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Servings of workplace spam unhealthily high, warns Hornetsecurity

Some 41% of the emails in work inboxes worldwide could be spam and other unwanted messages, a cybersecurity update from Hornetsecurity suggests.

Hornetsecurity’s Cyber Security Report 2023 analysed some 25 billion work emails, finding an ongoing and growing threat to workplaces from email, according to Hornetsecurity chief executive officer Daniel Hofmann.

“This year’s cyber security report shows the steady creep of threats into inboxes around the world. The rise in unwanted emails, now found to be nearly 41%, is putting email users and businesses at significant risk,” Hofmann said in a related announcement.

“What’s more, our analysis identified both the enduring risk and changing landscape of ransomware attacks – highlighting the need for businesses and their employees to be more vigilant than ever.”

Phishing remains the most common type of attack, representing 39.6% of detected threats. Threat actors used archive file types such as Zip and 7z sent via email to deliver payloads. The use of HTML files to carry the payload rose to 21%, up from 15.3% last year, and of .doc or .docx to 12.7% this year, from 4.8%.

He also warned that Microsoft 365 makes it easy to share documents, and end users often trust Microsoft software, overlooking the ramifications and security implications of how files are shared.

In the Hornetsecurity poll, 25% of respondents were either unsure or assumed that Microsoft365 was immune to ransomware threats, for instance.

“For these attackers, every industry is a target. Companies must therefore ensure comprehensive security awareness training while implementing next-gen preventative measures,” Hofmann said.

“As usage of cloud services continues to grow and more users turn to Microsoft Teams to share business information, it’s also critical to ensure all data shared via this platform is backed up.”

Hornetsecurity has found that brand impersonation attacks are also increasing, even on corporate social media and LinkedIn. LinkedIn attacks of this type accounted for 22.4% of detected global brand impersonation threats in this year’s report, up from 3.5%.

Of course, social media platforms can be a source of exposure of personal details and job information to malicious actors, with details then used to spearhead targeted attacks via email, for example.

Cloud security and backup provider Hornetsecurity has a focus on email security, including spam, phish, ransomware and virus filtering. Products include legally compliant archiving and encryption for endpoint protection and recovery.

Hornetsecurity has just expanded its APAC and EMEA distribution network, with fresh growth-focused agreements covering some 10 countries. Signings cover significant expansion in Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Czech Republic, Gulf States, Emirates, Middle East, North Africa, Cyprus and Turkey, the company said.

“Through these new appointments, we can offer a great market opportunity to more partners globally. They can now bring their customers to Microsoft 365 in a secure, safe and compliant mode, through our next-gen solutions,” Hofmann said in the announcement.

He added that a unique Hornetsecurity feature is that you can back up data shared via user chats in Microsoft Teams as well as group channel conversations.

( Photo by Hannes Johnson on Unsplash )

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