Mimecast State of Email Security Report 2023 - The Findings

Now in its 7th year, the Mimecast 2023 State of Email Security (SOES) report sheds light on some key risks our businesses are facing, primarily the continuing plague of email-borne attacks. The threat is heightened further by the rise of collaboration tools and the expanding complexity of business networks. 

While the C-Suite is becoming more aware of cyber risk, more needs to be done to increase budgets, implement advanced technology and build cyber awareness. The fact is that yesterday’s defences will no longer protect against the elevated risk our businesses are facing. Instead, our security systems need to become more intelligent and orchestrated. As email usage continues to rise and cyber attacks grow in sophistication, we all need to do more to respond to the threat of attack. 

Key SOES Findings

The SOES report offers some insightful statistics regarding the type and volume of email-borne attacks and the security measures businesses have in place. The key findings from the 1,700 information technology and cybersecurity professionals interviewed for the report included:

  • 75% experienced a rise in email-based threats.
  • 66% were harmed by a ransomware attack.
  • 97% have been targeted by email-based phishing attacks.
  • 72% expect to be harmed by a collaboration tool-based attack.
  • 94% believe they need stronger protections than those offered by Microsoft 365 and Google workspace applications.
  • 80% believe their company is at risk due to inadvertent data leaks by employees.
  • 99% provide some form of cyber awareness training to their employees.
  • 98% have a system to monitor and protect against email-borne threats or are actively planning to establish one. 
  • 92% use or plan to use AI and machine learning to bolster their cybersecurity. 
  • 66% believe they need to spend more on cybersecurity.

Top 10 Takeaways

There were ten top takeaways in the SOES report, each one representing a key insight or recommendation for businesses to take on board:

  1. Cyber attacks are the biggest business risk - there’s no risk quite like cyber risk, it’s feared by businesses more than inflation or climate change and it’s no wonder, with the world standing to lose $8 trillion this year. 
  2. Securing email is fundamental - media is the primary attack vector because it’s the easiest route of entry for cybercriminals. Businesses are using email more, seeing more email-based threats and expecting more serious consequences as a result. 
  3. Collaboration tools are risky - as collaboration tools are used more regularly by modern businesses, collaboration-tool-based attacks are on the rise. Threats posed by the tools urgently need to be addressed. 
  4. Cyber awareness training is fundamental - with phishing attacks relying on deception, providing ongoing and engaging training is vital to mitigate the risk. Fostering a culture of cyber awareness is a fundamental part of cyber security. 
  5. DMARC is vital to prevent spoofing - nearly every company is getting spoofed; taking advantage of the domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC) protocol is a vital defence. 
  6. The protection offered by productivity suites isn’t enough - businesses can’t depend solely on security provided by the likes of Microsoft 365; they need to implement additional layers of protection to protect against malicious email attachments. 
  7. Insurance policies don’t equal prevention - it makes financial sense to insure against cyber risk, but it isn’t the same as prevention. Cyber preparedness is the only way to actually reduce cyber risk. 
  8. AI can offer many benefits - as cybercriminals are using AI to boost ransomware, phishing scams and more, businesses should use AI and next-gen technology to fight back. Benefits include more accurate threat detection and better threat blocking.
  9. More budget is needed - cybersecurity budgets are frequently falling short. While corporate boards are finally paying attention to cybersecurity, many other priorities often stand in the way of cybersecurity getting the funding it needs. 
  10. The C-suite is taking cybersecurity more seriously - CISOs finally have an opportunity to highlight cyber risk and to make a case for greater cyber resilience. While there will be more scrutiny, there is a chance to improve cyber posture. 

Securing Your Business Against Email-Borne Threats

As businesses face a global recession, there are limitations to their cybersecurity efforts. However, with boards and top executives finally acknowledging the risk, there is an opportunity for cybersecurity to become a leading business priority. Ultimately, to contain the threat, businesses need to build smarter, more integrated defences and foster a culture of cyber awareness. 

At InfoTrust, we offer a comprehensive approach to secure your email ecosystem. Download the SOES report now to find out more details about the state of email security. Or Contact us to find out how we can secure your business today.


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