Email services are central to modern communication. Ironically, 85% of emails today aren’t meant to foster communication at all. Spam is rampant in inboxes all over the world. While some spam is merely annoying, spam can also include real danger. Phishing emails exist to steal personal information, and at least 3 billion phishing emails are sent every day. While phishing emails can wear a variety of disguises, the intent is always the same: to snatch recipient’s information and use it against them. Many phishing schemes are but the first step in a complicated cyber attack.
By 2025, phishing attacks will cost the globe $10.5 trillion every year, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Cybercrime will be the 3rd largest global economy. A criminal industry that large can choose anyone as its target, even large companies. A recent ransomware cyber attack against Colonial Pipeline caused a nationwide gas panic in the United States. Shipping company FedEx failed to protect consumer information in the wake of a ransomware attack against their company computers. No one can afford to think cybercrime won’t reach their servers.
If the largest corporations on the market can’t avoid cyberattacks, what hope do small businesses have? Successful phishing schemes can be fatal to small companies. It takes 2 to 6 weeks for small businesses to recover from ransomware. Many cannot serve customers during that time. Furthermore, customers must be notified of any data breach affecting them. It’s understandable customers may choose not to continue shopping at a company incapable of keeping their information safe. Between lost operating time and customer attrition, over 60% of small businesses close permanently in the 6 months following a phishing attack.
So what can companies do to defend themselves? The first step is to train their employees to spot phishing emails. While regular training is not infallible, 85% of scams rely on human error to succeed. A suspicious link not clicked is a crisis averted. Next, companies should verify all invoices and payments. Many attacks exist to harvest credentials, which leads to invoice fraud. If a business can spot invoice fraud early, they can keep the crisis from growing severe. Finally, a combination of human vigilance and email security programs should exist in every company. 43% of small businesses lack a cybersecurity plan at their own peril. While humans alone can’t catch 100% of security discrepancies, 25% of phishing emails bypass default security. Yet as cybercrimes grow more advanced, so too do the programs that fight against it.
The best line of defense against phishing keeps dangerous emails out of human inboxes to begin with. Advanced AI can stop 50% more attacks than regular security. Some AI programs deploy inside the cloud and configure as an app would to fight phishing on all fronts. Thanks to integration with other tools, AI email defense is a full scale operation designed to protect end users. The best email security programs can keep the ratio of malicious emails as low as 5 to 100,000. Effective phishing attacks defense begins with you.
Courtesy of Avanan