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Did you know that there are 13 different email threat types and 91% of cyber-attacks start with an email? Email-borne threats are becoming more sophisticated and are designed to bypass traditional email security gateway solutions. Barracuda is a leader in cybersecurity, with research on real-time threat intelligence around the globe.
With the amount of time most of us spend sending and responding to emails, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential threats lurking in our inboxes. Barracuda can help protect against all 13 email threat types. Here is a list below to stay informed:
Malware is malicious software that can be sent as an attachment or link in an email or text message. It can be used by hackers to gain access to your system or to steal data from you. Malware can also spread itself quickly by sending copies of itself through emails or other networks.
This type of attack occurs when someone tries to trick you into giving out sensitive information: such as passwords, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or social security numbers, by pretending to be someone else. The attacker typically does this through emails containing links that direct you to fake websites that appear legitimate but are designed specifically to collect information from unsuspecting victims.
Spam is unsolicited bulk messages sent via email for commercial purposes, such as advertising products and services or promoting certain websites. These messages are usually dispatched in large volumes and contain false promises or misleading content meant to entice people into clicking on links or buying something they don’t need.
Similar to phishing attacks but more targeted, spear phishing attacks involve highly tailored messages explicitly designed for one individual or organization that contain malicious links or attachments containing malware designed for stealing sensitive information from the target victim(s).
This attack involves using deception tactics such as posing as a trusted contact (or even friend) to gain access to confidential information, or to gain trust before launching a more sophisticated attack such as spear phishing or ransomware attacks (see below).
Ransomware is malicious software used by attackers who want money from their victims in exchange for releasing encrypted files on their computers back into their control. Attackers will often send an email with a link containing the ransomware, which will then encrypt all the files on the victim’s computer until they pay up the ransom demanded by the attackers.
Viruses are malicious programs created with malicious intent which can damage computers and cause data loss if not detected early enough and removed promptly from systems before they spread further within a network. Viruses are typically spread through emails with attachments containing executable files that run code without permission once opened on a user’s machine.
Worms are similar in many ways to viruses, except they self-replicate without human intervention, meaning they can copy themselves onto other machines attached to the same network without needing any action from users. And unlike viruses, worms don’t require any specific measures (such as opening an attachment) to run. Simply being connected to a network is enough for them spread themselves further.
Trojans are pieces of malware masquerading as harmless programs while secretly executing malicious code behind users’ backs once installed on their machines. They usually arrive disguised as useful programs inside attachments sent via email: such as game demos, free software and screensavers.
Adware is any type of program that displays unwanted advertisements on users’ screens either inside web browsers, or within program windows, desktop icons etc.
Spyware is also classified under adware, but it goes one step further than just displaying ads, it also tracks user activity (such as browser history and keystrokes) and sends this data back to its creators, who then use it to compile highly detailed profiles about users’ habits and preferences. This information can then be sold third parties interested in targeting certain demographics with ads and promotions based on those profiles.
Scareware consists of software programs usually distributed online that claim users’ machines are infected with viruses and asking them to purchase their antivirus software in order to remove the stated virus. These ‘viruses’ that were ‘detected’ don’t exist at all, since scareware isn’t capable of detecting anything, let alone removing infections potentially present on user’s machines.
Browser hijackers refer to pieces of malware designed to alter the settings of web browsers such default home page and search engine, redirecting users to different sites than what they initially intended to visit. They will also display excessive amounts of pop-ups ads within web pages visited by users regardless of whether those sites display any advertisement directly related those pages’ content at all.
Staying informed about these threats is critical if you want to protect yourself from falling victim to them; always read emails carefully before clicking on any links within them and never download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that the sender is trustworthy. Also, ensure that you keep your antivirus updated regularly to detect any potential threats quickly. Strong passwords combined with regular backups also help prevent cyber criminals from accessing your device’s data, so make sure to practice both.
Barracuda Total Email Protection for MSP enables you to safeguard your inbox with a multi-layered email security strategy. This includes gateway defense, data protection, business continuity, AI-based inbox defense, and automated threat detection and incident response.
Email security is more important than ever in today’s digital age, where cyber criminals are constantly trying to find new ways to gain access to sensitive data through malicious email messages containing links or attachments with malware payloads embedded within them.
Think beyond the gateway to protect against all 13 threat types with newer solutions. Avert ITD is the top Barracuda Distributer in South Africa offering the best in comprehensive security services for yourself or your business. We offer a 24/7 XDR service protecting your customers against advanced cyberthreats.
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