How Can Email Security for the Financial Sector Protect You From Advanced Threats?

By Carla Barata • January 23, 2018

Cybercrime is an industry that is growing unlike any other. It has been described as “the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world”. Specifically, both financial institutions and banks need to be more alert than ever about suspicious packages being sent online.

Read the latest Fintech Finance press interview where João Gouveia (CTO and Co-founder of AnubisNetworks), Rui Serra (Product Manager at AnubisNetworks), and José Borges Ferreira (Email Security Lead Architect at AnubisNetworks) discuss how AnubisNetworks is creating a safer business environment by using threat intelligence to intercept email cyber threats.

Highlights of AnubisNetworks’ Interview:

Every Organization is At Risk

João Gouveia, CTO, and CO-Founder of AnubisNetworks

“For banks and other financial services companies, though, it’s very much a double challenge because not only must they provide secure systems for their employees, they must also help their customers to avoid being duped by fraudsters. That’s why they need the combined power of a good threat intelligence solution and a good mail protection service (MPS).”

“Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate systems and compromise security, so our challenge 
is to keep up with ever more inventive types of phishing and malware,” says João Gouveia.

The rise of spear phishing is a serious security issue,  because these attacks appear to be from a known contact. The perpetrators research their targets and get to know them very well so that when they communicate, the receiver believes it’s coming from a legitimate and trusted source. These attacks exploit social susceptibilities, which when combined with a natural trust in electronic communication systems, make social engineering a preferred method for cyber fraud.

That is why spear phishing attacks cannot be beaten by technology alone. João Gouveia emphasizes the importance of using technology to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. There are several ways to detect malicious messages, for instance by using AnubisNetworks’ fingerprinting algorithms. This technology uniquely identifies an original data file. Once a data fingerprint has been flagged as coming from an untrustworthy source, AnubisNetworks can leverage information in its wider threat intelligence ecosystem to track where it appears next.



Raising a Red Flag

José Ferreira, Email Security Expert at AnubisNetworks

Nowadays, making staff aware of rogue emails through training is an important part of a business’ counter-offensive. AnubisNetworks uses machine learning to identify and highlight potential intruders, rather than ambushing them before they arrive.

“We implement standards and best practices that ensure we can authenticate email messages that enter a customer mailbox,” explains the company’s email security expert José Ferreira. “We use Sender Policy Framework (SPF); Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM); and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC).”

With our Mail Protection Service, AnubisNetworks tries to alert the user if a message looks suspicious. It’s not about outright blocking messages, since that may cause a false positive. We apply a warning tag that says it may be a spoof message, so proceed with caution. This helps to educate users to be wary.

By setting DKIM on your domain name servers, you’re providing a way to tell your recipients that the sender is genuine. By identifying the fingerprint, AnubisNetworks can block the sender from everyone else that receives the same, or similar, messages. Another method, long established in the industry, relates to IP reputation. If you notice that certain devices are constantly trying to send maliciousemail messages to people, you can track them and block them fairly easily.

Tracking the Bad Guys

Rui Serra, Product Manager at AnubisNetworks

The development of threat intelligence ecosystems became oneof the most exciting developments in our industry, because risk inevitably spreads across the business chain - If you’re concerned about the protection of your data, you also need to be concerned about data held by your customers, partners, and vendors. It also enables companies to gain an insight into the security of third parties as well as their own organisation– and in a world where long tail supply chains can quickly be compromised by hackers -  such due diligence is becoming vital to good governance.

“People are starting to understand the implications of third-party risk following a number of highly public and damaging breaches”, says AnubisNetworks product manager Rui Serra.

AnubisNetworks’ strength is enhanced by having built a wider security network around email security. It’s a reciprocal relationship in which the intelligence ecosystem (that MPS is based on) in turn enhances detection and avoidance of the latest and most advanced threats.

The Importance of a Robust Email Security Solution

The threat intelligence ecosystem and AnubisNetworks’ MPS work together to deliver a high level of defense against ransomware, spam, business email compromise (BEC), spoofing and phishing.

“We provide a business environment that enables you to detect and avoid the latest and most advanced threats,” says Rui Serra, who adds that the company’s commitment to reporting and forensics means ‘every email on the platform, every transaction, every user, and action is rigorously logged and updated”.

Our research team is continually investigating new threats, as well as doing significant work studying botnets and how they behave. If a malware is sent through email, they try to use compromised accounts. We track this at the MPS level for such things as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and we use Email Threat Intelligence to help decide if a message should be rejected. This is a good example of how MPS and threat intelligence work in tandem.

“Banks like us because our Mail Protection Platform has a depth of analysis, auditing abilities and a wide range of technology defenses all in one,” João Gouveia adds. “With AnubisNetworks, it’s strength in combination.”

Managing risk via cloud technologies, such as AnubisNetworks’ MPS, is becoming increasingly important in financial services and banks. AnubisNetworks it’s been using the cloud – in fact, we were one of the first companies to provide a cloud solution and banks are starting to accept cloud-based security.

Read the full interview here. If you are a financial institution or a bank, please contact us for a free trial and learn more about how to protect your organization against advanced email threats.

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