IT and business leaders joined local cybersecurity specialists today to discuss the latest cybersecurity trends, techniques and tactics at the Mimecast Cyber Resilience Summit, the first of its kind to be held on African soil.
According to Paul Stafford, Vice President of Africa at Mimecast, the event created a platform for vital discussions around cybersecurity in light of a growing number of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks aimed at African enterprises and small businesses. “The threat landscape is rapidly evolving, and African businesses are under constant threat of attack by increasingly sophisticated and professionalised cybercriminals. It is becoming clear that standard security tools from cloud email providers are not sufficient to protect organisations. Organisations need to build greater cyber resilience by improving security controls, heightening cybersecurity awareness, and leveraging new tools such as threat intelligence to inform their security strategies.”
The Mimecast Cyber Resilience Summit was held at the Sandton Convention Centre and brought together industry experts, local security professionals and local and global speakers for a one-day intensive schedule of presentations, discussions and knowledge-sharing around common cyber resilience challenges and opportunities. Speakers included Christina Van Houten, Chief Strategy Officer at Mimecast; Brian Pinnock, Director of Sales Engineering at Mimecast; Craig Rosewarne, Managing Director at Wolfpack Information Risk; Peter Allwright, Director at Horizons Forensics; and Elad Schulman, CEO at Segasec.
Latest Threat Intel Report shines light on emerging threats
Mimecast also used the event to discuss the findings of its latest Threat Intelligence Report: Black Hat Edition, which was released earlier this month. The report provides a technical analysis of emerging threats attempting to breach the security environment of Mimecast customers, and was compiled by the Mimecast Threat Centre. The latest edition, which covered the period April to June 2019, processed nearly 160 billion emails and rejected 67 billion emails.
“We saw that 67 billion emails displayed highly malicious attack techniques,” says Francis Gaffney, Director of Threat Intelligence and Response at Mimecast. “Impersonation attacks showed a significant increase, with attackers using social engineering techniques to target individuals for fast and easy financial gain. A large number of known malware attacks were also observed, with Microsoft Excel emerging as the most popular file type for distributing malicious activity. Forty percent of threats detected used Excel files, while file types associated with Microsoft Word were seen in nearly 15% of threats.”
The report also found that threat actors are becoming more organised, and now implement subscription and as-a-service based business models to deliver malware, reducing their work while improving their return on investment. Spam email was also found to be used extensively as a conduit to distribute malware, with professional education emerging as the most targeted sector for spam, thanks in part to constantly changing student populations that are unlikely to have high security awareness. Attacks on management and consulting firms and the biotechnology sector accounted for 30% of all impersonation attacks.
The company has also launched Mimecast Threat Intelligence, a value-add service that gives customers a deeper understanding of the cyber threats their organisations face. The new set of capabilities is designed to give organisations greater visibility and access to threat data and analytics specific to their organisation, enabling them to respond to threats more quickly and effectively.
For a copy of the Mimecast Threat Intel Report: Black Hat Edition 2019, please visit this page.
This article was published in partnership with Mimecast.