One of the most popular phishing forms is Business Email Compromise. As we reported in our 1H 2021 Global Phish Cyber Attack Report, BEC accounts for 20.7% of all phishing attacks.

BEC can be incredibly difficult to stop. It's no surprise, then, that the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported that, in 2020, they received 19,369 BEC complaints. The total losses? $1.8 billion.

For comparison's sake, in 2020, the IC3 received 2,474 ransomware complaints, with losses of over $29.1 million.

Why do so many solutions struggle against BECs? For one, external Secure Email Gateways do not have the contextual information they need to stop these attacks. Companies like Mimecast and Proofpoint are designed only to monitor inbound email—therefore they have no way of scanning internal email or understanding the context or conversational relationships within an organization. When an external gateway sees an email from the 'CEO' to the 'CFO', it will be the very first time it has seen such a conversation. While an internal solution will have seen thousands of similar real, internal conversations to compare it to, an external gateway can only guess at the context.

How then to best defend against it? Avanan's cloud-first, internal email protection and advanced machine learning all work to protect against BEC. In fact, here's how Avanan does it:

  • Machine learning algorithms combine with role-based, contextual analysis of previous conversations to identify threats that Google, Microsoft and external mail gateways miss
  • Deployment-day analysis of one-year's email conversations to build trusted reputation network
  • Scanning and quarantine of internal email and files in real-time, protecting against east-west attacks and insider threats
  • AI and machine learning techniques to rapidly adapt to new threats and behaviors,
  • Account takeover protection beyond email: login events, configuration changes and end-user activities throughout the suite.

An important benefit of deploying within the cloud email service is immediate access to historical conversations. Within hours of the first deployment, the Avanan AI scans a year's worth of email conversations to build a reputation network that not only provides superior BEC protection, but it also reduces the number of false positives that plague most other email solutions. The 'tuning' that typically takes months with other security solutions is done automatically using millions of real email conversations.

BEC attacks can cause tremendous financial damage. Don't let it happen to your company. Learn about Avanan's protections for BEC today.


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