Email security is a top priority for organizations globally, with cyber-criminals increasingly targeting remote workers through the inbox. By spoofing business emails or hijacking a trusted account, cyber-criminals can trick users into wiring millions out of the company or triggering a ransomware attack with a single download. Yet despite email being the entry point for 94% of cyber-attacks, traditional security controls continue to fall short.
Phishing attacks – emails designed to coax the recipient into downloading malware or divulging their credentials – are becoming more sophisticated. These are either sent indiscriminately in ‘drive by’ campaigns, or curated into targeted ‘spear phishing’ emails aimed at particular individuals. Phishing emails can be impossible to distinguish from genuine communication, and they slip past traditional security tools with alarming regularity.
Impersonation attacks attempt to garner the recipient’s trust by claiming to come from a legitimate source such as an established supplier or partner. A time-pressed employee glancing through their inbox is highly unlikely to spot a subtle domain spoof and can easily fall victim to these email threats.
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace account takeover has also sharply risen as a threat vector, as organizations increasingly turn to cloud email. Traditional email controls assume that communication from an internal contact is legitimate, and fail to recognize when the threat is already inside. A single compromised credential can therefore represent the keys to the kingdom for an attacker.
In this next generation of email threats, attackers now deploy a range of tactics – from offering urgent, topical information in ‘fearware’ attacks, to crafting convincing fraudulent invoices and fleecing organizations tens of thousands of dollars.
Email security: The traditional approach
Whether native or third-party, traditional email controls work by analyzing emails at a single point in time, measuring them against a series of rules, signatures, and pre-defined conceptions of ‘bad’. Every email is analyzed in isolation against a list of known malicious IP addresses, domains, and file hashes.
While this retrospective approach to email security helps with spam and other ‘low-hanging fruit’, it invariably fails to spot the weak indicators of a novel or sophisticated email attack.
Cyber-criminals recognize this and outpace these tools by purchasing new domains in bulk and resetting their campaigns with new attack infrastructure once a domain has been blocked. Because the new domains have never been seen before, they skirt reputation checks with ease. This means legacy security controls are always one step behind, and are unable to stop email threats on the first encounter.
In response, these tools often apply settings which are far too stringent and hold back legitimate emails. For security teams, this means spending several hours a week finding and releasing held emails. More than ever, these time-pressed teams require an autonomous email security solution that identifies the subtle anomalies in an email attack and neutralizes novel threats in real time.
Self-learning email security
Powered by Cyber AI, Antigena Email is a multi-award-winning email security solution that stops advanced email threats from being delivered to the inbox, including:
- Advanced spear phishing emails
- Social engineering and impersonation
- Supply chain account takeover
- Business Email Compromise (BEC)
- Internal account hijack
- External data loss
- Unknown malware and ransomware
Antigena Email analyzes every email in the wider context of the sender, the recipient, and the wider organization. In this way, the technology builds an evolving understanding of the ‘human’ behind the email. This enables the AI to spot subtle deviations and anomalous behavior, detecting all threat types regardless of whether they have been seen before.
Rather than relying on rules and signatures, Antigena Email looks at previous interactions, login locations, similar-looking domains, and thousands of other data points around an email to establish a full understanding of whether it would be unusual for a given recipient to receive such an email under the given circumstances.
Antigena Email then responds with surgical action, locking links, neutralizing or ‘snapshotting’ attachments, or preemptively pulling the email from the inbox, depending on the precise nature of the incident.
Cloud email security
The technology leverages the email provider’s API, requiring no MX record changes or lengthy manual configuration. In contrast to traditional email gateways, this deployment method carries no risk of outages and enables the AI to reprocess emails long after delivery, continuously updating its understanding based on new information.