3 Ways to Mitigate Ransomware and Email-Based Threats
Basic email security measures can’t keep up. Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve at a far quicker pace as threat actors employ advanced techniques like zero-hour exploits and customized malware to stay a step ahead. However, one thing remains constant during all these attacks…their entry point.
Email remains the most vulnerable threat vector for organizations both big and small. The most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that they average company received 94% of their detected malware through email. If email-based threats are such a prolific menace, one must ask what the average organization is doing to prevent malware from entering via email.
Sadly, many organizations, especially those considered SMBs, ignore the need for email security. If they do heed the call to better email security, they often only implement a cloud-based filtering solution which is effective, but sadly just not enough anymore.
Here are 3 ways to beat ransomware and email-based threats using email security solutions.
1) Cloud Email Security
So yes, I just said that cloud-based filtering solutions are not enough to combat malicious email-based malware anymore. It’s true. However, not every filtering/email security solution is built the same. If you were buying a quality car, you’d look under the hood. You would want to know the advanced features of that car. You may even want to take it for a test-drive. The same thing holds true for cloud email security solutions, it is all about what makes it function.
An ideal email security solution should be cloud-based and provide a solid foundation for email reception, handling, and bulk protection. Additionally, you should look for excellent anti-spam, anti-malware, and anti-phishing technology built standard into the product.
Often overlooked within email security solutions is the level of customizability it will afford you. Granularity in policy creation can be beneficial to security admins who seek to control just how the email threat vector is protected. Having the ability to build sophisticated routing/filtering rule allows a solution to be perfectly scaled to fit any need. Regardless, cloud-based email security is an essential foundation of any strategy.
2) URL Protection
The easiest way to deliver a malicious payload via email is through weaponized links, also known as URLs. While cloud email security solutions do a great job of catching the easily recognized culprits, they lack the ability to deep scan a URL and block links that can lead to a malware infection.
One of the biggest issues cybersecurity admins face is the delayed weaponization of links. This means that a bad actor will wait until some time after the email is sent and has most likely cleared an email filter to set up a domain and trick users into visiting a phishing site.
A good URL protection solution will deep scan URLs and block links that can lead to infections via malware. Additionally, they should fight delayed link weaponization by re-writing URLs to be safer and scan a link at the time of click to ensure nothing malicious happens.
3) Attachment Sandboxing
In the same Verizon report we cited earlier, it was found that 45% of the recognized malware identified had been delivered through email attachments like Microsoft Office documents. Attachments are one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to distribute threats.
The issue with most email security solutions is that they block or approve attachments based on pre-defined configurations from the solution administrator. This could simply mean blocking a certain file type or naming convention known to be malicious. This methodology of filtering can leave organizations completely exposed to zero-day threats and file names that can easily be faked.
To combat this, security admins should utilize an attachment sandboxing solution. Attachment sandboxing takes each individual message with an attachment and examines the file individually by extracting the attachment from the message. It will then place the attachment within a virtual protected environment (a ‘sandbox’) and open it to catch any malicious activity or attempts to download additional components that could also perform nefarious activities.
The ideal attachment sandboxing solutions will not only provide the protection mentioned about. They will also give security operators a detailed behavioral analysis output that explains what the attachment tried to do upon execution.
Combat Malicious Threats with VIPRE Advanced Threat Protection
VIPRE Security recognizes that the threat landscape evolves fast. While many have become cognizant of the threat email-based attacks pose, they have implemented either ineffective or partial email security strategies.
End-user training still allows the possibility of a malicious message ending up in an end-user’s hands and just utilizing a basic email security solution leaves you exposed to evolving, zero-hour threats. It is imperative that organizations implement a single solution that protects against multiple attack types.
Therefore, VIPRE has created VIPRE Email Security – Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). This solution offers enterprise-grade email protection in an easy to use, out of the box package. VIPRE ATP defends end-users against the newest and most sophisticated strains of malware, weaponized attachments, and phishing techniques that evade traditional detection.