Account Takeover (ATO) & Lateral Phishing

Cybercriminals use compromised accounts to gain access to corporate secrets
and move within the organization.

What Is Account Takeover (ATO) & Lateral Phishing?

Access to trusted accounts is the holy grail for cyber criminals and a key to identity theft. This also provides a foothold where the bad actor can continue to leverage this trust to move throughout an organization, giving the intruder time and the ability to bypass normal protections to take advantage of internal weaknesses, often leading to a data breach and ransomware resulting in business disruption.

Anatomy of an Account Takeover & Lateral Phishing Attack

The majority of account takeover and lateral phishing attacks follow the same four phases:

Phase 1

Credential Theft

An attacker obtains legitimate login credentials via phishing or social engineering scams.

Phase 2

Reconnaissance & Weaponization

The intruder explores the compromised email account to gain insight into the user’s communications and potential opportunities to take advantage of this confidential information for personal gain.

Phase 3


The cybercriminal sends dangerous phishing emails to employees in the target organization, spreading malicious URLs or attachments until another user takes the bait.

Phase 4

Reap Rewards

The attacker obtains financial gains or sensitive data that can be used in future malicious campaigns via exploitation of the targeted users.

The Guardian Digital Advantage

Protect your users, your key business assets and your reputation with a multi-layered email protection system
that keeps credential phishing and lateral phishing attacks out of the inbox.

Safeguards the Inbox Against Account Takeovers & Lateral Phishing Attacks

To prevent disruptive, costly attacks and breaches, businesses must ensure that their email infrastructure is secured against both threats from malicious outsiders and from individuals within the organization. By neglecting to fortify the intradomain email space, companies remain exposed to sophisticated attackers who have already infiltrated their corporate networks and systems.

Guardian Digital fortifies the inbox against credential phishing attacks that often result in account takeovers and lateral phishing scams carried out using compromised accounts  with adaptive real-time defenses that analyze hundreds of thousands of email attributes including legitimate sender behavior and sender-recipient relationships to prevent fraudulent, malicious mail from reaching your users.


Delivers Complete ATO & Lateral Phishing Protection by Closing Critical Gaps in Built-In Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace Email Security

Static built-in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace email security is unable to prevent account takeovers and reliably identify lateral phishing attempts sent from compromised accounts. Despite existing email protection, 85% of Microsoft 365 users have experienced an email data breach over the past year.

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security closes the gaps in native Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace email protection with critical additional layers of proactive email defenses capable of blocking sophisticated credential phishing attacks that often result in account takeovers, and recognizing and intercepting lateral phishing emails before they reach the inbox.

Bolsters IT Resources to Offer Superior ATO & Lateral Phishing Defenses

A shortage of cybersecurity resources and expertise is a significant challenge that businesses of all sizes - especially SMBs - face, leaving them unprepared to protect against account takeovers and lateral phishing attacks.

Guardian Digital’s expert ongoing system monitoring, maintenance and accessible support provide a remote extension of your IT team, improving the security of your email infrastructure and optimizing your team’s productivity with reliable, cost-efficient account takeover and lateral phishing protection.


Safeguard Your Users, Key Business Assets & Brand Image against ATO & Lateral
Phishing Attacks with Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security.

Phishing Is Evolving.

Are Your Current Email Defenses
Falling Behind?

Modern phishing scams have introduced a new level of risk for businesses. Attackers are targeting Microsoft 365 and G Suite users in increasingly sophisticated campaigns designed to evade built-in security defenses.

Get the Guide


Email Risk in Microsoft 365

is Greater than Ever

What's your strategy for preventing loss of email communication and theft in Microsoft 365? Guardian Digital secures Microsoft 365 against the cost of credential phishing and account takeovers.

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Be confident you can trust your inbox.


Learn how Piedmont Natural Gas improved their email infrastructure in a secure and cost-effective manner with Guardian Digital to protect against cyberattacks and breaches.