Do you have email threats already in your inbox?

Do you have email threats already in your inbox?

Published July 20, 2020

The email that infects your entire system could already be sitting in your inbox. Your current email scanner did not pick it up because it came from a genuine contact, about a real topic. The only issue is your contact did not send it a hacker did.

The email says that your contact has shared a file with you, and that makes sense. It even makes sense when it asks you to put in your username and password to view the file, because that’s standard Microsoft security. And that is what the hacker is counting on, because once you have done that, they now have your username and password as well so can login into your email and carry on the scam or steal your data or money.

You may also get an email from Microsoft telling you your mailbox is getting full, all you need to do is verify your login in details and your capacity will be increased. All sounds sensible so you do it.

These are known as “Phishing” attacks, and their aim is to get you to give away your login details, allowing the hacker to perform what is known as an “Account Take Over” meaning they have complete access to your emails.

If this happens the hackers start to create havoc by diverting emails, intercepting payment credentials, and compromising other accounts.

So how do we go about detecting and preventing these emails. Over the last 6 months we have been using a product called Sentinel from Barracuda.

What is Sentinel and how does it work

As we’ve said targeted attacks carry no malicious payload (via web links or attachments) and can bypass email security gateways and filters. They can also look convincing to us, the final line of defence.

Sentinel works by monitoring your mailbox and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work out if the email is genuine, in other words it is monitoring all the emails you receive so it knows what it should expect.

Using its AI algorithms, it can build up and learn your unique communication patterns and methods to detect potential fraud in real-time to protect against emails that on the surface look genuine, but underneath contain phrases or information that mean they are suspicious. Left unchecked they can be used to steal your data or encrypt your systems.

Sentinel monitors incoming emails arriving in your Inbox, if it detects suspicious activity the incoming message will be placed in your Junk mail folder. You will then receive an email like this, not only telling you the email is suspicious but also telling you why.

Email phishing screenshot

Forewarned is forearmed

Now you are warned that the email may be suspicious you are already alert and armed to treat it with care, and not to just click on that link or enter your login details.

You can then either make a direct contact with the person that sent it, as they could have been compromised and not know it, or  of course it could be a genuine email that you were expecting, in which case you can simply move it to your inbox.

Want to discuss your IT security strategy?

Call React now on 01394 387337

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Published July 20, 2020

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