email security incident
29
Apr

Email Security Incident: The Damage They Can Cause if Left Unchecked

Reading Time: 3 minutes


There are several ways that a cybercriminal can breach your system, but email security is one of the most vulnerable. Malicious links can be sent from one user to another, and this chain can go on without getting interrupting till someone realizes something is wrong.

A security incident is when a cybercriminal tries to get into a system using malicious links, unauthorized access, etc. System breaches and unlawful use of stolen data have become so common that any organization, whether big or small, cannot process without using a highly functional security system.

What Are Deceptive and Suspicious Emails?

Email is a common medium used by cybercriminals to breach a system, but they do for attacks no matter how cautious victims are.

  • A legitimate organization will never send an email whose address ends with a common email body such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. If you are still curious about the organization, look for them in the search engine without clicking on any link.
  • A poorly written email or a misspelled name can also be a giveaway in detecting a deceptive and suspicious email.
  • If you see a mail that necessarily did not need a file or link attachment but has one anyway, it is a sign of suspicious attachment. Run the files through an antivirus first before clicking on them.
  • Message in the mail requires urgent actions, but content does not seem that important. The urgency is created so that victim does not take time before clicking on malicious attachments. The more they think, the more they will notice things.

Types of Email Security Incidents

The most common email security breaches are-

  • Phishing- Yes, phishing is also a security incident. Attackers try to fool people by making them believe in their organization by using graphics and videos. They give a link where victims can check themselves, but it takes them to a malicious website. Phishing is one of the most common attacks used by criminals.
  • Malicious files- If a user clicked on malicious files received via email, it could take down their entire system and network. Since this method is very common and can easily get into your system, it is required that every file is checked with antivirus software.

Examples of Email Security Incidents

There have been email security incidents in every field, from education institutions to small businesses. These incidents provoke industries to secure their connections more. But how can one avoid receiving malicious emails? The only solution is to figure out which email is malicious and which is not.

  • In 2018 Colorado State University noticed a phishing attempt in the system. The attack was initiated to steal the credentials of university students. These credentials can then be used to change personal details such as bank account.
  • In the 2018 holiday season, parents of St. Lawrence College, U.S students received an email convincing them that they will receive a discount in tuition fee if they send some part of it in advance. Two parents fell for the scam, while others ignored it. The headteacher called the attack a “sophisticated attack” in which criminals succeeded in gaining personal benefit.
  • The most recent incident was an attempt to disturb the Covid-19 supply chain. Attackers were keeping track of companies developing and distributing the vaccine. Ransomware attacks can disturb the entire logistic and shipping system of the vaccine supply chain.

How Incident Response Teams Handle Email Security Incidents

According to the 2019 Date Breach Investigations Report, more than 90% of attacks happened via email. The overwhelming number of email attacks makes it burdensome for the incident response team to protect and prevent organizations from getting malware into the system through email.

The incident management team is responsible for thousands of emails received by organizations. SOC team can look into the emails received by the organization and track their pattern. The team receives valuable insights into attacks and trends constantly changing to prevent them from harming their system and network.

Learn How to Build a Career in Incident Response and Breach Assessment from Jon-Rav Shende, Co-Founder ForenSec and CEO MyVayda Identity Risk & Cost Optimization SaaS Platform:

The problem with increased demand for incident response teams is that the most recent one organizations do not find skilled and professional candidates to hire with this industry. Organizations are willing to pay a fair amount to save their system from breaches.

There is a lot of scope in this new emerging incident security industry. Candidates who are willing to step in incident management can take the first step by joining the ECIH course. EC-Council’s Certified Incident Handler (ECIH) program is a comprehensive specialist-level program that imparts knowledge and skills that organizations need to effectively handle post-breach consequences by reducing the impact of the incident from both a financial and a reputational perspective. Visit EC-Council today to learn more.

References:

  1. https://www.zix.com/Resources/Blog/August-2019/12-Recent-Education-Email-Attacks
  2. https://portswigger.net/daily-swig/ransomware-attacks-on-shipping-logistics-organizations-rising-as-coronavirus-vaccine-supply-chain-targeted
  3. https://www.keepnetlabs.com/anti-phishing-solution-threat-simulation-2/
  4. https://www.channelfutures.com/security/the-msps-guide-to-email-security-incident-response
  5. https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/5-ways-to-detect-a-phishing-email
get certified from ec-council
Write for Us