While sophisticated hacker attacks often hit the news, the most vulnerable spots in a company can sometimes be found in the least critical places. Since its inception, email has been a popular method for hackers to gain access to sensitive data. However, since it’s a widely used communication tool, it’s easy to overlook it because all users are believed to follow standard security practices for their accounts.
Fortunately, incorporating advanced email protection techniques into your cybersecurity plan is a simple measure that can help keep your sensitive data safe from hackers.
Common Email Security Threats
Email security can be as complex or as simple as your company requires. It must at least address the most common attack points in order to be effective. Here are some of the most common scams and hacking methods used by scammers and hackers.
Malware is malicious software that can be downloaded via email attachments to a single device or a company network. The software can be used to steal important information like passwords and Social Security numbers, which can then be used to track down theft and other crimes.
Ransomware is the latest form of malware in which software encrypts a company’s files and refuses to provide the decryption key until the organization pays a ransom.
Phishing, also known as spoofing, involves sending emails that appear to come from a trusted source. Under the pretext that their account with a trusted company has been compromised, these emails frequently require the recipient to verify important information. When the user fills in the requested information, it’s directed to the source of the impostor’s email. So try using an SPF record to protect your email.
SPF allows the recipient to reject emails sent from IP addresses not listed in your SPF records. Many companies require SPF to be activated for your domain in order for your email to be sent to them.
Spam is defined as unsolicited bulk email. Spamming is frequently used in phishing attacks and the distribution of malware. In the past, end-users had to actively download attachments or provide information, but spam techniques have evolved, and it is now possible to become infected with malware just by opening a spam email.
Insider attacks are more widespread than some people believe, and they should be taken into account. Using weak passwords, leaving devices unattended and unprotected, or exchanging log-in information are all examples of random threats.
Remember that any of these risks can be used in conjunction with others, and modern cybercriminals frequently employ a variety of tactics to increase the success rate of their attacks.
Best Solutions for Email Security
Fortunately, a corporation can take numerous precautions to safeguard itself from data breaches caused by email interactions. Some of them require specialized technology, while others are as simple as changing a company’s network security rules and training employees. Here are some ways to protect your company from email security threats.
- Check the settings of your email service. Misconfigurations can allow unauthorized users to send emails from within the system. If you use a third-party email service provider, be sure to download and install all available updates to ensure you’re using the most secure version. If your organization has its own email server, ask your IT staff to check for any flaws. If you don’t have access to an IT specialist, there are inexpensive outsourcing choices available. Remember that simple configurations are less likely to cause problems, so avoid overly complicated mail routing.
- Choose a powerful anti-virus and anti-malware program. There are many tools out there to help you identify and isolate any dangerous software that goes beyond your safeguards. Many of them can detect suspicious downloads before accessing them. Choose the solutions that are most suitable for your needs, and stay tuned to ensure you are protected against the latest threats. Spam filters are another excellent approach to protect corporate email from hacking.
- Choose two-factor authentication instead of one-factor. Users who want to access your email servers or service must provide something they know, such as a password. Once the user enters the proper password, a code or link is provided to confirm that the correct user is logging in. Simultaneous logins from the same account will be prevented with this strategy. If an employee is fired, be sure to deactivate their authentication to prevent future access.
- Maintain security awareness training on a regular basis. Make sure your employees are aware of password security, the significance of logging off when not in use, how to recognize phishing emails, and why they should never open an attachment from an unknown source. Teach your employees what to do if they suspect a scam, implement a system that requires strong passwords, and encourage them to keep their mailboxes clean so that spammers can be identified more quickly. In the case of password cracking, it’s also a good idea to require new and unique passwords after a certain period of time.
- Make sure all your emails are encrypted. If hackers acquire access to email on the go, encryption will prevent the most loyal users from retrieving potentially sensitive information. If you host in-house, your email service should offer guidelines for email encryption, or you can seek external support.
- In the event of a security breach, develop a solid response plan. When hackers get access to an email account, their focus shifts to gaining network access. You can significantly reduce damage if you can detect the intrusion promptly and have a prepared security strategy.
Email is used by businesses all around the world to invoice customers, communicate with suppliers, and collaborate internally. For many companies, email is their primary means of communication.
On the other hand, email is insecure. Attackers can use fake domains to make it look like their emails come from trustworthy contacts, they can use email to spread malware and spam. And they can employ social engineering to get users to make payments or register into bogus accounts.
Businesses can protect themselves from malware, such as ransomware or phishing, by implementing complete email security. By blocking incoming email threats, you can keep your business data safe from attackers if you have strong email security.