What does BEC stand for?

BEC stands for Business Email Compromise - a highly targeted and sophisticated digital attack scheme which involves a threat actor gaining access to a corporate email account and spoofing the account owner’s identity in order to steal money.

What Is Business Email Compromise (BEC)? And Other BEC FAQs

We reviewed your most pressing questions about business email compromise (BEC) and how to take care of an attack.

What is BEC? What Does BEC Stand For in Cybersecurity?

BEC stands for Business Email Compromise, also frequently called CEO fraud, and describes a set of email attack types that are highly targeted and sophisticated. Threat actors impersonate CEOs and higher-ups in an organization through email spoofing or compromised accounts. These email threats focus on stealing login credentials and sensitive data. Usually, BEC occurs through a phishing email attack, as phishing campaigns typically focus on gaining such information from business employees. Then, hackers can install malware ransomware that can severely harm a company’s reputation.

How Harmful Is a BEC Attack?

Threat actors often employ Business Email Compromise due to how simple and effective BEC can manipulate platform exploits and inflict devastating, damaging consequences, including significant monetary losses, decreased productivity, and severe reputation damage. Between May 2018 and July 2019, the FBI reported that global losses due to BEC increased by 100 percent, causing companies to have generated $26 billion in losses worldwide.

Steve Baker, an international investigations specialist for the Better Business Bureau, stated, "Businesses don’t want to talk about [Business Email Compromise]; they’re embarrassed and don’t want to look vulnerable. But ask about any organization, and they’ll probably tell you they’ve received an email attempting some version of this fraud.” BEC email security threats have become much more prevalent as more companies implement unreliable email protection services as cybersecurity tools for their businesses.

How Can I Mitigate BEC Risks?

Your business must use email security best practices to reduce your chances of suffering from the detrimental impacts of business email compromise. Here are a few options that you must consider when strengthening email protection:

  • Install a spam filtering service to keep unsolicited, suspicious messages out of your inbox. Filters can quarantine emails that do not look trustworthy, so you rarely have to be concerned yourself with email threats.
  • Set up email encryption services like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC email authentication options, all of which only permit communications between the sender and receiver, preventing threat actors from interfering with and altering the content of a message.
  • Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication on every platform as an extra step for your employees to take when entering your server, keeping your data protected.
  • Back up critical files if email security breaches enter your system and delete information from your server.
  • Hold email security training opportunities so your employees can prepare for any email threats that could cross their dashboards at work.

Keep Learning About BEC Protection with Guardian Digital

Suppose these steps take too much time, money, and energy away from your daily operations, regardless of the size of your organization. In that case, you can check out Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security software. EnGarde is a threat-ready, fully-managed, multi-layered cloud email solution that prevents attacks from phishing pages, mitigates email security issues, and frequently updates business email compromise solutions. Stop phishing emails from harming your system and causing lasting damage to your company. Experience 24/7/365 customer service support with constant monitoring and management from our IT security professionals at Guardian Digital.

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