When you message someone online, wouldn’t you want to be assured that your conversations and sent information are kept secret and private?
That’s why email security remains one of, if not the, most important aspect of online messaging, as it ensures that your privacy is always protected. Unfortunately, a recent spate of cyber attacks and malicious malware continue to threaten your online information and data. As such, this article will discuss the methods with which cyber criminals hack into your data and how you can catch them.
How to prevent common email cyber attack methods used by criminals
Security in email
Security is one of the most important things in messaging. Privacy is always a consideration when people sign up for accounts with some of the big messaging companies like Google and Yahoo. In fact, several countries, including the United States, are committed to protecting online privacy and data through several legal frameworks, particularly that of the United Nations.
Cyber attacks continue to hound today’s modern world, as evident in recent studies that show that almost a third of organizations in the country are hit by ransomware and malicious malware. Email security appears grounded as attacks continue to take flight despite an understanding of the importance of privacy and security to customers. Meanwhile, criminals are continuously developing new, more intelligent ways to bypass security.
Common cyber attacks to emails used by criminals
Some of the most common attacks use the airline phishing attack, which is a more advanced improvement of the old phishing attack. The attack includes two steps, collection of sensitive data and use of the collected data to launch APT (Advanced Persistent Threats). This method works 90 percent of the time as attackers collect data from users by tricking them.
To do this successfully, the attacker sets up a form that is identical to one of the companies from which a customer is most likely to hear, like an airline or bank. This data then helps cyber criminals to infiltrate the company’s system. Even though most companies have tried to integrate different security solutions, the solutions always seem to lack in some area and the attacks then use these channels.
However, it's important to keep in mind that regardless of the method used by cybercriminals, it's important that you always keep an eye out for data security threats that could attack your computer and network.
- Ransomware attacks
These are quite easy to deploy. Cybercriminals send out a file from an email address that they infiltrate. This can, however, be sent out from a completely new and fake email address or another source. Once they successfully establish means of sending the file, the criminals make sure that the information sent out together with this file is completely believable.
This type of information might be in form of a link to a certain news article, a certain invoice you have to open or a document in .pdf or .doc format. Once you open the link, malicious malware is deployed. The criminals then have access to your information and your account. Identity deception identification is the only way to catch these attacks.
- Phishing attacks
Phishing attacks, used as an attack to aid other attacks, always seem to work for their purpose. This type of attack is commonly used to get certain information to help in launching other attacks. The information targeted by this attack is credentials associated with email accounts. The attacks can be random, in that there is no specific target aimed at. In this case, the set security options usually catch the attack before it happens.
However, in cases where there is a certain target, the attack usually works. The use of identity deception identifiers is the best way to catch this kind of attack. In certain cases, companies use DMARC standards, which provide amazing security.
- Business email compromise
Business email compromise is an attack aimed at employees with certain benefits or authority in a company. The sources, usually certain legitimate compromised accounts, do a very good job to convince the employees of the legitimacy of the information. The use of malware attached to files does not work in these situations due to the level of security available for these employees. Instead, the cybercriminals use information that seems to be completely believable to steal sensitive and secure data or convince the employees to start a money transfer. The information in these emails seldom uses URLs to help with the attacks. The attacks are therefore very difficult to detect and the spindle usually takes place leaving the company and its customers completely vulnerable.
The use of malware attached to files does not work in these situations due to the level of security available for these employees. Instead, the cybercriminals use information that seems to be completely believable to steal sensitive and secure data or convince the employees to start a money transfer. The information in these emails seldom uses URLs to help with the attacks. The attacks are therefore very difficult to detect and the spindle usually takes place leaving the company and its customers completely vulnerable. One way to prevent this, however, is to regularly change and manage your passwords in order to make sure that you are not compromised.
As it has been established, catching these attacks and stopping them before they happen can be a bit difficult. Usually, the best advice customers are given is to take caution and ensure they trust what they are accessing.