Legacy email security systems failing, says Mimecast

Vendor’s latest email security risk assessment report paints gloomy picture

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Legacy email security systems failing, says Mimecast Gardiner says Mimecast's ESRA is aiming to establish a standard of transparency that raises the bar for all security vendors.
By  Manda Banda Published  April 18, 2018

Email security vendor Mimecast Limited, has said findings from its quarterly email security risk assessment (ESRA), revealed that legacy email security systems missed 11,653 emails containing known malware.

The company's report of tests that measure the effectiveness of incumbent email security systems emails containing known malware, which should be the easiest to identify, as they are detectable by commonly deployed endpoint-based anti-virus technologies were missed.

As part of the assessment, Mimecast inspected more than 95 million emails, all of which had passed through organisations' incumbent email security vendors. These organisations, in 20 different industries, invested millions of dollars to deploy a variety of commonly used on-premise and hybrid email security systems. The report found more than 14,277,163 pieces of spam, 9,992 emails containing dangerous file types, and 849 unknown emails with malware attachments - all missed by the incumbent providers and delivered to users' inboxes.

Most notably, noted Mimecast, 11,653 known emails with malicious attachments passed through these systems, an increase of 532% in comparison to last quarter's assessment.

The company pointed out that impersonation attacks continue to be a problem for organisations, as 23,072 were caught an increase of 22% in comparison to the previous quarter.

"Mimecast's ESRA is aiming to establish a standard of transparency that raises the bar for all security vendors helping organisations pinpoint weaknesses in their defences," said Matthew Gardiner, cybersecurity strategist, Mimecast.

According to Gardiner, emails ranging from opportunistic spam, targeted impersonation attacks and unknown malware are getting through incumbent email security systems. "The security system of one primary cloud email platform missed 76.6% of the aggregate impersonation attacks while another global security vendor missed the 83.4% of the ‘known' malware attachments," he said.

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