KeyTalk launches a Secure Email Service with good defense against Business Email Compromise 21 Sep ‘20
In a 2019 report, the FBI mentions Business Email Compromise (BEC) as the biggest cybercrime threat. Nearly $1.7 billion of damages in the US was the result of BEC scams, with the total cybercrime damage in 2019 in the US alone at $3.5 billion.
The enormous amount of damage caused by BEC scams and the increase compared to 2018 is mainly due to its simplicity. Today, 99.9% of all e-mail traffic is unencrypted and all e-mail messages are in principle sent in an unsealed ‘envelope’. There is, therefore, no way of knowing for sure who sent the message or whether the message was changed just before it was received.
BEC scams have two important variants:
- Sending the email as a manager / director / CEO or employee of the company, so that it seems as if the message and the email address where the message came from are correct.
- The sender of the message is the right one, but the message in transit has been “intercepted” and manipulated.
A good first line of defence against BEC is to digitally sign e-mails as the company standard. The ‘Secure e-mail service’, which has been offered by KeyTalk and its partners since July, provides this. The digital signature takes place by means of a digital S/MIME certificate.
MIME is the mail protocol on the basis of which everyone around the world mails, the secure variant of this (S(ecure)/MIME ) using an S/MIME certificate has existed since 1998. But because the process of ordering, installing, configuring and managing these certificates was an absolute mess for any IT administrator, S/MIME has never been widely used. It was just too much hassle.
KeyTalk’s Secure Email Service removes all trouble in this area and uses the certificate management system developed by KeyTalk itself. This easily takes over all the time-consuming, error-prone and (for end users) complex activities surrounding the distribution, installation and management of S/MIME certificates.
- The recipient of a digitally signed e-mail is 100% sure that the e-mail originates from the e-mail address the sender claims it came from.
- The service provides a digital passport (an S/MIME certificate) for each user in which each email message is provided with a digital ‘signature’ so that the message cannot be manipulated without breaking the digital ‘seal’.