing training documentation for IT Training and consulting firms. He then joined Nokia Siemens Networks as a Documentation Specialist and Project Scrum Master before joining AnubisNetworks in 2009, where he has advanced from managing documentation to Product Manager for the growing Product Portfolio.

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