Email remains a top point of entry for cyber attacks, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro Incorporated.

Trend Micro witnessed a stark rise in email threats, blocking over 33.6 million cloud email threats in 2021, a 101 per cent increase over the previous year. 

“Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape and an evolution of the corporate attack surface, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations,” said Vijendra Katiyar, Country Manager, India and SAARC, Trend Micro. 

“The best shot defenders have at mitigating these risks is by taking a platform-based approach, to shine a powerful light on threats and deliver streamlined prevention, detection and response without limits,” added Katiyar.

The data was collected during 2021 from products that supplement native protection in collaboration platforms such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

Key trends 

The report further added that 16.5 million phishing attacks were detected and blocked in the year, a 138 per cent increase as the hybrid workforce continued to be targeted.

It detected 6.3 million credential phishing attacks, a 15 per cent increase. This comes as phishing remains a primary means of compromise for cyberattackers. Additionally, 3.3 million malicious files were detected, including a 134 per cent surge in known threats and a 221 per cent increase in unknown malware.

However, ransomware detections continued to decline by 43 per cent year-on-year. 

One of the reasons for this could be because attacks are becoming more targeted, as per the report.

Business email compromise (BEC) detections also declined by 11 per cent. However, there was an 83 per cent rise in BEC threats detected using Trend Micro’s AI-powered writing style analysis feature, indicating that these scams may be getting more sophisticated, the report said.