The benefits of taking an intent-based approach to detecting Business Email Compromise 

Business email compromise (BEC) is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. As per the internet crime 221 report, the total loss in 2021 due to BEC is around 2.4 billion dollars. Since 2013, BEC has resulted in a 43 billion dollars loss. The report defines BEC as a scam targeting businesses (not individuals) working with foreign suppliers and companies regularly performing wire transfer payments. Fraudsters carry out these sophisticated scams to conduct the unauthorized transfer of funds.

This introduces the challenge of how to detect and block these campaigns as they continue to compromise organizations successfully. There are a variety of approaches to identifying BEC email messages, such as using policy to allow emails from authorized email addresses, detecting exploitation techniques used by threat actors, building profiles by analysis of emails, and validating against the profile to detect BEC.

These approaches have a variety of limitations or shortcomings. Cisco Talos is taking a different approach and using an intent-based model to identify and block BEC messages. Before we get too deep into the intent-based model, take a deeper look at the commonly used approaches to block BEC from the simplistic through machine learning (ML) approaches.

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Source: Cisco Talos