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For all the comings and goings of modern technology, email seems to stay. Even with the rise of enterprise messaging tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, email still holds an important role in how we communicate.

A staple of modern businesses of all shapes and sizes, it’s no wonder that email has remained a constant target for cyber criminals — with no signs of stopping. When we recently polled 280 high-level EMEA IT decision makers about their email security measures, three quarters agreed that they had seen an increase in email attacks against their organisation in the past three years.

From ransomware to business email compromise attacks and spear phishing, not only is email a hotbed for criminal attacks, it’s also extremely vulnerable. A near unanimous 94 percent admitted that email security wasn’t up to scratch, be it down to a lack of security awareness training (29 percent receive training just once per year, while 7 percent have never received it), sheer ignorance (56 percent believe their employees do not adhere to correct security policies), or both.

Digging a little deeper, the past year saw almost half (47 percent) of respondents admit to being attacked by ransomware, 31 percent fall victim to a business email compromise attack, and a huge 75 percent having been hit with brand impersonation.

Given their success, it’s no wonder that cyber criminals continue to utilise email attacks. The question now is how organisations brace themselves for this bombardment.

The human cost

This growing issue is understandably putting pressure on IT teams and causing many sleepless nights in the process. Another recent Barracuda survey quizzed 660 global IT professionals focused on the human impact of these rising attacks with startling findings.

Not only are these attacks increasing in volume and complexity, but they’re also leaving a considerable mark on the well-being of IT teams. More than a third (38 percent) cited cyber attacks’ rise as the chief reason for increased stress both in and out of work hours.

This stress is further exacerbated by respondents’ skepticism when it comes to their organisation’s security measures, with 52 percent doubtful of email security improvements happening for their organisation in the next year.

MSPs can help spread the load

By bringing an MSP on board, organisations won’t suffer at the whim of would-be attackers. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the most targeted for all cyber-attacks, making up 58 percent of all cybercrime victims, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Report. In truth, no organisation is too big or too small to find themselves in an attacker’s crosshairs.

By sharing the load with a trusted MSP, organisations can rest assured they have the support they need. As attacks become increasingly sophisticated, an MSP makes it their duty to learn, adapt, and keep up with even the latest attacks; a luxury not afforded to most organisations who can’t find the money or time to keep their staff as informed.

Of course, technology isn’t the only victim of these attacks — the human cost of time, energy, and stress also takes its toll. With a dedicated MSP and the manpower they supply, the human strain is shared among a wider team of professionals equipped to guide you along the road to recovery. Suddenly, you’re no longer alone.

In the case of a successful attack, an MSP partner will also be primed and ready for recovery. However you are attacked, it will certainly be overwhelming for your security team who (hopefully) hasn’t been hit like this before. On the other hand, odds are the MSP has experienced such an attack and is therefore equipped to deal with it, fast.

This is particularly beneficial to smaller organisations who may not have a team large enough to deal with an attack, or worse, have to bring in staff from other departments to support them through the recovery process. Rather than waste an unaccountable amount of time, money, and manpower on the issue, you can be rest assured that, with an MSP by your side, even the most sophisticated of attacks won’t keep you down for long.

So, batten down the hatches, make an MSP a true partner, and work safe in the knowledge that whatever email attacks, you’re not alone in dealing with the consequences.

Photo: Thierry Meier / Unsplash

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Jason Howells

Posted by Jason Howells

Jason Howells is the EMEA Sales Director for Barracuda MSP. Email Jason at: or connect with him on LinkedIn (

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