Impersonation Attacks are on the Rise

Impersonation Attacks Are On the Rise

Research finds that 75 per cent of organisations in the UAE saw an increase in impersonation attacks in the past one year.

The third annual State of Email Security Report, by Mimecast, reveals an increase in targeted attacks like impersonation fraud, spear phishing and business disrupting ransomware. The report includes insights from 1,025 global IT decision makers, including the UAE.

Impersonation attacks have grown in the UAE by a whopping 75 per cent. These attacks have caused 77per cent of those impacted organisations some direct loss, which includes, loss of customers (23 per cent), financial loss, (21 per cent) and data loss (40 per cent). Impersonation attacks are emails that attempt to impersonate a trusted individual or company in an attempt to gain access to corporate finances or data.

The Mimecast Threat Analysis Center was also able to identify the top five industries impacted by impersonation attacks, which closely aligned with the findings in the report. Financial, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Science/Technology, as well as Transportation Industries, are top targets globally.

The study also found that phishing attacks were the most prominent type of cyber attacks, with 94 per cent of respondents having experienced phishing and spear phishing attacks in the previous 12 months, while 75 per cent cited seeing an increase in phishing attacks over the same period.

Not only are email-based attacks on the rise, but they’re affecting how confident people are in their organisation’s cybersecurity defences – and ultimately the ability to do their jobs. According to the report, 39 per cent believe it is likely or inevitable their organisation will suffer a negative business impact from an email-borne attack this year. The report also found that almost a third (62 per cent) encountered a ransomware attack that directly impacted business operations. Fifty-eight per cent of UAE respondents noted having downtime for two to three days, whereas 29 per cent experienced downtime for four to five days.

Here are some of the findings from the report:

“Email security systems are the frontline defence for most of the attacks. Just having and providing data on these attacks is not what creates value for most respondents,” said Josh Douglas, vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast.

Douglas adds that the results indicate that vendors need to be able to provide actionable intelligence out of the mass of data they collect, and not just focus on indicators of compromise which would only address past problems.

To read the details of this report, click here.