Email is an indispensable tool for business and the efficient operation of any organization or personal correspondence. Whether internal communication or client engagement nothing is more ubiquitous save perhaps the forgotten art of the phone call. However, as a key doorway into your business, your network, or your personal affairs, it also serves as the primary entrance point for cyber criminals.

Pitfalls of a Cloud-Based Mailbox

This threat has been amplified by the rise of cloud-based mailboxes like Google’s G Suite (with Gmail recently celebrating its 15th anniversary) and Microsoft Office 365 that lower cost and offer users the ability to stay connected from anywhere and from any device. These benefits also provide cyber criminals the same opportunity. This changing landscape not only add value for users and further entrench the value of email but also creates new risks that both organizations and individuals must be aware of and guard against.

90% of all security breaches included a phishing element.

The Most Vulnerable Entrance Point into Your Business

Email has become the number-one vector of attack for threats like ransomware and malware delivered most commonly through phishing attacks, and rising year after year. According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report, 90% of all security breaches included a phishing element.

Phishing Emails Are a Unique Breed of Threat

Phishing by its nature relies on human error and violation of trust. Email users have become more sophisticated through experience and cybercriminals have adapted in kind. Thankfully, the heyday of the Nigerian prince scams of yesteryear is behind us. By contrast, today’s attacks often leverage the anonymity of the internet to hijack the trust in a person or entity we already possess. We routinely consume emails from our vendors, coworkers, clients and friend often without taking the time to question the content of what we assume to be legitimate. As result of this inherent complacency, 71.4% of targeted attacks involved the use of spear-phishing emails according to a 2018 Symantec report.

Deceptive emails themselves are not crafted to interact with the end user’s machine, but rather the people consuming them

Hackers Have Many Tools to Gain Access to Your Information

Whether through spoofing, impersonation, or any other form of fraud, spear-phishing uses social engineering to generate an email that seeks to take advantage of our existing relationships with trusted parties to lower our guard and lead us to fall prey to an attack. Unlike the viruses and malware phishing emails may contain, deceptive emails themselves are not crafted to interact with the end user’s machine, but rather the people consuming them, making them a uniquely difficult threat to guard against.

How We Defend

Traditional approaches have come a long way. Our spam folders are often filled with thousands of spam emails caught by our email provider or network-based security that never even make it to our inbox. Protocols like signed certificate emails and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) inform receiving servers of the legitimacy of the mail you send and receive and serve to inform these decisions made before the mail reaches you. When you send emails, these precautions can help boost your brand reputation ensuring that your recipients receive your messages and protect your domain and network from many forms of attacks. New innovations like AI are beginning to help further these efforts by providing analysis that seeks to warn users of possible incoming threats, but are not yet capable of adapting to the innovative and ever changing strategies employed by cybercriminals.

Ultimately, this is an indication that email security solutions are failing us.

Dependent on the Vigilance of Your Employees

Each of these security methods falls short of the mark when defending against a targeted and ever evolving threat. Messages that do reach your inbox are carefully crafted to comply with security standards and appears as legitimate as possible while leveraging behavior patterns and even personal details to do so. Ultimately experts agree that the human element reading and interacting with an email is the best and last defense of any organization.
As a result, training and security awareness has become an essential part of email security. Teaching users how to recognize threats that no security method can defend against has become a critical piece of cyber risk mitigation and business survival. Ultimately, this is an indication that email security solutions are failing us.

The Human Factor

Lets look at the problem of automotive safety. Car makers have made great strides in making our vehicles safer in the last several decades. Innovations like airbags, seatbelts, crumple zones, etc. help minimize the damage resulting from a crash, but in nearly every case the fault in causing an accident lies with the driver. Therefore we require user training, in the form of learner’s permits, lessons with a driving instructor, a written exam and a driving test before we are willing to give a new driver a license to get in a car and participate in the community trust exercise that is our roadway system. But car makers didn’t stop there. In recent years innovations like back-up cameras, lane departure warnings, proximity sensors and auto-braking all serve to make us better drivers and safer participants in the driving experience and reduce the frequency of human error.

Cloudphish users we can ascertain whether a new message in your inbox really came from Joe in Accounting

The Cloudphish Solution

This is where Cloudphish comes in. Our innovation empowers users to make a more intelligent determination about the validity of an email with or without hours of training or the aid of sophisticated additional security measure. Although the stakes are different, email too is a community trust exercise, but one where some participants choose to drive the wrong way on the highway. The Trusted Sender Authentication Network (TSAN) is a concept we have developed to restore the trust and confidence in emails coming from people and organizations we know, and highlight those who violate it. By tracking the origin of every message sent by Cloudphish users we can ascertain whether a new message in your inbox really came from Joe in Accounting. All of this is performed within the Cloudphish ecosystem and outside of the email itself so that it cannot be forged or impersonated.

Cloudphish Offers a New and Effective Level of Security

Cloudphish seeks to empower you and your users. It takes the guesswork out of identifying phishing emails within your network of correspondents. It protects both you and your reputation today and in an evolving environment. Don’t leave your email security to chance, give us a call or send us an email today. We’d be happy to help.