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Mimecast Reveals Key Findings Of Its Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report

According to a new Mimecast report, transportation, legal and banking sectors are hit the hardest by cyber-attacks.

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Josh Douglas, Mimecast
Josh Douglas, Mimecast

Email and data security company Mimecast has announced the findings of its quarterly Threat Intelligence Report: Risk and Resilience Insights.

The report offers technical analysis from the Mimecast Threat Center from July -September 2019 on the nature of attack campaigns in addition to observations and analysis of evolving threats.

According to the company, outlining the trends emerging from these identified attacks and assessing the current behaviour of threat actors can help organisations better understand the impact these factors will have on the cybersecurity landscape in 2020.

The Mimecast Threat Intelligence Report includes analysis of 207 billion emails processed by Mimecast, 99 billion of which were rejected. The report keeps organisations informed on the threats that are targeting their industries, so they can better prepare for, and protect themselves against threats inside, at and beyond the perimeter.

This research looks through the lens of the four main categories of attack types discovered in the quarter: spam, impersonation, opportunistic, and targeted.

This quarter’s report found that impersonation attacks are on this rise, accounting for 26% of total detections – and now includes voice phishing or “vishing,” an advanced attack observed in this quarter, where threat actors use social engineering to gain access to personal and financial information via the victim’s telephone system.

While the report uncovered a mixture of simple, low effort and low-cost attacks targeting Mimecast customers, the data high­lights complex, targeted campaigns leveraging a variety of vectors and lasting several days. These sophisticated attacks are likely carried out by organised and determined threat actors, employing obfuscation, layering, exploits, and encryption to evade detection.

Additionally, throughout the research, it was clear three industries were targeted the most by cyberattacks. Banking and legal, industries that are rich with sensitive information that yield results for threat actors and transportation, where state-sponsored threat actors seek to disrupt the logistical and supply capability of rivals.

“Threat actors seek numerous ways into an organisation – from using sophisticated tactics, like voice phishing and domain spoofing, to simple attacks like spam,” said Josh Douglas, VP, Threat Intelligence at Mimecast. “This quarter’s research found that the majority of threats were simple, sheer volume attacks. Easy to execute, but not as easy to protect against as it shines a very bright light on the role human error could play in an organisation’s vulnerability.”

According to Douglas, organisations need to take a pervasive approach to email security – one that integrates the right security tools allowing for greater visibility at, in and beyond the perimeter.

“This approach also requires educating the last line of defence – employees. Coupling technology with a force of well-trained human eyes will help organisations strengthen their security postures to defend against both simple and sophisticated threats,” he added.

Of the 207 billion emails processed, there were 25 significant malware campaigns identified this quarter which incorporated Azorult, Hawkeye, Nanocore, Netwired, Lokibot, Locky and Remcos. The campaigns observed range from simple phishing campaigns to multi-vector campaigns alternating file types and attack vector, types of malware and vulnerabilities. All the analysis discovered in the report is fed back into Mimecast engineering to enhance cloud-based security services, improving customer’s cyber resilience and helping them avoid disruptions to their business

For the full Threat Intelligence Report, visit here.

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