Business Email Compromise
Business Email Compromise (BEC) continues to deceive people into believing they are interacting with a trusted sender. Unfortunately, by gaining trust, the cybercriminal can transfer funds to their accounts, gain access to sensitive data, or other ill-intended actions with great success.
BEC attacks are cunning and when combined with human error, are so successful the FBI labeled them “one of the most financially damaging online crimes.” Traditional email security practices of focusing on content and infrastructure analysis will not work against BEC. Dive deeper into the anatomy of BEC and how to successfully minimize the sophisticated threat.
Stages of a BEC Attack
Business Email Compromise comes in many forms. These are sham security alerts, last-minute payment requests, bogus past-due statements, fraudulent wiring instructions, and more. BEC and phishing scams continue to be the primary attack vectors into organizations—and in 2021 alone, over $44 million in losses were a direct result of successful phishing campaigns and social engineering scams.
Build Target List
Cybercriminals start by building a target list, often using business contact databases, mining LinkedIn profiles, and even scouring the target's website to identify key individuals and relationships.
Attackers launch BEC campaigns, sending email to their targeted list. BEC attacks have no malicious payload and will use impersonation tactics like display name deception, spoofing, or lookalike domains to compromise your account.
Apply Social Engineering
To convince the victim to take action, attackers impersonate people of authority, such as the CEO or CFO, and express urgency within the request.
With trust, authority and urgency established, the victim proceeds with the request. Unfortunately, the results can end with great financial loss or a colossal data breach.
How Fortra Defends Against Business Email Compromise
Modeling Sender Trust & Email Authenticity
Focusing on content and infrastructure analysis doesn’t work against BEC, since no malicious payloads are used and they can be launched via reputable email services.
Agari carefully inspects each incoming email, analyzing the human relationships and behaviors. By understanding the identities behind the message, Agari spots the anomalous BEC behaviors preventing the attack from reaching the inbox.
Automated Partner & Supplier Fraud Prevention
Cybercriminals often pose as a trusted supplier or partner in order to conduct invoice fraud, real estate scams, or other common BEC attacks.
Agari uses a collection of machine learning models to evaluate relationships and behavioral patterns between individuals, brands, vendors, and domains using hundreds of characteristics to detect malicious emails. These capabilities allow you to detect when internal email accounts start behaving abnormally. This hands-free approach protects your employees from the modern attacks of today and those we anticipate through predictive insights into the future.
Prevent BEC Attacks with Advanced Features
Advanced Email Authentication
Agari DMARC Protection enables administrators to prevent hackers from hijacking domains for email spoofing, executive impersonation, and spear phishing attacks. Without DMARC, organizations are risking years’ worth of hard work by their email administrators and SOC teams.
Real-Time Threat Detection
Agari uses advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze email behavior in real-time and detect anomalies that may indicate a BEC attack. This machine learning allows Agari to uniquely learn sender-receiver relationships to model “the good” and quickly detect “the bad.”
Automatic Incident Response
Agari can automatically respond to BEC attacks by quarantining suspicious emails, blocking malicious domains and IP addresses, and alerting administrators of the incident.
Collaboration and Intelligence
BEC attacks are constantly evolving within the business and individual user environments, so it’s not enough to keep up with the latest malicious tactics—you need to stay one step ahead of threat actors.
Agari detects threats and prevents the latest BEC tactics, including display name deception, spoofing, and lookalike domains. In addition, Agari baits cybercriminals into giving up unique insights to ensure that our customers are protected from future attacks.
- Intel based on collection and analysis of threats happening not only in your organization, but from a host of global enterprises compromised of millions of users.
- Proactively monitor for lookalike domain registrations created with the intent to prey on employee inboxes.
- Extensive network of registrar partners to automate killswitches removing threats quickly
The biggest benefit we got from deploying the Agari solution was visibility. We got visibility into the attack space and into how inconsistent some of our enterprise controls were applied.
Bill Burns, Chief Trust Officer, Informatica