The transition to hybrid working has been a complex journey that many organizations across the UAE are still navigating. Employees and teams across industries continue to show higher levels of productivity and collaboration than before the pandemic, with the new flexibility to work from anywhere on any device showing a drastic increase in good -being and employee satisfaction. While the use of collaboration tools exploded during this time, decades-old email remains an essential part of modern communication. In fact, the number of email users worldwide is expected to grow from 4.26 billion in 2022 to 4.6 billion in 2025, more than half of the expected global population.
The remote work model has also contributed to the rise of many vulnerabilities within every organization’s digital infrastructure. The combination of remote locations and reliance on mobile technology has led to more and more organizations and individual users falling victim to phishing emails as the attack surface continues to expand . Additionally, bad actors are becoming more persuasive as they have found spear phishing to be more lucrative, where cybercriminals impersonate a senior executive to extract information or assets.
Additionally, many employees neglect safer security practices and some companies have not been consistent in their cybersecurity awareness training. The challenges keep piling up and security teams are overloaded and overwhelmed trying to protect all digital activity.
This has not gone unnoticed by seasoned or newer cybercriminals who routinely target organizations via email. In 2021, our solutions detected and blocked over 31.6 million email threats, over 5.4 million malware attacks, and over 35.8 million attacks from URL victims. According to Trend Micro Cybersecurity Annual Report 202192% of malware was delivered via email, with phishing emails being the most popular attack method, while business email compromise (BEC) threats delivered some of the most the financial industry has ever experienced in the threat landscape.
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Additionally, now that many employees have shifted their setup to work from home, an extremely high number of home networks in the country have also been targeted. Smart Home Network (SHN) solutions have protected devices and networks against over 15.7 million inbound and outbound SHN attacks and prevented over 5.4 million (5,456,869) SHN events.
Indeed, in our ever-changing digital world, the need for robust email security has never been more urgent. Security teams need an advanced mix of multi-layered threat defense techniques that block phishing, eliminate insider threats, respond quickly to attacks, and meet today’s compliance standards. Advanced email security solutions are needed to provide constantly updated protection and stop phishing, ransomware, business email compromised (BEC) scams, spam and other advanced email threats before they reach your network.
Human error will always remain, but with the right cybersecurity innovations and a consistent security strategy, organizations can offer their staff a better chance of avoiding the modern pitfalls of email scams that can lead to more major security flaws. The right balance of security awareness and robust solutions can provide better protection for the inbox and outbox of every account within an organization, no matter how, when and where the communication channels are. used.
Majd Sinan is Country Manager – United Arab Emirates at Trend Micro
Read: Trend Micro investigation warns MENA businesses of breach of customer records in 2022