What and How Dangerous Is Email Account Takeover?

AnubisNetworks By AnubisNetworks • March 6, 2020

With the new types of attacks are constantly created and updated, Account takeover is one of the most prominent threats your business is facing.

As a business that cares for its email security, you are likely aware that cyber threats are always changing. New types of attacks are constantly created and updated, and one of the ever-changing ones is email account takeover.

We wanted to take a closer look at this increasingly problematic email threat so that you can have all the information needed to protect your organization. Let's take a look:


What Is Email Account Takeover?


Email account takeover is a type of identity theft where a cybercriminal gains access to your account's credentials. They use a wide variety of methods to achieve this, including brand impersonation, social engineering, botnets, credential stuffing, and regular email phishing attacks (like spear-phishing) to steal your credentials and gain access.

The problem here is not the attack itself; it's what follows. Once hackers have access to your account, they can start monitoring your activities without you noticing. By doing that, they can learn how your organization does business, how transactions are handled, what email signatures you use, and more. 

With all of that knowledge, they can then create new cyberattacks through which they can gain access to more accounts and use the credentials to obtain funds from your company. In other cases, they will use the credentials and data obtained and sell them to third parties. 

The targets in these attacks are IT departments, human resources, and management, as these areas hold the most sensitive data the attackers can steal. 

Another problem with these attacks is that cybercriminals are developing smarter techniques. Usually, suspicious activity is noticed when someone logs into your account using an IP from a different location. However, recently, attackers have started using IP addresses coming from the same location as their victims to mask their logins. 


How to Protect Your Organization from Email Account Takeover


First of all, every employee in your organization needs to have adequate protection for their accounts. Things like security questions and two-account authentication are necessary as they make it much harder for hackers to gain access. If attackers steal passwords, they won't be able to gain access to the account if additional steps exist for logging in. 

More importantly, your company needs to monitor account access. By using software solutions, you can monitor suspicious activities like logins from unknown addresses and logins during unusual times in the day, but also failed logins from suspicious devices. 

Additionally, the email protection software you use needs to follow malicious inbox rules as attackers tend to set forwarding rules when they take over an account. They also tend to delete or hide emails to cover their tracks.

All of this is possible with the use of adequate email protection solutions like the one AnubisNetworks offers. Our software works behind the scenes and monitors all forms of suspicious activity. What's more, the software can blacklist many potentially dangerous IPs, but also stop phishing emails from ever reaching you. If you want to learn more or test out the software, feel free to contact us