Industry-first impersonation protect from Mimecast combats new spike in multi-billion dollar whaling threat

    Story highlights:

    • General availability of Mimecast Impersonation Protect – the first cloud service that directly combats the cybersecurity threat from whaling or CEO fraud
    • Impersonation Protect defends on-premises, hybrid and pure cloud email deployments including Microsoft® Office 365™
    • Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection customers get Impersonation Protect for free
    • New research by Mimecast shows whaling threat continues to grow with 67% of firms seeing an increase in attacks designed to extort money in the last three months

    Watertown, MA – Mimecast Limited (NASDAQ: MIME), a leading email and data security company, announced general availability of Impersonation Protect, the first cloud service that directly combats the growing cybersecurity threat from whaling or CEO fraud.

    Mimecast’s new Impersonation Protect uses advanced scanning techniques to prevent attacks by monitoring all email traffic for elements commonly used by criminals, including employee and domain names, and other keywords like ‘wire transfer,’ ‘tax form’ or ‘urgent.’ IT administrators and security organizations can now block suspicious emails or choose to display additional security warnings for employee awareness.

    Cybercriminals are commonly using email as an entry point to steal confidential data and dupe employees into making fraudulent payments costing the global economy billions of dollars annually.

    New Mimecast research shows the threat continues to grow. Since January 2016, 67% of respondents* had seen an increase in attacks designed to instigate fraudulent payments and 43% saw an increase in attacks specifically asking for confidential data like HR records or tax information.

    “Email remains a highly popular attack vector for cybercriminals, for good reason: it is one of the most direct paths to entry into the enterprise, and it relies heavily (and all too often, successfully) on human behavior to assure initial penetration. This means that attackers will continue to prioritize email - and defenses must level up accordingly,” commented Information Security Research Director, Scott Crawford, 451 Research. “Whaling, for example - the targeting of executives and highly placed individuals in an organization - is becoming a more frequent variant of spear-phishing, and is a tactic cybercriminals are using with great success. These and similar CEO–fraud attacks would benefit from a security approach tailored to the changing threat landscape, such as in–context user awareness training where users receive not only warnings and guidance about the threat of clicking on phishing links or opening up malware-laden attachments, but also indicators of fraudulent emails masked as executive communications.”

    Peter Bauer, Mimecast chief executive officer, commented: “Over 90 percent of cyberattacks begin with email, and social engineering-led email attacks are growing rapidly. Whaling is a particularly insidious attack and has proven lucrative by successfully targeting specific teams and individuals that attackers have researched via social media. It catches out even the most cautious people. Protecting employees requires updated technology that goes beyond traditional email security. Without the right protection, organizations are losing millions of dollars and exposing data to fraudsters.”

    Impersonation Protect, the newest addition to Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection, gives customers of all sizes the comprehensive protection they need against whaling and other damaging forms of spear-phishing, such as weaponized attachments, ransomware and malicious links.

    *Mimecast conducted a survey of 436 IT experts at organizations in the US, UK, South Africa and Australia in March 2016. Respondents assessed the growth in a range of email attacks seen over the last three months.


    About Mimecast

    Mimecast (NASDAQ: MIME) makes business email and data safer for 16,200 customers and millions of employees worldwide. Founded in 2003, the company's next-generation cloud-based security, archiving and continuity services protect email and deliver comprehensive email risk management.

    Mimecast and the Mimecast logo are registered trademarks.  All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. 

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