Mimecast has announced Targeted Threat Protection a new service to protect enterprises from the growing risk they face from spear phishing. These are targeted attacks using embedded malicious URLs or links in email that appear to come from a ‘trusted’ or known individual that then compromise an organisation’s security when clicked.
Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection scans all URLs in inbound email every time they are clicked by the end-user to ensure the linked site is clean and risk free. If the user attempts to visit an ‘at risk’ site, they are warned or automatically barred from viewing it. This protection will be provided on all devices used for their enterprise email account including smartphones and tablets whether they are provided directly by the employer or not. Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection will be available in July.
This new service is easy to manage for IT and security teams, as it’s controlled from a single Administration Console alongside other Mimecast services. They also get full logging and visibility of blocked links and sites to assist them with ongoing threat management, reporting and any end-user education designed to reduce future risky online behavior.
Orlando Scott-Cowley, Director of Technology Marketing, Mimecast commented: “Spear phishing is a new frontline in the battle to protect enterprise systems and data. Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection stops spear phishing in its tracks. The threats to an end-users’ inbox are constantly changing and have moved far beyond the daily barrage of spam and virus content on their work desktop. We have to protect their work and personal desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone as today each device is used for enterprise email. IT teams know their end-users are one of their weakest security links and can be specifically targeted to get access to critical systems and valuable corporate data.”
He continued: “IT teams work hard to block the majority of external attacks at the email gateway but an innocent click on a link to an infected webpage can undermine all this work. Even those with traditional web scanning in place may not be safe if the link is accessed from a mobile or personal device. Our service protects end-users on all devices and every time they click a link in email because you never know if today’s safe site is still safe tomorrow.”
Security scanning or gateway services like Mimecast have made it hard for traditional spam or phishing attacks to target enterprises. As a result, determined attackers are increasingly using sophisticated and targeted spear phishing emails. These emails are often created following social engineering reconnaissance that helps to make them look legitimate. Once a link in the email is clicked, it can take users to malicious webpages that trick them into giving away sensitive credentials or even exposes their systems to malware.
Spear phishing attacks are designed to defeat even the most sophisticated security defenses. These attacks can pass through existing security gateways as the emails and embedded URLs are initially inactive and therefore clean when scanned. Phishing web content is activated later when the attacker knows all gateways have passed the email and link. Several major data breaches and hacking attacks have been initiated through the use of spear phishing or targeted email attacks of this kind.