Do you believe your company is safe from a ransomware attack? Think again. Ransomware assaults appear abstract, transmitted by nameless, faceless thieves looking for and exploiting security flaws. These kinds of assaults aren't new. In 1989, thieves distributed the AIDS trojan—PC Cyborg Virus—through a floppy disk. When cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin became available in 2010, thieves began to monetize ransomware even more.
If a typical ransomware assault costs $8.1 million and takes 287 days to recover from, the 113 attacks on government institutions in 2020 will cost $915 million. To add to that, attacks have been automated, making it much too simple and far too cheap for hackers to break into any firm regardless of size. Sending ransomware through email appeals to hackers because it is simple to deploy and employs a range of deception to lock down systems, encrypt data, infiltrate networks, and infect devices.
One of the most successful methods for thieves to carry out ransomware attacks? Email. Malicious actors are constantly adapting in order to circumvent defenses laid out against their tricks. They have managed to automate their attacks to target companies of all sizes.
Hackers commonly get access to company systems using phishing attacks. These are usually emails sent in an attempt to fool employees into clicking on files or links containing harmful code (ransomware). They may also unknowingly allow access to secured systems in order to inject the ransomware. Even cyber thieves who intend to infiltrate a system will frequently begin with a socially crafted email.
Emails and phishing
One of the most frequent types of malware is malicious computer code, which is used to prevent corporations from accessing their own networks and extracting money. Once they have control of the network, fraudsters impose a payment deadline. If the targeted corporation refuses, the hackers have the option of publicly disclosing sensitive information, selling data, or locking the organization out of its own network for good.
Given that emails are the source of 96% of all social engineering attempts, email authentication is the strongest first-line security against ransomware threats. Hackers routinely get access to company networks using phishing attacks, which are emails meant to deceive employees into clicking on files or links containing harmful code.
Fight against ransomware
There were only two email authentication methods before DMARC: DKIM and SPF. Is there a major issue with these protocols? They lacked a clearly articulated policy as well as a feedback system. Nobody knew if DKIM or SPF were working or what the receiver could (or should) do with the findings.
Organizations that use DMARC as their email authentication mechanism add another layer of security to resist the significant percentage of phishing assaults that originate from a phony sender. This critical layer, which is often missing from more traditional email content filtering via artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), prevents cyber attackers from using domains for business email compromise attacks, email scams/phishing, and other cyber threats. It is designed to empower email domain owners to protect their own domains from unauthorized use.
DMARC and its records prohibit criminals from impersonating trustworthy parties in order to conduct phishing or other fraudulent email campaigns. It also stops spammers from using a company's hard-won email reputation to hitch a ride, thereby harming both the brand and the deliverability rates. When there is no authentication, there is uncertainty and opacity regarding who may send emails.
When email authentication is combined with AI or ML analysis, fraudulent senders may be definitively rejected. Authentication using DMARC allows email senders to deliver emails while returning global control to companies.
Approach towards cybersecurity
The world is becoming increasingly perplexing and complicated. Cybercriminals have begun automating their attacks at an increasing rate. They have been targeting businesses that outsource most of their systems and opted for a remote working environment. They'll grow more common and hit a broader range of targets of varying sizes. Smaller businesses will no longer be able to go under the radar as they did in the past.
Authentication adds order and clarity to a company's domain and emails by defining what action can be taken and by whom. Protocols like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF ensure that your emails are safe and are not being spoofed. Try all of these today at EmailAuth.