Email protection: your first line of defense against cybercrime

Email remains the primary delivery mechanism for cyberattacks on enterprises. Cybercriminals recognize that a company's most important business communications tool is also the best vector for making an attack on it.

Cisco estimates that over 90 percent of breaches start with an email carrying phishing links or malicious attachments that can unleash ransomware. Cyberattackers' tactic of using email to find a target within an enterprise is not going away any time soon. According to Check Point Research's 2018 Security Report, 64 percent of companies experienced phishing attacks in 2017, and 50 percent of cyberattacks were ransomware.

Defense must be up to the challenge

The impact of a cyberattack can be hugely damaging for enterprises: you can lose not just data, but also productivity, customers and brand equity and, of course, incur significant financial losses. IBM estimates that ransomware attacks cost companies more than $8 billion globally in 2017.

It is clear that enterprises need to take email security more seriously. The vast majority of email threats arrives from outside an organization, infiltrate the company network and end up on an employee's computer. This means companies have two opportunities to detect malicious emails and do something about them: one, at the point they arrive at the corporate email system, and two, when they are delivered to the end user's computer. Therefore, enterprises need sufficient "depth of defense" in place to fight their corner. What’'s involved?

Phishing attacks

Comprehensive email security – what can you do?

There is a range of tools available, but it pays to remember that the human factor is almost always the weakest link in the enterprise security chain. Attackers can persuade and deceive employees in numerous ways to gain critical access to sensitive data, and the delivery mechanism for this is invariably email.

Benoit Ferault, Marketing Product Manager at Orange Cyberdefense, says, "We have built our dedicated Orange Cyberdefense unit to help our customers mitigate the threats and potential impact of cyberattacks. Our Email Protection Suite is built using Cisco Cloud Email Security, including Talos, to give global threat intelligence and sender reputation. It also incorporates Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Graymail safe unsubscribe. On top of that, we've also developed comprehensive managed services that continue to address both the technology side and the human elements of defense and protection."

Using global threat intelligence means you can spot, detect and block more attacks than ever. According to the SANS 2018 Cyber Threat Intelligence Survey, 81 percent of cybersecurity professionals now believe that cyber threat intelligence (CTI) helps them improve their prevention, detection and response capabilities. CTI means doing this in real-time, and it is crucial to update email security continuously: Cisco Talos threat detection team analyzes 600 billion messages and 16 billion web requests per day, plus 1.5 million malware samples to help companies secure themselves.

Global threat intelligence also incorporates more intricate tools like reputation filtering that blocks around 90 percent of spam before it can get onto your network, thereby creating a smaller payload to analyze. Forged email detection can help protect against attacks that target senior executives in an attempt to gain access to high-value data. Spam protection is now more sophisticated than ever. Solutions typically feature advanced phishing protection against identity deception-based attacks, such as social engineering, and domain protection, which works against phishing emails being sent using a customer's domains.

Protection at the push of a button

Chief security officers (CSOs) often cite the biggest threat to their organization's security as coming from their own personnel, with a company's workers often presenting a significant risk from within. Employees, through carelessness or lack of knowledge, often put their companies in danger.

With that in mind, Orange has developed a new tool to complement its existing Email Protection Suite that gets workers to actively contribute to their organization's security. The "automated suspicious email analysis tool" adds a button to a worker's email program that they can click if they receive what they believe to be a suspicious email. AI and machine learning tools then examine the contents of the email for signs of phishing and determine if any attachments contain malware. The email may also be flagged up to a cyber analyst for investigation. If it is a malicious email, all copies are deleted in seconds from every email server and client on a global basis.

"The automated suspicious email analysis tool helps on several levels. It raises awareness of the need for security among employees and encourages them to be vigilant. Secondly, it enables enterprises to "crowd source" threats using their employees. Finally, it provides automated remediation. We've already seen a 90 percent reduction in the email attack analysis workload in a real-world trial of the "automated suspicious email analysis tool," says Benoit Ferault.

Around the world, approximately 269 billion emails are sent and received each day, and that number is forecast to grow to almost 320 billion daily emails by 2021. Making sure your enterprise email is as safe and secure as possible has never been more important.

Discover the Orange Email Protection Suite, which includes all the next-generation security features you need to effectively protect your organization.