Business Email Compromise Attacks in Many Ways

Business Email Compromise Attacks in Many Ways

October 07, 2022 / in Blog / by Zafar Khan, RPost CEO

Business Email Compromise Cybercriminal Lures Attack in Many Ways, Like a Hydra Monster with Many Heads. Each Attack Vector Needs a Defense. Enter RMail.

Before we start today’s article, we’d like to ensure you have heard about – and been invited to – RPost’s Optimize!2022 global e-security and eSign user conference (click here to read more). This year’s unique format includes web sessions spaced throughout the month plus in-person expert tours across the Americas and Europe.

We’ve just completed the first week – with our keynote analyst speaker educating on the trickiest cyber lures called Business Email Compromise (click to relive) coupled by a kick off customer reception and in-person sessions with hundreds of insurance customers in Nashville and Orlando. Read to see what’s in store for the next weeks including Florida Bar free CLE sessions!

Now, let’s get on with today’s discussion — what the heck does a Hydra monster have to do with technology?

Elementary school for most people was basically a series of tedious number memorizations and handwriting practice. However, while I learned my times tables and carefully honed my cursive skills, I yearned for story time where we would learn about the great heroes and monsters of ancient mythology.

My personal favorite was the legend of Hercules and his Twelve Labors, which are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles (a/k/a Hercules), the greatest of the Greek heroes. My favorite of these 12 stories was the second one where the Hydra monster appears.

Not up on your Greek mythology? Well, the Hydra was giant, serpentine creature that had poisonous breath and blood so virulent that even its scent was deadly. What it is most famous for is possessing many heads, and for every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow two new heads. The Hydra, over time, became a metaphor for an intractable problem, one where even the cleverest-seeming solution actually makes the problem worse.

As a tribute to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’ve been explaining to customers how the latest cybersecurity lures work, called BEC (or Business Email Compromise) attacks. Long story short, these attacks in most cases wind up being like a Hydra monster — you can target one head, but if you chop it off, two more heads may regrow.

To help explain, we sponsored Osterman Research, a leading tech analyst, to survey company executives on cybersecurity concerns. We shared the Osterman BEC report this week with analyst Michael Sampson presenting his findings (to re-live the webinar, click here). Here are some highlights:

  • 80% of organizations surveyed indicated that protecting against BEC attacks in 2022 is of high importance.
  • 50% are NOT confident that staff can recognize BEC attacks.
  • 40% report that their current solutions for BEC attacks are NOT effective.

How exactly do these BEC attacks take form? In ways too numerous to describe in this brief article (hence the Hydra comparison), but some of the most-referenced were when email addresses were impersonated via “lookalike domains”, when reply-to addresses were altered so replies pivot to the cybercriminal, and when eavesdropping on email communications occur. Each is an attack vector that can lead to mis-sent payments often referred to as wire fraud.

The bottom line is that, as Osterman Research reports, when one BEC attack (which can cost $20K to $1 mil!) is foiled, it is incredibly easy to perpetrate another kind of attack or two on the same victim. So, to slay the proverbial Hydra, you need the right weapons – layers of weapons — and just as Hercules wielded his firebrand to finally defeat the monster, you need RMail’s layered technology approach to defeat BEC attacks — even if you have inbound security buttoned up.

Think of RMail as SMARTR outbound security – key layers to defend against targeted BEC attacks. RMail does what no other email security server or secure email gateway does – not even Microsoft.

Know More About Secure Email

RMail offers integrated features that can handle the types of attacks referenced above: Easy and automated email encryption with AI and real-time Lookalike Domain™, Reply Hijack™, and Email Eavesdropping™ alerts, among others.

And if you think only Hercules himself will have the ability to implement these features on your existing email platform, consider that you get all these features and more with a simple add-in to Outlook or Gmail – or with an outbound email connection to the RMail Gateway. (P.S. We hear these are all free to try during October, a tribute to Cybersecurity Awareness Month!)

Please contact us to learn more about RMail and its BEC-slaying technology.