Download PDF version Contact company

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is the most significant cybersecurity threat to enterprise organisations, with $1.8 billion in reported losses in 2020 alone. This type of email attack occurs when a cybercriminal uses social engineering to impersonate a trusted contact—typically an executive, coworker, vendor, or partner—to steal money or valuable information.

Because these emails rarely contain malicious links or attachments, they are difficult to detect by standard email security protocols, leaving organisations wide open to attack. New research from the FBI IC3 Internet Crime Report shows that BEC attacks account for 44% of all losses due to cybercrime, making it the most dangerous threat for the sixth consecutive year.

The rising cost of business email compromise

Secure email gateways and other traditional security measures are unable to protect against this novel, never-before-seen attacks. Once they arrive in inboxes, the employees open and respond to them, putting the organisation at risk for financial and reputational damage.

IC3 Internet Crime Report shows that there were 19,369 victims of business email compromise attacks in 2020

Without a new approach, BEC will only continue to grow, and organisations worldwide will continue to suffer the consequences. The IC3 Internet Crime Report shows that there were 19,369 victims of business email compromise attacks in 2020, costing organisations an average of $96,000 per attack.

Making matters worse is the fact that this number only includes successful attacks where victims are conned into sending money—it shows nothing about the number of attempts and near-misses.

Employees respond to BEC at alarming rates

Unfortunately, the impact of business email compromise attacks is much higher than what the FBI report shows. The new research shows that an average organisation receives more than 50 BEC attacks per month. Making matters worse, we found that 20% of employees engage with their attacker by responding to at least one email.

Even if employees are trained on how to detect an attack and respond appropriately, cybercriminals are constantly revising their schemes, attempting to stay ahead of changes in technology and training, and oftentimes doing so successfully.

Putting a stop to BEC

Business email compromise attacks are so successful because they do not contain traditional indicators of compromise—there are no suspicious links or malicious attachments to examine, and they often come from legitimate domains like Gmail or Yahoo.

In other cases, they come from newly registered domains that have no negative reputations and may use lookalike tactics to fool people into thinking they are the real domain. As a result, there is little that secure email gateways can do to block these attacks. To do so, companies need a new type of email security, one that understands the good human behaviour to identify and block the bad.

Abnormal Security uses a unique behaviour data science approach to profile and baseline good behaviour. With a combination of identity modelling, behavioural and relationship graphics, and deep content analysis, it can stop emails that include suspicious information or requests even without traditional indicators of compromise.

Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

How does multi-factor authentication impact security?
How does multi-factor authentication impact security?

A multi-factor authentication is a layered approach that requires users to provide two or more verification factors, such as credentials, to gain access to data and applications. If one of the credentials is compromised, the thinking goes, an unauthorised user will still be unable to meet the second authentication requirement and will be denied access to a targeted physical space, computing device, network, or database. Cybersecurity applications have long embraced the idea of MFA, which is also now more common than ever in the physical security space. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does multi-factor authentication impact the security marketplace?

What changes had the biggest impact on security in 2022?
What changes had the biggest impact on security in 2022?

With 2023 well underway, it’s a good time to look back on what we learned in the tumultuous previous year. In the security marketplace, there was no shortage of technology developments and a few challenges that kept 2022 interesting, to say the least. But what can we learn from the past? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What changes had the biggest impact on the security marketplace in 2022?

Hikvision provides their LED display solution to enhance visual experience at GEMS Modern Academy
Hikvision provides their LED display solution to enhance visual experience at GEMS Modern Academy

In order to turn its auditorium into a multi-purpose venue, and to improve the general visual experience, Dubai's GEMS Modern Academy replaced their legacy projection system with a massive LED wall from Hikvision. The renovated auditorium has become a popular venue for students, staff, and the community. Challenge: Turning the school auditorium into a multi-purpose performance venue. With the numerous approaches to the entertainment available, and with audiences' surging demand for rich, high-quality content display and immersive sound and video. As a result, venues such as showrooms, studios, auditoriums, and lecture halls are dabbling in a host of new technologies and applications to achieve the ‘wow factor’ audiences are looking for. Visual display systems GEMS Modern Academy is one of these venues. Offering Curriculum to children from kindergarten to grade 12, GEMS is one of the top ten schools in Dubai. Its large auditorium holds 500 seats for school events and can be rented out for private events on weekends. Originally, the auditorium had a large projection screen on the stage to display presentations, images, and videos. However, every element in the environment could take away from the image quality, from sunlight coming in through windows to the whiteness of the screen, the distance from the projector, the age of the system, and more. Offering Curriculum to children from kindergarten to grade 12, GEMS is one of the top ten schools in Dubai Ritesh Dhanak, Head of the IT team at GEMS Modern Academy said, "The projector system was not good enough with the ambient lighting. In order to create a better experience in our auditorium, and to pave the way for it to become a community hub, we need to do a complete upgrade to our live audio, stage lighting and visual display systems.” Remarkably refined images To achieve this, Mr. Dhanak worked with Almoe AV Systems, a renowned distributor and solutions provider of professional audio visual & IT products in the UAE. Almoe helped the school to upgrade the auditorium's touch control systems, matrix switchers, stage lighting, and speaker systems. For the most crucial part of the solution – the visuals – they worked with Hikvision to install a new LED display. The solution: A massive Hikvision LED wall and movable LED side-walls. LED displays offer many advantages, including flexibility and modularity. Therefore, the school decided to install a massive LED screen at a width of 12.48 metres, a height of 4.86 metres, and a pixel pitch of 2.5 mm at the centre of the auditorium stage. The massive LED wall is made up of nine pieces of P2.5 Fine Pixel Pitch LED Display Units (DS-D4425FI-CAF). The wall delivers an outstanding colour gamut and contrast ratio to create remarkably refined images. Massive centre screen The two side-screens are used as backdrops, and can be easily removed when they are not needed For the setup, GEMS Modern Academy preferred to make the two sides of the screen removable to ensure flexibility on the stage, as well as to have multiple videos broadcasted on the screens simultaneously. Four smaller side-screens were designed to be 2 metres wide and 5 metres high, with a pixel pitch of 2.9 mm. They were installed on the two sides of the massive centre screen. Each side-wall was composed of four P2.9 Indoor Rental LED Displays (DS-D4429RI-CAF). The two side-screens are used as backdrops, and can be easily removed when they are not needed. The LED walls are managed using Hikvision’s Video Wall Controller (DS-C10S-S11T), which supports up to 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30 Hz from multiple signal sources (VGA, DVI, HDMI, SDI, YpbPr, DP, and HDBaseT). This enables the school faculty to easily manage multiple video and audio inputs and outputs. Excellent visual experience The benefits: Excellent visual experience for audiences makes the auditorium a popular venue for students, staff, and the community. Hikvision's LED wall has vastly improved the visual performance of lectures and events held at the auditorium. With an extremely bright and clear image displayed, the screen loses none of its sharpness, colour, or coherence, even when viewed at an angle or when the auditorium is brightly lit. The LED wall provides high-quality visuals, and is perfect for our large auditorium" "The LED wall provides high-quality visuals, and is perfect for our large auditorium," said Mr. Dhanak, adding "Unlike with the old system, we don't have to dim the lights in the auditorium during lectures, presentations, or live performance, and this allows students to take notes, remain more attentive and, for remote viewers joining via web conferencing, see the auditorium clearly." Ambient lighting conditions In the end, the video wall displays excellent visuals, adapts to ambient lighting conditions, and offers unique flexibility with the removable side-walls. As a result, Hikvision's LED display solution has turned the auditorium into a venue that fits all kinds of events. Since the LED screens have been installed, the school has hosted a large number of events at the auditorium, such as school lectures, stage plays, and musical performance. In addition, the venue has also been rented out for many private events such as public presentations and speeches. Impressively, the venue has also been used to host a TED Talk, one of the most popular lecture platforms in the world. Mr. Dhanak concluded, "With a large multi-purpose auditorium providing such excellent visual experience to the audience, events at GEMS Modern Academy are now on a different level and our auditorium is a much sought after event space in the community."