Fraudulent email messages, also known as phishing attacks, are seeing an upward trend in activity. These emails appear to originate from legitimate senders or organizations, to persuade, convince and entice the recipients to click on embedded link, baiting them into unwittingly divulging sensitive personal or enterprise information based on the urgency of the email.
Depending on who the unsuspecting target is, the resulting attack can lead to identity theft for individuals or brand damage to the organization.
As attackers hone their phishing skills, fraudulent emails are becoming more pervasive and more realistic to the untrained eye, both at a personal and professional level, making it more difficult to identify malicious links. URL shorteners can be used to disguise malicious websites and even legitimate-looking URLs need to be scanned with tools that will tell you if you are being directed to a malicious website. Attackers are also carefully selecting their targets like ISPs who provide a hosted email environment allowing a one-stop-shop for mass phishing attacks.
As phishing attacks become more sophisticated, new methods and approaches are needed to prevent cybercriminal attacks. Perhaps a big data strategy can level the playing field, allowing enterprises to leverage security intelligence that combines known phishing threat data and other data sources to flag malicious emails.
This approach would help automate the detection of malicious messages and take the burden off the email recipients, who blindly click away at links and contribute to the surge in email phishing statistics.
Security Intelligence for Big Data: See how enterprises can mitigate email phishing scams using analytics
Security Strategist for Retail Industry, IBM Security
Tim Appleby is a member of the Strategy and Planning team in IBM's new Security division. In his role as a Security Strategist for Retail, he provides insigh...