Email Compromise: What it Is, and How To Protect Your Business


When an attacker compromises a corporate email account, anything goes. That kind of fraud can be devastating to an entire company.

If your company conducts business over email (and in 2019, it's almost a guarantee that you do), it’s good to understand what you’re looking at and how to properly protect your business. Unfortunately, business email compromise has led to over $5.3 billion in documented fraud from 2013 to 2016 alone.

That kind of money is insurmountable. What's more, the number could’ve risen since then, according to a 2017 Federal Bureau Investigation alert. All in all, the increase amounts to over a two thousand percent increase in email exposures for businesses across the country.

Email scams have been reported in every single country, and may not even involve sophisticated hacking. Many email compromise attacks rely on social engineering and manipulating the recipient into willingly providing sensitive information rather than high-tech schemes. Being the prevalent risk that they are, it is important that your business understand how to spot an attempt at email compromise and what can be done to prevent your team from falling victim.

How to Protect Against Email Compromise

Awareness and training are essential ways to keep a business safe against email breach attempts. If you can understand the threat and train staff on how to spot and prevent attacks, that means less issues are are going to arise. It’s not about the size or technicalities of the attack; all that matters is that it happened and how to combat it.

Always looking for weird emails helps. Any email that demands urgency or secrecy is automatically going to be suspect. Every employee should be aware of policies and standard invoice protocol. Whenever something seems off, train an employee to report it as soon as possible.

When a staff team knows how to tackle a third party attack, it makes a huge difference. But it all comes down to being able to spot the problem in the first place.

In addition to training and educating your employees and creating the policies necessary to prevent avoidable email compromise, protecting your business with a comprehensive Commercial Crime Insurance policy and a Cyber Insurance Policy will prevent a compromise from harming your business.

Policies and Procedures That Keep You Safe

It’s all about developing simple processes. Organization is key to keep track of everything. Keeping record is essential.

On top of that, checking orders is the best way that no mistakes or fraud occur. That little aspect of checking back can be crucial for any business.

Finally, double check before sending any money back and forth. Install controls to ensure that no sensitive information, data, or money is sent to an outside party without the approval of at least one other relevant party in the company.

About Axis Insurance Services

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

Commercial Crime, emails, Phishing Emails, CRIME INSURANCE, Email Compromise

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