Business Email Compromise FAQ
Why is business email compromise (BEC) protection important?
What are some business email compromise examples?
BEC attacks take many forms, limited only by the creativity and resourcefulness of criminals. A few of the most common BEC attacks include:
- Spoofed emails to HR professionals asking that an employee’s direct deposit information be changed to an account controlled by a criminal.
- Requests for forms of personally identifiable information such as an employee’s social security number, employee ID, place or date of birth, credit card account number or passport number — information that can subsequently be used to impersonate the individuals, access their resources or establish credit accounts in their names
- Supply chain attacks that infiltrate one supplier’s finance department, surveille its messaging to uncover real transactions, and then intervene with highly realistic fraudulent messages requesting payment on these actual transactions, but to fake accounts.
How can organizations respond to business email compromise?
Organizations need a comprehensive, layered strategy for resisting BEC attacks. Central to deterrence is effective, continuous security awareness training that goes beyond boring PowerPoints to compel attention, engage employees and clarify the right actions to take when confronted with a possible attack. Training should be linked to strong policies — for example, independently verifying every request to change a payment account.
As organizations reduce human error through training, they can also prevent delivery of many BEC emails through a cutting-edge cloud-based secure email gateway, as well as an impersonation protection service that uses machine learning to analyze individual message risks in real-time. Beyond this, DMARC solutions may help protect an organization’s partners by halting spoofed fraudulent emails designed to closely resemble those sent by the organization itself.