Market Overview

Office 365 email attacks continue relentless rise

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New York, July 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attacks targeting business email accounts continued to climb in the second quarter, according to data released today by specialist insurer Beazley.  Hardest hit were organizations using Office 365, the popular cloud-based productivity solution.

Email compromises accounted for 23% of incidents reported to the Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services team during the second quarter of 2018. The attacks were broadly distributed across industry sectors.

Business email compromises are efficient for the hacker because the compromise of a single account gives the hacker a platform from which to spear phish within and outside the organization. They have soared in popularity since the beginning of last year.

Although potentially very damaging, with costs that can exceed $2 million, attacks of this kind are also relatively easily preventable.  Two-factor authentication can help, as can employee training. Disabling the ability for third-party applications to access Office 365 can also reduce the likelihood of an attacker using PowerShell, a task automation and configuration management system, for reconnaissance.

"Business email compromise attacks are among the more expensive data breaches we see," said Katherine Keefe, head of BBR Services.  "Years of emails often need to be combed through to identify personally identifiable information or protected health information that has been compromised. In the majority of cases, multiple inboxes are compromised."

The July edition of Beazley Breach Insights, Beazley's quarterly publication showing data breach trends, provides detailed industry-level data on the evolution of cyber threats.

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Note to editors:
Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia. Beazley manages six Lloyd's syndicates and in 2017 underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,344 million. All Lloyd's syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.

Beazley's underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd's.

Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business.

For more information please go to: www.beazley.com

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Deborah Kostroun
Ketchum Zito Financial
201-403-8185
deborah.kostroun@ketchumzito.com

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