The future of email threat detection

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The future of email threat detection

July 25, 2022  |  Justice Levine

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

As businesses continue to adopt cloud integration and remote work increases, security teams are facing more visibility challenges as well as an influx of security event data. There is more need to understand the threats than ever before, as the threat surface area increases, and tactics increase. Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and occurring more frequently, forcing organizations to rely on quality threat detection to protect their data, employees, and reputation.

With the vast majority of cybercrime beginning with phishing or spear-phishing email, an effective security solution should focus on your email system. To combat these attacks, you’ll need threat detection services with multiple layers in their approach as no single threat detection tool is equipped to prevent every type of attack. This article will explore the future of security strategies to help keep email and data safe.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

Ransomware attacks continue to rise, and SecOps teams are having difficulty preventing attacks before damage can be done. This results in pursuing solutions that accelerate detection and response while increasing operational efficiencies. Traditional security information and event management (SIEM) are no longer effective in reducing risks and burdens on security teams lacking staff, especially with overwhelming alerts and false positives.

SIEMs were originally designed for log collection and compliance storage and later evolved to include the correlation of log data sources to detect threats. Functionality continued to grow to eventually integrate log, network, and endpoint data into one location and match up with security events. This helped analysts to explore commonalities and develop rules surrounding the related events that SIEM could use to help detect known threats. Organizations looking to minimize cyber risk among in-person, cloud, remote, and hybrid infrastructures require unified data collection, as well as a series of analytics, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and targeted automation for a shorter response time.

The problem with current threat protection

Attacks are more targeted than ever before, making it necessary to understand more about the user and protect them individually. The need for business intelligence encouraged by data requires increasing the quality of threat detection and response capabilities and to properly defend your assets, you need to know what the threats are.

CEO of Rivery, Ben Hemo said, “The ‘data tsunami’ that companies are experiencing means they are desperately looking for tools, solutions, and services that will help them control this unprecedented flow of data hitting them from all directions, sources, and databases. It is no surprise that the data management market is poised for huge growth.”

Security teams have had to adapt to the security ecosystem by devising new and creative methods out of pressure to replace SIEM tools with limited resources. Unfortunately, time to build, ongoing maintenance, scale, and long-term customer needs have introduced challenges. Practitioners will likely make the move toward solutions that can keep up the pace with high-performance production environments due to a growing need for cloud-native, high-scale detection and response platforms.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

Employees with authority are frequently impersonated in dangerous email scams because of their role within the company and the access that they have to confidential information. Business email compromise, or whaling, is a popular attack that cybercriminals use to target victims based on hierarchy, their role in the company, and their access to valuable information. These attacks are often successful because of extensive social engineering research on targets that make their emails sound convincing.

Email Account Compromise (EAC)

It has become necessary to now protect users not only from their own accounts being compromised but from third-party vendor accounts being compromised. Email account compromise is a cybersecurity attack that, if successful, will gain access to the user’s inbox after they compromise the email account. This attack is executed by using one of several techniques, including malware, phishing, and brute force via password spray. The compromised account is then used to send phishing emails to the user’s contacts to steal data, funds, and highly sensitive information.

Threats are too sophisticated for an IT manager to deal with on their own, while SMBs have no one to call if they have a cybersecurity problem. Greater levels of support are necessary to ensure systems are properly protected, particularly as the skills shortage in cybersecurity continues.

Threat protection in 2022 and beyond

A crucial change needed for threat detection businesses can make is to start focusing on prioritizing security and implementing effective protection. You should also have an understanding of which assets need to be protected. By identifying those assets, you will then be able to decide on a method of defense and ensure that it can adapt to changing threats while being continually maintained.

Integrated email security

Integrated email security is a key aspect of threat detection. Most companies rely on a security infrastructure that is too complex, consisting of a cloud base, and multiple products from a series of vendors to create layers of defense such as endpoint detection and response solutions, firewalls, IPS, routers, web, and email security. These companies use SIEMs and tools such as ticketing systems, log management repositories, case management systems, as well as external threat intelligence feeds and sources to store internal threat and event data.

Businesses should consider implementing a platform that has an open, extensible architecture that is capable of strong integration and interoperability with pre-existing security tools. It should also include as new security controls that can address new emerging threats while providing a clear path forward.

Managed email security services

To defend against modern email attacks, businesses must implement a fully managed email security solution. This will protect against the specific threats that all businesses face, providing needed expertise and support to safeguard sensitive data and other key assets. Benefits of investing in managed email security services include:

  • Keeps you ahead of phishing, ransomware, and other persistent and emerging threats with real-time malicious URL protection
  • Protects sensitive information and prevents email fraud with layered email authentication protocols
  • Fortifies cloud email against credential phishing and account takeovers

Many businesses, especially SMBs, face ongoing challenges brought on by a lack of both cybersecurity resources and expertise, which has only intensified within the past few years. Small businesses typically do not have a full-time IT department or mail administrator and cannot rely on IT professionals even when these positions are filled as many email security experts are not trained to secure corporate email accounts. An integrated email security solution should provide real-time insight into the security of your email, helping you pinpoint and block the threats targeting your business and the most highly targeted individuals within your organization so you can make better cybersecurity decisions.

Security brain drain

Businesses will need to implement protection against security brain drain since there are constantly new threats, and IT managers can’t protect against all of them. Security brain drain sets in as 1 in 10 professionals exit the industry. Research shows that 51% of cybersecurity professionals experienced extreme stress within the past year, making it a priority for CISOs to alleviate burnout and team culture while developing succession planning to create a conduit for the next generation of security leaders.

Final thoughts

As businesses continue to migrate to the cloud, the need for a capable email security system increases. Traditional threat detection tools were once effective in protecting business email, but protection in the modern threat landscape requires greater defenses. As these threats continue to evolve and present companies with constant new challenges, the implications for organizations of all sizes will become clear.

Those who have retained the services of a cybersecurity company with top-level security knowledge and skills will be in a much stronger position to withstand new threats as they emerge. By implementing managed services and having complete visibility, your organization will be able to rest easy knowing that your clients, staff, and reputation are safe.