Mimecast & Proofpoint Don't Stop Phishing Emails: What You Can Do About It

Posted by Catherine Young

It's every internet security professional’s nightmare scenario. A phishing email has gotten past your anti-email phishing software and someone's clicked on it. Whether it's malware, ransomware, or something worse, your reputation and maybe even your job may be on the line.

Just ask Walter Stephan at FACC. Stephan's company was a supplier of component parts for places like Boeing and Airbus. When targeted spear phishing emails got through security systems and tricked the company into wiring $47 million to scammers, Stephan was summarily fired. In this case, it wasn’t hackers getting past security, it was an impersonation email that appeared to be in his name that requested wire transfers.

With highly targeted messages, the fraudsters are using personal information to convince recipients it’s the real thing and getting past some anti-phishing protection programs.

Email-based phishing schemes are now the number one cyber-security threat worldwide. As the initial entry point for attackers, all it takes is one phishing email to get opened by the wrong person to cause incredible damage.

Many well-known email security providers that say they can stop email phishing attacks fall short. While they may be able to detect spam, malware and basic phishing schemes, very few can handle the advanced spear phishing and brand forgery attacks. It’s clear that these highly targeted attacks, often aimed at CEOs and other C-level executives, are still getting through by the upwards trend is monetary losses reported to the FBI. 

Phishing toolkits are easily available on the dark web and most criminal are leaps and bounds ahead of legacy email protection solutions and training software most commonly used to protect organizations.  You should look for a technology solution that employs a unique technology designed to solve this number one attack vector crippling businesses today.   

Some email security providers also struggle with brand impersonation emails. A brand impersonation or forgery email looks like a legitimate mail from a brand you know and trust -- but it's not really from that brand   For example, the bad guys can take a real email from a bank, Target, FedEx, DocuSign etc, save it as HTML then re-send it from their own mail account.

By impersonating a major brand, the attacker hopes you will provide your password to their fake login site, engage in a dialog with them and reveal personal financial information. 

INKY Stops Phishing Attacks

INKY’s cloud-based anti-phishing email protection solution goes a step further than other software vendors, including Mimecast and Proofpoint to stop brand forgery and spear phishing attacks.   

INKY’s AI-based anti-phishing solution: INKY Phish Fence – blends machine learning algorithms to analyze content and computer vision techniques to analyze brand logos and graphics to make its decisions.

INKY builds highly-detailed and expansive social profiles of users. INKY keeps a bank of legitimate and approved email addresses for an organization and flags those that fall outside of this social graph.  Unapproved emails are detected before getting opened by recipients. By scanning both incoming and outgoing emails, potentially malicious emails can be quarantined or delivered with disabled links and warning messages user simply cannot miss.

The hackers are sophisticated and continuously evolving their attacks to breach your security. INKY’s machine learning and artificial intelligence evolves real time to detect these attacks and prevents phishing scams others can’t.  We know this because we see it every day. Almost every demo request or inquiry we get is from a company that is seeing phishing attacks within their organization. Many have experienced a damaging loss despite using other solutions, such as Mimecast phishing protection or Proofpoint phishing protection.

Mimecast is not stopping the most sophisticated phishing attacks. Proofpoint is not stopping them either.

Training Can Help, But Not Solve, The Problem

Some companies rely on simulated email phishing attacks, such as Proofpoint phishing simulations or others, to train users to avoid becoming victims.  While training can help, it can’t prevent the zero day event. 

A research group from Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, and MITRE put test subjects through extensive training on detecting and avoid phishing scams. 90 days later, the subjects had forgotten most of what they learned and were susceptible to phishing emails at the same rate as before the training. The test results were duplicated later with MBA candidates.

Another study, from Carnegie-Mellon, came to similar conclusions.

Training can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. In companies with regular turnover, it can be difficult to keep up.  Also, you simply can’t train on the unknown.  New phishing scams pop up regularly and can hit without warning unless you have the right protection in place.

The Problem Is Growing

The FBI put out an urgent warning about a dramatic increase in high level “CEO fraud” attacks.  With more than $2.3 billion in losses over the past three years, the FBI has identified a 270 percent increase in victims and losses in these sophisticated attacks that may be slipping through existing anti-phishing email solutions.  INKY catches these phishing emails and warns users.

INKY is simply the best phishing email solution on the market. Contact us for a customized demo and let us show you how INKY can protect you.

Topics: phishing emails