The number of security threats arriving via email is growing once again, according to new research from Trend Micro.
The company’s latest report, based on data from products that complement native protection along with platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, says that more than 33.6 million blocked cloud email threats were blocked in 2021 – an increase of 101% compared to the previous year.
Last year, the biggest increase was seen for emails with previously unidentified malware – 221%. Among known malware, email security services blocked 3.3 million malicious files, up 134% from 2020. For phishing, 16.5 million attacks were blocked, representing a 138% year-over-year increase the year. Credential phishing attacks increased by 15% to 6.3 million instances.
The bright side of the news is the decline in ransomware detections. Year over year, the number of ransomware detected has dropped by 43%, the report states, with the authors suggesting that the drop may have something to do with ransomware attacks becoming more targeted. Additionally, Trend Micro has gotten better at blocking some of the most popular ransomware affiliate tools, said
Ransomware aside, commercial email compromise (BEC) detections also dropped by 11%, but only for threats detected with the help of traditional tools. Trend Micro’s AI-powered writing style analysis feature helped detect 83% more BEC threats, suggesting scammers may be getting more sophisticated.
For Trend Micro, this is a clear indication that email remains the most popular attack vector for threat actors targeting endpoints everywhere.
“Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape and an evolution of the corporate attack surface, but each year email continues to be a major threat to organizations,” said Jon Clay, vice president of threat intelligence at the company. .
“The best move defenders have to mitigate these risks is to take a platform-based approach to shed powerful light on threats and provide seamless prevention, detection and response without limits.”