Trend Micro Blocked 13 Million High-Risk Email Threats in 2019

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Cloud-based email protection saw a rise in BEC, phishing and email-borne malware


HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – March 11, 2020 – Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704),
a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its 2019 Cloud App
Security Roundup report. The report highlights changes in messaging-specific
threats detected last year, the use of more sophisticated malware, and the
potential abuse of emerging technologies in artificial intelligence to inform
future business protection strategies.


In 2019,
Trend Micro blocked 12.7 million high-risk email threats for customers
leveraging cloud-based email services from Microsoft and Google. This second
layer of defense caught threats beyond those detected by the cloud email
services’ built-in security.

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are leveraging the power of SaaS-based applications in greater numbers to drive
productivity, cost savings and growth. However, in doing so they may be opening
themselves up to risk if they only rely on built-in security,” said Tony Lee,
Head of Consulting at Trend Micro Hong Kong. “As our report shows, built in
security is not enough on its own to stop today’s cybercriminals. Businesses
must take ownership of cloud protection and find a multi-layered third-party
solution to enhance their platform’s native security functionality.”


More than 11
million of the high-risk emails blocked in 2019 were phishing related, making
up 89% of all blocked emails. Of these, Trend Micro detected 35% more
credential phishing attempts than in 2018. Additionally, the number of unknown
phishing links in such attacks jumped from just 9% of the total to more than
44% in 2019. This may demonstrate that scammers are registering new sites to
avoid detection.

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The report
also shows that criminals are getting better at tricking the first layer of
defense against Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, which typically look
at attacker behaviors and intention analysis of the email content. The percentage
of BEC attacks caught by AI-powered authorship analysis increased from 7% in
2018 to 21% in 2019.

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phishing techniques outlined in the report include the increasing use of HTTPS
and targeting Office 365 administrator accounts. This enables malicious hackers
to hijack all connected accounts on the targeted domain and use them to send
malware, launch convincing BEC attacks and more. To this end, Trend Micro
blocked nearly 400,000 attempted BEC attacks, which is 271% more than in 2018.

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In the face
of such threats, Trend Micro recommends the organizations take the following
mitigation steps:

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  • Move away from a single gateway to a multi-layered cloud app
    security solution
  • Consider sandbox malware analysis, document exploit detection, and
    file, email, and web reputation technologies to detect malware hidden in Office
    365 and PDF documents
  • Enforce consistent data loss prevention (DLP) policies across
    cloud email and collaboration apps
  • Choose a security partner that can offer seamless integration into
    their cloud platforms, preserving user and admin functions
  • Develop comprehensive end user awareness and training programs

The report’s
findings were based on data generated by Trend Micro Cloud App Security™, an
API-based solution that protects a range of cloud-based applications and
services, including Microsoft® Office 365™ Exchange™ Online, OneDrive® for
Business, SharePoint® Online, Gmail, and Google Drive.


To find out more, please read the
complete report here: .

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro
Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the
world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for
consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers,
cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to
seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense
with centralized visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection.
With more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world’s most
advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro secures your connected world.
For more information, visit

Trend Micro Blocked 13 Million High-Risk Email Threats in 2019 - Brand Spur

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