It’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week in the United States, which means that tax-related identity theft happens often enough to get the government’s attention. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have provided the public with a number of resources to help raise awareness on this issue. In this article, the FTC gives a short description on how tax identity theft works:
Barracuda Email Security Gateway
The Barracuda Email Security Gateway is an email security gateway that manages and filters all inbound and outbound email traffic to protect organizations from email-borne threats and data leaks. As a complete email management solution, the Barracuda Email Security Gateway lets organizations encrypt messages and leverage the cloud to spool email if mail servers become unavailable
The Barracuda Email Security Gateway is offered without per-user or per-feature fees, and is also available as a virtual appliance or in a public cloud environment (Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or VMware vCloud Air).
High volume spam is a seasonal business. Over many years spammers discovered best times of the year to ensure the highest possible response rate to their messages. It turns out that the period between Black Friday and the last day for Christmas shipping is one of the best times to reach an intended audience with malicious messages. It is a time of the year when we all do a lot of online shopping and are expecting confirmation emails from retailers we purchased goods from and tracking messages telling us where our packages are.
Here at Barracuda, we noticed this trend happening in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There was a large increase in fake UPS and FedEx messages and fake confirmation emails from your favorite e-tailers during this time.
For many people, the term “hacking” means that a criminal has broken through a firewall to get access to a network. The firewall is one of the easiest security concepts for people to understand, and often is thought of as the guard at the gate who provides entry based on a list of authorized visitors or other criteria. It helps that the term “firewall” originated outside of IT as a literal physical wall that was meant to prevent a fire from spreading, so the word itself was already in the public vernacular before the Internet was popular. ‘Firewall’ is also one of the oldest internet security terms, having been formally introduced by academia in the 1980’s. Because of the history and context of the term, it makes sense that people tend to think that the firewall is what gets “broken” in a hack.
Modern firewalls are much more than a gate that allows traffic in and out based on simple rules. The latest firewalls provide several other functions, such as DHCP, secure VPNs, Link balancing, and more. As business needs have evolved with the rise of branch offices, remote workers, and SaaS applications, the network firewall has evolved to keep pace and aggressively protect the network perimeter and provide the necessary services to enable the business it protects.
So far in our series we’ve talking about ransomware, threat vectors, and the technologies that we use to protect you. Now let’s take a look at email and why it’s the biggest and most exploited threat vector of all.
The weakest point of security in any organization is the users, either due to a lack of awareness or security fatigue. Attackers know this, and they target users through email because with a working email address, a malicious but well-crafted attack could easily get in front of a vulnerable employee. Attackers are also very determined, so they will continue to pursue a target-rich environment until they find a gap in defenses. A recent Consumer Affairs article reports that as many as one-third of AV scanners failed to find malware samples in a two month test. That’s why attackers keep trying, even when they know a company has anti-virus protection in place.
The Barracuda cloud team is gearing up for another great AWS re:Invent. This time we’ll be in Las Vegas, November 28 – December 2. The event takes place at the Venetian, Mirage and Encore, and you can find us at booth #2215 in re:Invent Central.
AWS re:Invent is an annual gathering of the global Amazon Web Services (AWS) community. The event offers hands-on labs, bootcamps, hackathons, AWS certification exams, and more. You can find details at the AWS re:Invent website here. Our experts will be there to meet with visitors, answer questions, and demonstrate how Barracuda fits into the AWS shared security model. Barracuda provides comprehensive solutions for AWS deployments, including application security, network security, application delivery, and email management.
Barracuda has been protecting our customers from email attacks for over a decade. Our award-winning Email Security Gateway has been the flagship of this line of defense for nearly 15 years. What started out as a robust spam filtering solution has advanced into a powerful, proactive system that attacks email-borne threats before they ever reach our customers’ networks.
We didn’t just adapt new technologies to our threat detection and mitigation systems. Over the years we added new ways to deploy and manage our solutions. We now offer our email security solutions as physical and virtual appliances, public cloud deployments, and hosted solutions in Barracuda Essentials for Email Security and Barracuda Essentials for Office 365. All of these solutions are centrally managed in one easy to use cloud-based platform. One of the foundations of our business is making it easy for our customers to leverage our email security expertise.