News, Security

Legacy email security systems are “failing,” reveals report

Mimecast Limited has announced the availability of its quarterly Email Security Risk Assessment (ESRA), a report of tests that measure the effectiveness of incumbent email security systems.

This quarter’s assessment reports that these systems missed 11,653 emails containing known malware, which should be the easiest to identify, as they are detectable by commonly deployed endpoint-based anti-virus technologies.

Additionally, the report noted a continued challenge of securing organisations from unknown malicious attachments, dangerous files types, impersonation attacks, as well as even basic spam.

As part of the assessment, Mimecast inspected more than 95 million emails, all of which had passed through organisations’ incumbent email security vendors. These organisations, in 20 different industries, invested millions of dollars to deploy a variety of commonly used on-premise and hybrid email security systems. The latest report found more than 14,277,163 pieces of spam, 9,992 emails containing dangerous file types, and 849 unknown emails with malware attachments — all missed by the incumbent providers and delivered to users’ inboxes.

Most notably, 11,653 known emails with malicious attachments passed through these systems, an increase of 532 percent in comparison to last quarter’s assessment.

According to Mimecast, impersonation attacks also continue to be a problem for organisation, as 23,072 were caught – increasing 22 percent in comparison quarter over quarter.

The report indicates the need for organisations to enhance their cyber resilience strategies for email.

“Mimecast’s ESRA is aiming to establish a standard of transparency that raises the bar for all security vendors helping organisations pinpoint weaknesses in their defenses,” said Matthew Gardiner, cybersecurity strategist, Mimecast. “Emails ranging from opportunistic spam, targeted impersonation attacks and unknown malware are getting through incumbent email security systems. The security system of one primary cloud email platform missed 76.6 percent of the aggregate impersonation attacks while another global security vendor missed the 83.4 percent of the “known” malware attachments.”

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