Email domain impersonation is a bigger threat than spam

When you think of email-related cyber threats, the first item on the list is normally spam protection, not true?

This being said, most major email providers provide spam protection by default. (Think Office 365 Exchange Online Protection, SYNAQ Securemail, or Symantec Mail Security.)

However, when it comes to email attacks that have the biggest impact to your business, email domain impersonation has far more severe potential consequences:

  • Financially: Customers can pay invoices to phishers that were meant for you
  • Reputationally: A customer who receives malware via an email from your domain is likely to remember this in future, which can damage your future relationship with them.

This, in essence is why you need email protection beyond spam protection, such as a DMARC compliance solution.

Each time a server receives a mail from your domain, a tool like Sendmarc will check the DMARC policy of the sender of the email. This is true regardless of where in the world that mail came from, and whether the sending infrastructure is yours or that of a hacker. With this check-in place, any mail that doesn’t come from a legitimate source will be rejected.

Are you thinking beyond spam protection?

Protect your clients and your business

“Our bank details have not changed.” is surely one of the least pleasant things to have to put in your email signature.

Chances are, if you’ve seen this, the email sender’s email domain has been impersonated and used in a phishing attack.

Phishing is extremely commonplace these days and is used by attackers to steal information such as passwords and other credentials, and other sensitive information.

According to Sendmarc, below are several common phishing scams, which can include things such as:

  • Asking you to click on a link and download a malicious file onto your computer.
  • Sending you an email notifying you of an outstanding invoice – and then a link where you can click to pay it. Clicking on this link takes you to an illegitimate site where scammers can gather your personal information and access your bank accounts.
  • The email sender telling you that one of your accounts has been compromised, and then asking you to log in and reset your password, fill in your information and resubmit it.
  • Pretending to be one of your vendors and asking you to confirm your credit information before they can release or deliver an order.

There are 2 approaches, which work best in parallel, to prevent email phishing attacks.

  1. Implement a technical solution such as DMARC to assure email authenticity
  2. Train your employees to recognize phishing emails and handle them appropriately

We work with our partners Sendmarc to help our customers prevent their email domains from being impersonated, nd used in phishing attacks.

You should really know whether or not your domain is at risk of impersonation – fill in the form below and we’ll run the analysis for you and reply with the information.

    A different perspective on combating email phishing attacks

    Published by our partners Sendmarc

    The concept of email phishing

    Fraudulent emails sent by someone pretending to be legitimate in order to trick you into divulging personal details like banking details or passwords is nothing new.

    Despite how familiar we become with the concept, email phishing continues to be on the increase with each passing year.

    It happens all over the globe, not just in South Africa, and results in losses of hundreds of millions of rands every year.

    Recently, Carte Blanche published a special report on phishing, and African Bank has also released similar analysis describing this growing problem, which puts companies at huge risk of losing not just money but personal data related to their businesses and employees as well.

    Preventing phishing attacks

    Both articles present good information about changing user behaviour in order to prevent potential phishing and/or spoofing attacks. But from a broader perspective, are we missing the point, in that there are well defined technical ways of preventing these attacks in the first place?

    As the old adage says, prevention is better than cure, and what many businesses don’t realise is that there are technical solutions that can prevent the problem fraudulent emails even being sent from their domains. If this is done properly, then educating employees about potential spoof emails becomes a secondary priority.

    The technical solution

    So, what are these technical solutions? The best current solution is implementing a DMARC policy on your domain. Full DMARC compliance will ensure that only legitimate non-fraudulent senders are able to send email from your domain and your business can stop will stop attackers from sending illegitimate email from your domain.

    On the flip side, you can be almost 100% certain that when you received mail from another domain which is DMARC compliant it almost definitely comes from that organisation.

    When it comes to phishing, it seems the user is almost always blamed. But while user behaviour is important, it’s certainly not the whole picture.

    The fact that it’s actually possible to trust that the mail you received was sent by the actual organisation and not an attacker is a game-changer when it comes to the phishing epidemic. With the right technical solutions in place – such as DMARC compliance – you can avoid the whole issue altogether, which takes the pressure off educating your users.

    Is your domain secure from imposters and impersonators?

    Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you with a report detailing how secure your email domain is from being impersonated.

      Intelys offers the width and breadth of cyber-security solutions – click here for more information.

      What is Sendmarc?

      Did you know that others can impersonate your email if you don’t have a domain security solution in place?

      Watch below how Sendmarc helps mitigate this risk.

      How secure is your brand name from email scammers?

      Leave your name and email address below and we’ll run the analysis and get back to you within 24 hours with a report.

      Don’t worry – you will not be added to a mailing list 😉