Email Impersonation Attacks: The Unseen Brand Threat, Ponemon Institute Research

Marketers are charged with protecting and maintaining their companies’ brand, goodwill, and customer loyalty. However, this is becoming more of a challenge because of the risk of email impersonation attacks leading to an erosion of brand trust. Also worrying: data breaches caused by phishing or spoofing that can compromise marketers’ efforts in reaching prospective and current customers.

Sponsored by Valimail, Email Impersonation Attacks: The Unseen Brand Threat, A Study of Marketing Professionals was conducted to understand how marketers perceive and are addressing this threat.

Key Findings:
  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents believe their companies experienced a data breach or cyberattack that involved email during the past 12 months. Yet, marketers are more concerned about the user experience than the security of their outbound emails.
  • Marketers value solutions that enable them to have visibility into cloud services sending their companies’ emails. On average, companies in this research use approximately 13 cloud-based services to send their emails with their companies’ domain names. However, 55 percent of respondents are not confident they know all the vendors and services that are sending emails using their companies’ domain name in the “From” field of the message.
  • Marketers rate convenience for the recipient of the email (i.e. end user) as more important than security and more important than the threat of hackers spoofing the email domain in order to hurt the deliverability of legitimate emails. Seventy-seven percent of respondents rate the importance of end-user convenience when building and/or deploying email security solutions in the workplace.
  • Slightly more than half (51 percent of respondents) rate their organizations’ urgency in securing email from spoofing attacks and fraud as very high.
  • IT security practitioners are far more concerned about all the email threats facing their companies than marketers are. Specifically, 82 percent of IT security respondents are very concerned about hackers spoofing the company’s email domain in order to hurt the deliverability of legitimate email, while only 52 percent of marketers share this concern.
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