Cloudmark Ramps Up Fight Against Spear Phishing

cloudmarklogoCloudmark has announced additional protections in the fight against spear phishing.

The company’s Cloudmark Trident is touted as being a first in comprehensive security for real-time protection against highly targeted spear phishing attacks.

“Cloudmark Trident enables enterprises to detect and block spear phishing attacks as they happen – before attacks result in lost revenue or data, damage to consumers and employees, and negative impacts on a brand’s reputation,” the Cloudmark crew tells us.

What is spear phishing?

In brief, it is a targeted email scam with the sole purpose of obtaining unauthorized access to sensitive data. Unlike phishing scams, which cast broad, scatter-shot attacks, spear phishing hones in on a specific group or organization. The intent is to steal intellectual property, financial data, trade or military secrets, or other confidential data.

This is how it works: An email arrives, apparently from a trustworthy source, but instead it leads the unknowing recipient to a bogus website full of malware. These emails often use clever tactics to get victims’ attention. For example, the FBI has warned of spear phishing scams where the emails appeared to be from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Cloudmark has drawn on its extensive experience in detecting and blocking messaging threats to create a more foolproof solution.

In conjunction with the product launch, Cloudmark also revealed the results of a survey conducted by Vanson Bourne that provides new insight into IT professionals’ views and experiences with spear phishing attacks.

“The results show that email remains a prime attack vector for cyber criminals – 90 percent of survey respondents whose organization experienced a spear phishing attack within the past year said that the attacks targeted employees’ email,” according to Cloudmark. “IT professionals are also increasingly concerned about spear phishing attacks. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of IT decision makers reported that spear phishing currently poses a significant threat to their organization. Targeted spear phishing attacks are a growing threat both to governments and businesses. For example, spear phishing attacks have been associated with multiple recent high-profile data breaches, including those experienced by Target, Sony, and the Pentagon.”

Cloudmark Trident identifies suspicious messages that “look legitimate,” including those with dangerous attachments and links, before they reach employees. Employees are for most companies the weak link in averting the damages done by spear phishing.

Cloudmark protects more than 120 tier-one service providers, including Verizon, Swisscom, Comcast, Cox, and NTT, as well as tens of thousands of enterprises.