The Email Trap: How Ransomware is Spreading Faster Than Ever


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Ransomware continues to be a significant concern, evolving in complexity and frequency. The latest figures from 2023 show that there were nearly 5,200 reported instances of ransomware, a number that likely underrepresents the actual situation due to unreported cases. This includes a notable increase in activities from prominent ransomware groups like LockBit 3.0, which saw its incidents jump from 393 in 2022 to 1,038 in 2023. This dramatic rise signals an urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and increased vigilance, particularly concerning email, a common vector for these attacks.

Ransomware is often distributed through email, using malicious attachments or links to infected websites to trick recipients. This method is simple and effective, and it shows why strong email security measures are vital to prevent ransomware threats.

Moreover, the rise of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a major change in the cybercrime scene. This model lets ransomware creators offer their malware to other criminals who do not have the technical skills to make their own, making it easier for cybercriminals to join and increasing the number of ransomware attacks.

Email-driven ransomware attacks expose a vulnerability in digital communications. They demonstrate the capabilities of cybercriminals and highlight the constant need for solid security measures online. Moving forward, it is crucial to understand and address these risks properly.

Establishing a Robust Framework for Ransomware Attack Prevention

To protect ourselves from ransomware attacks, we need to be more careful with our email security. Hackers are becoming more clever, using tools that can do more than just deceive people—they’re using automation to bypass common defenses.

Here’s the thing: no one is off-limits in a company when it comes to these attacks. From the newest team member to the top executive, anyone could unintentionally let hackers in.

Kristof Laerenbergh

A simple mistake, like clicking on a phishing link, could give attackers the opening they need. Once they’re in, they can quietly move through the company’s systems, gaining more control until they’ve taken over entirely.

To fight back, we need a layered approach to email security. This includes:

  • Anti-malware and anti-spam services that can identify and block known forms of email attacks such as phishing that are often used in ransomware attacks.
  • Anti-ransomware solutions that inspect email and web traffic for signs of malware-less attacks using impersonation and social engineering to dupe recipients into clicking a malicious link, visiting a malicious website, or revealing login credentials that can lead to a ransomware attack. These services provide strong ransomware protection against new and emerging types of attacks.
  • DNS authentication services that use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to identify potential sender spoofing which is often part of a ransomware attack.
  • Email scanning and filtering services that can block users from clicking a dangerous link or opening a weaponized attachment.
  • Security awareness training that can help users more successfully spot phishing emails and know what to do when they encounter an attack.
  • Continuity solutions that provide users with continuous access to email and files during and after an attack, minimizing the impact of ransomware on productivity.
  • Two-factor authentication protocols that make it much harder for attackers to use stolen credentials to access networks and install ransomware.
  • Robust backup solutions that make it easy to recover data quickly after a successful attack.

Why Orlox Chooses Mimecast for Email Security

Ensuring Email Security and Accessibility

At Orlox, we recognize the critical importance of email security for any organization. This recognition has led us to form a partnership with Mimecast, a leader in cloud-based email management that complements Microsoft Exchange Online Protection. Mimecast provides a comprehensive solution to protect our emails against threats like ransomware, malware, spam, and targeted attacks. It also offers a secure email archiving service, allowing us access to our emails anytime and from anywhere.

Simplifying Email Management with Mimecast

Mimecast’s services streamline the complexity of email management. Instead of managing multiple solutions for email security and ransomware defense, Mimecast offers an all-in-one solution. It protects against targeted attacks, efficiently manages email archives, and ensures email access is uninterrupted, even during outages or ransomware attacks.

Advanced Malware Protection

Mimecast’s email security technology offers advanced protection against threats, employing sophisticated methods to identify and neutralize them. This proactive approach keeps harmful malware and spam from reaching our network.

Moreover, Mimecast offers a unified, web-based interface for managing email security, archiving, and continuity. This convenience allows administrators to quickly implement and adjust security policies across the organization, ensuring our defenses are always up to date.

Comprehensive Threat Defense

Mimecast has earned the trust of both large and small organizations for its comprehensive protection capabilities. It offers more than just ransomware defense; it’s a comprehensive shield against a wide array of threats, including malware, spam, CEO fraud, and spear phishing.

Proactive Ransomware Strategy

Mimecast delivers a robust defense against ransomware with its suite of protective tools. It vigilantly monitors for signs of danger, such as:

  • Suspicious Links: Holding potentially harmful links until their safety can be confirmed.
  • Malicious Attachments: Scanning and cleaning attachments in a secure environment before they are accessed.
  • Social Engineering: Analyzing the details of emails to prevent social engineering attacks.

Prepared for Any Scenario

With Mimecast’s Enterprise Information Archiving, we are prepared for any situation, including ransomware attacks. This cloud-based archiving solution safeguards our emails, ensuring they remain accessible, and keeps our operations running smoothly, no matter the challenge.

By partnering with Mimecast, Orlox is equipped to face any threat, keeping our emails secure and our organization running without interruption.



DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is an email authentication method that uses a digital signature to let the receiver of an email know that the message was sent and authorized by the owner of a domain.


DMARC is Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, a technical standard that helps protect email senders and recipients from advanced threats that can be the source of an email data breach. DMARC used a combination of SPF and DKIM to establish this level of security


Malware, short for malicious software, refers to any intrusive software developed by cybercriminals (often called hackers) to steal data and damage or destroy computers and computer systems. Examples of common malware include viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware.


Phishing is a type of online fraud that involves tricking people into providing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, by masquerading as a trustworthy source.


Ransomware is malware that employs encryption to hold a victim’s information at ransom. A user or organization’s critical data is encrypted so that they cannot access files, databases, or applications. A ransom is then demanded to provide access. Ransomware is often designed to spread across a network and target database and file servers, and can thus quickly paralyze an entire organization.


Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication method that helps to identify the mail servers that are allowed to send email for a given domain. By using SPF, ISPs can identify email from spoofers, scammers and phishers as they try to send malicious email from a domain that belongs to a company or brand.

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