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Proofpoint Email Fraud Defence stops targeted email attacks in their tracks

As businesses become more reliant on email, there have been several efforts to address its shortcomings using add-on security mechanisms. One of the most effective of these is DMARC.

Picture this: It’s Friday afternoon, and the CEO’s been away all week on business. At 3pm the CFO receives an email from the CEO saying she’d just had lunch with an account rep at a new supplier who’s offering a 15% discount if she orders over $75,000 worth of stock today. It’s what the rep needs to hit his monthly sales target.

The CEO is keen, but about to board a plane and will be offline until after Close of Business. She needs the CFO to make the transfer. She includes the account details for an off-shore account and says to “make it happen”. The CFO recognises the CEO’s catchphrase, he makes the transfer, then heads off early to grab a drink with his colleagues.

But the CEO didn’t send that email.

It was sent by fraudsters who’d been studying the company for months. They know the people who work there, how they communicate. When the circumstances are just right they strike, and by the time anyone figures out on Monday what’s happened the money’s gone, likely never to be seen again.

These kinds of attacks are becoming all too common because they work. Email is inherently insecure, based on technology created over 35 years ago and prone to forgery. Now the rise of Business Email Compromise (BEC) has meant the nature of the threat has evolved from a mostly technical problem to a mostly human one. Previously, we discussed how 80% of Australian businesses expect to fall prey to email fraud in the next 12 months.

As businesses become more reliant on email, there have been several efforts to address its shortcomings using add-on security mechanisms. One of the most effective of these is DMARC.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, or DMARC, is an email authentication technique that enables an organisation to publish policies describing exactly who can send email from their domain. When DMARC is in place, a fraudster cannot easily send the kind of email described above as it would be readily identified as coming from an unauthorised source.

The problem with DMARC is that it can be difficult to get right and getting it wrong means legitimate email's won’t get through either. Often it can take months to properly plan, test, and tune a DMARC implementation.

That’s where Proofpoint Email Fraud Defence comes in. A product built specifically to make deploying DMARC easier, to provide simple management of DMARC policies and full visibility into which email is being blocked and why. With Proofpoint Email Fraud Defence, your business, your customers, and your business partners can trust that email that comes from your domain is legitimate.

To find out how Proofpoint Email Fraud Defence can work for your organisation, get in touch with Sparx Solutions today.

Getting started with DMARC


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