A visual representation of a cloud-based business email security gateway

Email security has become more critical, with more sophisticated and dangerous email threats emerging daily. You must have settings to ensure you do not face compromised accounts, data loss, and reputational harm due to breaches like business email compromise, phishing email attacks, and malware emails.

Various email threats have developed and posed considerable risks to organizations and individuals. Cybercriminals target large global businesses that threaten everyone. According to the Office for National Statistics, online crime increased in popularity by sixty-three percent in 2017. This article will discuss the most common types of email attacks so you know what to do if one ever crosses your server.

What Are Email Attacks?

Email attacks refer to any action cybercriminals initiate to steal data, take over accounts, or compromise identities. While email security defenses have improved to combat more risks, cybersecurity platforms cannot keep up with how many new types of ransomware, malware, and phishing email attacks make their presence known every day. Spear phishing emails, zero-day attacks, and business email compromise issues have devastating consequences for businesses, which could lead to financial impacts that are super damaging to an organization. 

Phishing Email Attacks

phishingMore standard and severe than before, phishing email attacks have become a top preferred vector for cybercriminals. According to ZDNet, threat actors send about 135 million phishing attempts daily. According to Health IT Security, dangerous impacts can reach all populations, such as how 1.4 million UnityPoint Health patients compromised their personal health information in phishing scams.

Consider implementing email protection software that implements standard email filters, antivirus services, and spam filtering techniques. Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is a solution that recognizes the necessity for these mechanisms. It has advanced security gateways, including Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and DMARC email authentication protocols, to perform heuristic analysis on every email your employees send. Stop phishing emails with a secure email gateway that can reduce the risk of a dangerous attack, preventing compromised accounts and data loss.

Email Spoofing

Typically utilized in tandem with a more effective attack, email spoofing focuses on implementing malicious code into a server to make messages appear more trustworthy to recipients. A spoofed email might have a sender name that does not match the accompanying address, infected links, and downloads that do not lead to where they claim. Such email security breaches can leave organizations scrambling to patch vulnerabilities following.

Hold email security training events that can teach your employees how to read and analyze messages carefully to prevent these seemingly trustworthy emails from impacting your business. Knowing what to look for is crucial as a first step toward overall email security.

Spear Phishing Emails

One of the main types of phishing attacks is spear phishing, which focuses on targeting a specific audience rather than a more extensive scope or population. Cybercriminals tailor these messages to be more relevant to an organization so they appear more authentic and trustworthy when employees open and read them. This form of CEO impersonation is when threat actors use spoofed email addresses and altered email headers to make their contact look like a reliable source before stealing data sent over email or inserted into downloaded documents.

Email filters that pick up on this malicious coding are essential to keeping your organization safe from these incredibly damaging attacks. If you ever fall for this scam, you will realize how difficult it is to return to your original business status after recovery.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

Business email compromise (BEC) can devastate businesses of all sizes. BEC encapsulates CEO fraud, data theft, and account takeover scams, and InfoSec Institute states that threat actors have stolen over 5.3 billion dollars through these attacks worldwide.

Fortunately, Guardian Digital’s advanced threat protection prevents BEC scams from entering your server in the first place. EnGarde uses malware URL scanners to quarantine emails that could be phishing campaigns. Conventional email security software tends to overlook these issues, so using EnGarde immediately advances your ability to combat email threats.


email malwareTypically delivered through phishing email attacks, malware can permit cybercriminals to install remote access to a server, thus compromising and taking over company accounts. Malware ransomware can encrypt and hide away files on a system until victims pay an untraceable amount of money. G DATA Security Blog found that a new malware variant emerged every 4.2 seconds in 2017.

Email security technologies that accurately detect and block malware are crucial to preventing harmful malware from entering employee inboxes and infiltrating servers. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have capabilities that focus on analyzing real-time email content to ensure suspicious messages never make their way to targeted victims.

Keylogger Attacks

Keylogging attacks result from a phishing email installing software on your server that tracks every key you hit on your computer. Keylogger email attachments can help cybercriminals determine login credentials and valuable data, which they can manipulate to their advantage in account takeovers and Business Email Compromise attacks. 

Avoid opening email attachments from senders you do not fully trust, as this is the easiest way for a hacker to upload this software to your company computers. Email filters that focus on malicious coding can be super helpful in preventing these types of phishing attacks from being the downfall of your organization.

Denial of Service Attacks

During a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, malicious coding overloads servers until there is too much data and insufficient room. Such behavior causes the system to be overwhelmed and shut down, preventing basic operations. To recover, computer servers will block users from utilizing their services until they can mitigate risks and bring the system back to a more manageable state.

Preventing these attacks works similarly to combating any of the phishing email attack types we mentioned above, as most messages start with a misleading email, and the same techniques can prevent a multitude of email security issues from plaguing your server and harming your company’s reputation.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks have two forms that are equally detrimental to a business:

  1. Active eavesdropping: An attacker connects over supposedly private messages to obtain information about login credentials and sensitive files. This type of threat works on unprotected, insecure Wifi connections where users do not have a Virtual Private Network installed.
  2. Malicious encryption: Threat actors send phishing websites to users whose information gets recorded upon opening the server.

Consider installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to navigate your server in public without the risk of cybercriminals infiltrating your server and stealing your information. A VPN focuses on making your location unknown, similar to going “incognito.” Email security software can keep your information safe while permitting you to work in public places without facing the risk of an unsecured Wifi network, giving hackers a chance to snoop.

Keep Learning About Email Threat Protection

Email security technologies are necessary for all organizations now since severe cyberattacks leave more and more companies at risk daily. Cybercriminals will continue creating new variants of phishing email attacks and other detrimental email threats to steal login credentials, ensure data loss, and prevent businesses from thriving. Think about employing software to avoid as many risks as possible. Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security solution is efficient, effective, comprehensive, and multi-layered so your clients, employees, and business can succeed.

  • Following these best practices, you can improve your email security posture to protect against attacks.
  • Keep the integrity of your email safe by securing the cloud with spam filtering and enterprise-grade anti-spam services.
  • Get the latest updates on how to stay safe online.

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