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Don't Rely on Guessing to Protect You against Business Email Compromise (BEC)

There are lots of choices in life where it's OK to be wrong.

Should you try a new restaurant or go to a reliable favorite? Should you go see Madame Web at the theater or stay home and watch reruns of The Office? Should you take the fastest route or the shortest route to get to your destination? We make trivial decisions every day, and most are no more than an inconvenience if you choose wrong.

However, when you're faced with the choice to accept an email as legitimate and click on a link or open a file attachment, or reject the email as suspicious and potentially malicious, the wrong choice could have very serious consequences. The financial and reputational impact of falling victim to a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack far outweighs the consequences of a bad restaurant or movie decision.

Business Email Compromise is one of the most prevalent and damaging types of cyberattacks today. It can result in significant financial losses, data breaches, and reputational damage for businesses. The IC3 received 21,489 BEC complaints in 2023, with adjusted losses over $2.9 billion.

Most email security measures today are based on making educated guesses about whether an email is good or bad. Security systems analyze the message for hints and nuances to assign a score on a spectrum of risk, and if it meets an established threshold, they take a gamble on allowing the email through. This guessing game is inherently flawed and puts businesses at risk.

Guessing should not be involved in email security.

The Flaws in Traditional Email Security

Traditional email security systems rely heavily on heuristics and pattern recognition. They scan emails for known indicators of phishing, malware, and other malicious activities. They use algorithms to detect anomalies and deviations from normal email behavior. While these systems have their merits, they are far from foolproof. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, making it increasingly difficult for heuristic-based systems to keep up.

The reality is that even the most advanced heuristic-based systems can be deceived. They operate on probabilities, not certainties. An email might look legitimate enough to pass through the filters, but it could still be a sophisticated BEC attack. In the world of cybersecurity, even a small margin of error can lead to catastrophic outcomes.

A Binary Approach to Email Security

Instead of relying on educated guesses, businesses should adopt a binary approach to email security. This is where blockchain technology comes into play. Blockchain can provide out-of-band monitoring and non-repudiation for email messages, making it a binary choice: the email is either verified or it is not.

No guessing needed.

Blockchain technology ensures that every email message can be traced back to its origin. It creates a decentralized and immutable ledger of email transactions. This means that once an email is sent, its path through the network is recorded in a way that cannot be altered or tampered with. This provides a high level of transparency and accountability.

When an email arrives, the recipient's email system can check the blockchain ledger to verify the email's authenticity. If the email is verified, it is allowed through. If not, it is rejected. This binary verification process eliminates the need for guessing and significantly reduces the risk of falling victim to BEC attacks.

The Future of Email Security

Adopting blockchain-based email security measures is a proactive step towards protecting your business from BEC, phising and other email-based threats. It offers a higher level of security and peace of mind, knowing that every email you receive has been verified.

For businesses looking to enhance their email security, it's time to move beyond traditional methods and embrace innovative solutions like GTG Enterprise. By doing so, you can protect your organization from the serious consequences of BEC and ensure that your email communications remain secure.

Don't rely on guessing to protect you against Business Email Compromise. Make the smart choice to secure your email communications. It's a decision you won't regret.

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