Published in cybersecurity, maritime email, Dualog Business Mail | 8 minutes reading time

The email threat landscape of 2023: How MailDefence 3.0 provides the highest level of email security for shipping companies

Stay up to date!

* By subscribing to the latest news from our blog, you consent to us storing your email address, and sending you monthly emails. You can, at any time, retract this consent.

In Mimecast’s State of Email Security 2023 report, three out of four respondents (76%) expect an email-based attack will have serious consequences for their organisation in the coming year. 

Despite this, many companies rely on security provided by regular email platforms. It's the same for shipping companies.

If you work in vessel IT, you know that basic email protection is no longer enough to avoid cyberattacks and their consequences. But what can you do about it? This article will show you the solution you need.


Standard collaboration platforms can't handle today's email-based threats

The SOES report mentioned above offers some interesting statistics about email-based attacks and the security measures companies have in place. Based on the interviews with 1,700 IT and cybersecurity professionals, the report found:

  • 75% experienced a rise in email-based threats.

  • 66% were harmed by a ransomware attack.

  • 97% have been targeted by email-based phishing attacks.

  • 94% believe they need stronger protection than Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer.

  • 66% believe they need to spend more on cybersecurity.

To stay protected from the latest email security threats, explains the report, companies can’t rely only on security provided by regular collaboration platforms:

“It’s also worth noting that when it comes to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, there is near universal agreement (94%) that additional security measures are needed to supplement these platforms’ native security functions.”


A new threat is coming to a computer near you – the MyloBot botnet

There are lots of cyber threats out there, and some are more persistent than others. Emotet, the notorious malware distributed through email containing malicious Microsoft Word and Excel document attachments, has recently returned after a three-month break -- with new evasion methods.

As if that wasn't enough, there's a new email threat. MyloBot is a sophisticated botnet spreading rapidly across the globe and infecting more than 50,000 systems a day. This botnet is almost impossible to detect by most virus scanners. Thus, it's a security threat you can't stop with standard email protection.

After infection, the botnet can download any payload. That means bad actors can use it to do as much damage as they want. 

Like Emotet, the MyloBot botnet specialises in the first infection and gets a foothold on devices. This access can then be sold to other criminals.

Email protection using a single virus scanner will not have any chance against botnets like MyloBot. It can only be blocked by a system that uses multiple robust scanners – exactly what Dualog's MailDefence 3.0 does.


Introducing the ultimate level of email security: MailDefence 3.0

Dualog’s email security gateway, MailDefence, is specifically built to protect against any advanced email-based attack. Each message sent to your ships goes through an extensive security check. This includes scans by multiple antivirus engines, anti-spam scoring mechanisms, email fingerprint analysis, phishing checks and domain sanity checks. 

The MailDefence system uses several tools, techniques and smart solutions, including machine learning, to drastically reduce spam and other malicious content from getting to your vessels.

Dualog has just launched MailDefence 3.0, the latest and most complete version of our email security solution. It's the most efficient, powerful version of MailDefence yet, with thousands of fixes and improvements.

What is new in MailDefence 3.0?

Five main improvements have been made to MailDefense 3.0:

  1. Email security statistics are now available in the Dualog Portal.
  2. Upgraded backend tools.
  3. Significantly better zero-day detection.
  4. New forensic capabilities.
  5. More real-time spam and phishing blocklists. 

In the Dualog Portal, you can now view email security statistics

You can now find real-time security statistics in the Dualog Portal. The graph gives you a new level of control over your email security, giving you practical insights into ongoing threats.

Under the hood, security and stability have been improved

With MailDefence 3.0, we have upgraded many aspects of our infrastructure, including the mail-transfer agent, anti-spoofing, anti-spam, and anti-virus engines. 

These under-the-hood upgrades add new capabilities, stability improvements, security updates and bug fixes. You get better performance, reduced downtime, and less malicious traffic to your vessels.

Significantly better zero-day detection

In MailDefence 3.0, we have added another malware-scanning engine, bringing the total to six. It’s the most effective scanner so far, especially when it comes to detecting zero-day attacks. 

Additionally, we have upgraded our previous top-performing scanner to the latest revision with a much-improved scanning engine. As a result, it’s more effective at detecting and preventing attacks.

New forensic capabilities

With MailDefence 3.0, we have added logging of all filenames and their SHA256 checksums for all attachments, even within archives. This has strengthened our forensic capabilities. Now we can more quickly identify how and where a specific virus was sent and see if it came through our system.

More real-time spam and phishing blocklists

MailDefence 3.0 now uses real-time data from leading blocklist providers to identify potentially harmful emails. This feature is fully integrated into MailDefence 3.0, making it even harder for attackers to get around our email security measures.

Simply put: With the upgrade from MailDefence 2.0 to MailDefence 3.0, one of the best email protection solutions has become even better.


Why should your shipping company use MailDefence 3.0?

You’re well aware that IMO and class societies require shipping companies to have a multilayered cybersecurity approach. You must have the tools to prevent malware and other harmful content from reaching your vessels. 

By using MailDefence 3.0, you can rest assured that you have the strongest possible email protection in place, with robust monitoring that checks all the boxes in your cybersecurity audit.

Email security is improved

With MailDefence 3.0, your company and fleet will be protected from threats such as phishing, malware and ransomware, as well as your employees, clients and other business partners.

Risk of data breaches is reduced

A data breach is a common and costly cybersecurity incident that affects shipping companies of all sizes. It can lead to serious consequences for the company, such as financial losses and reputational damage.

Most data breaches happen through email – because it's the easiest way in for cybercriminals. 

By securing your email on all fronts, MailDefence 3.0 protects your shipping company from data breaches. It stops attackers from gaining unauthorised access to your confidential data or sensitive information.

Operations are uninterrupted, and productivity is increased

MailDefence 3.0 prevents phishing and similar email-based threats from interrupting vulnerable business communication between ship and shore. Because of this, there are fewer distractions and risks, and you can continue operating smoothly and keep costs down.


Land-based email platforms provide good security – shipping companies need great security

There are more email threats than ever before, which is a concern. But the real danger is that these threats are getting increasingly sophisticated. Every day, cybercriminals refine and adapt their strategies. They can easily get malware kits on the dark web. This makes it easy for criminals without tech skills to use highly advanced attack methods.

To stay one step ahead of these bad actors, security personnel and vessel IT must remain alert and on guard, and use the best tools available. 

According to 94% of respondents in the State of Email Security report, the layer of security provided by standard collaboration platforms such as MS 365 and Google Workspace is too thin. To further secure your shipping company from the latest email-based threats, such as MyloBot, you need to implement additional layers of protection.

You should consider investing in a comprehensive email security solution from a trusted provider. A security provider that regularly updates and upgrades its solutions to keep up with cybercriminals and meet the constantly evolving needs of maritime shipping.

Dualog puts a lot of effort into email security. This is why we’re launching MailDefence 3.0 – the most complete email security solution on the market. 

It provides the best protection against every type of email threat your shipping company faces. 

The email threat landscape of 2023: How MailDefence 3.0 provides the highest level of email security for shipping companies
Written by Geir Inge Jensen, CISO

Geir Inge Jensen is the Chief Information Security Officer at Dualog. Adding over 20 years of experience in network design and cybersecurity, Geir Inge is passionate about developing solutions and services that help shipping companies create a more cyber-resilient environment onboard their vessels. When he is not fighting maritime cybercrime, you can find him in the mountains enjoying the great outdoors with his camera in hand.

Related blog posts