March 9, 2020

When it Comes to Email Phishing, Even Sharks Aren’t Safe

Kristina Dettwiler

With 293.6 billion emails having been sent and received daily in 2019 and the expectation of that number to grow to over 347.3 billion in 2022 (Statista, 2020), email remains a lucrative playground for advisories who are doing their research and getting increasingly more sophisticated.  In fact, 37% of agencies have been the victim of an email phishing attack that successfully infected systems with malware - but even more concerning is the fact that about 25% or agencies are not even aware that they have been attacked (Osterman, 2017).  In this environment, agencies must be vigilant against email attacks and get ahead of these sophisticated cyber criminals with optimum value must coming from effective, holistic email security.

Even with all of the awareness and due diligence agencies put in place to try to stay ahead, no one is excluded from these attacks - even Shark Tank millionaire, Barbara Corcoran, who recently lost nearly $400,000 to a phishing email. Corcoran almost wired over $380,000 to an email that Corcoran's team noticed was missing an "O" in the "from" address - but only after the fact (ABC News).

In even the most perceptive agencies, users continue to be the weak link because of the seemingly endless chase to keep up with the cyber criminals. Commissioned by Forcepoint, Osterman Research discussed numerous techniques agencies can take when dealing with ransomware, business email compromise and spear phishing.  These recommendations include deploying alternatives to the solutions that employees use as part of “Shadow IT”, using good threat intelligence and considering the use of behavior analytics to signal a rogue employee, malware attack, or other problem. Read the full report for more advice here.

Forcepoint’s Email Security is analysts’ choice for complete email protection. Get both maximum effectiveness and ROI with Forcepoint Email Security:

  • Control device access to email attachments: Prevent total access to sensitive email attachments on vulnerable unmanaged devices (BYOD) while permitting full access to secure managed devices.
  • Ensure confidentiality of sensitive communications: Enable secure delivery of email communications and eliminates the traditional barriers of cost and complexity by offering easy administration.
  • Identify explicit images to enforce acceptable use: Proactively monitor, educate, and enforce company email policy for explicit or pornographic image attachments.
  • Spam and phishing protection: Detect unwanted spam and unsafe phishing emails, allowing customers to block, quarantine, or take other actions.
  • Educate users to improve security awareness: Unique phishing education with feedback capabilities educates employees as they make mistakes, helping them to better learn and understand safe email best practices.

Chances are, your agency has already been involved with or will be involved in an email phishing attack. Learn more about Forcepoint Email Security, which provides the most complete email protection and visibility at:

Kristina Dettwiler

Kristina Dettwiler is a Federal Marketing Manager for Forcepoint’s Global Government & Critical Infrastructure organization. She leads marketing campaigns and events for the DoD, Intelligence Community, Federal System Integrators and manages the federal channel network. She has more than 7...

Read more articles by Kristina Dettwiler

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.