Email security means different techniques that take part in protecting email content and accounts. It is the procedure to ensure the authenticity, and availability against the perils of email threats because emails are repeatedly used to unfurl phishing attacks and spam. In order to make this attempt successful, the attackers send an email with the attachments and the links.
Table of Contents
- Email security is important: why?
- A small loophole can damage the whole business
- Email is the commonest target for cyber attackers
- Essential foe the business to guard the data
- Cyber attackers use advance methods
- Benefits of email security for a business
- Threats to email security identified
- Malicious links
- Data loss
- How to secure your email?
- A strong password
- Turn MFA (multi-factor authentication) on
- Phishing email filtering
- Train your employees
- Be conscious of the Wi-Fi networks
- Security practices for email marketing
- Educate your audience
- Rely on a suitable email automation software
If a user clicks that link or attachment the malware installs on the user’s device. Likewise, these attacks are so common in the market where the hackers and attackers are behind the company data, network, and obtain valuable information. Emails have become a primary mode of communication within and outside the industries and enterprises. This is one of the reasons the attackers stress hard to target them.
Also, to make it simple, email security is the practice of some measures to keep sensitive data in email accounts secure. As a matter of fact, the communication between C-level Execs, and the other employees largely takes place via email. Further, let us be fair that email is not secure just like other technology. Following this situation and necessity, it is highly important to keep communication secure as a priority.
Email Security Is Important: Why?
Email is one of the fundamental elements for business communication, inside and outside of the organization communication, and IT tasks. It is undoubtedly a popular vector, hence, the users must take it into consideration to make it secure and against any kind of malware and attacks to attempt unauthorized access to their email accounts.
Further, your email is always superior and sometimes soft target by the attacker due to human error and other vulnerabilities. The DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report) 2020 says emails are among the two attacks vectors. There are other examples too where facts and figures reveal the importance of email security. Moreover, according to the PurpleSec Cyber Security Statistics report, 92% of the malware is delivered through emails.
As we are in the digital era and we rely on emails for communication purposes. Therefore, it is essential for organizations to invest in cyber security infrastructure.
Here are some reasons that explain why should you consider email security the top priority:
A Small Loophole Can Damage the Whole Business
It is possible for the malware to enter the communication network and disturb the whole system of an organization via a small loophole. If the network is hit by more deadly malware, the situation can worsen. Furthermore, the cyber attackers get this data, sell it to the bidders or leak this sensitive data into the public domain. Not only the inexperienced employees can be the prey of this, but even the seasoned professionals can fall victim.
Email Is the Commonest Target for Cyber Attackers
Do you know what is the first thing that an employee gets as soon as he enters an organization? His official email account for sure. By using this email account, he accesses the information and shares it with the other employees. To discuss anything official and other communication, everyone uses email as the primary medium. Similarly, this medium is used in both normal and unusual situations like remotely working.
When it comes to remote work, the number of emails increases due to a distant factor. This situation is open to risk and there are a lot of chances that the employees will attack by cyber attackers. These attackers mostly use baits, phishing, etc., to crack the security.
Essential for the Businesses to Guard the Data
The information of the company is highly confidential and sensitive that can be used against the company and for a criminal purposes. The hackers can enter the communication cycle and change the messages as per their intentions. Not only this, they can send messages to the communicators to send any particular file that might be so private for any outer person.
This kind of situation causes the breach of sensitive information. Further, every person who uses the company’s official email must be aware of the fact that a minor mistake can lead to a devastating situation and interrupt the whole workflow.
Cyber Attackers Use Advanced Methods
Technological advancements sometimes prove to be a headache for someone. Although, these advancements are necessary to make in order to get something new and upgraded. But there are the situations where a person fails to protect their important information when a cyber-attacker uses these technologies.
They breach the security firewall and sneak into the most important cycle of communication without any clue to the other employees. Some of the methods we name MLP (machine learning poisoning) and AIF (artificial intelligence fuzzing) enable the attackers to automate the cyberattacks. The hackers can use these technologies for their own purpose and disrupt the working system.
Benefits of Email Security for a Business
As we have discussed in the above lines that enterprises and organizations use email for business operations. Email security provides immense benefits for businesses of all sizes whether they are small, medium, or large.
Some of the benefits are as under:
- Email security helps in ensuring the availability of email services safely where the employees continue to get in touch with other colleagues and the customers.
- Email security builds a sense of trust in a business for the users and they can figure out that the email is coming from the authentic domain.
- An organization can reduce the possibilities of fraud with the capabilities of recognizing the email security risks, i.e., spoofing.
- Email security minimizes the risks of malware that might be transmitted by email.
Threats to Email Security Identified
Some of the common threats to email security are as under:
Email is one of the idyllic delivery contrivances for malware. Malware can easily be attached to a document as an attachment or a hyperlink in the email. As soon as the recipient clicks these attachments or hyperlinks, it installs on your device. After installation, it becomes easy for it to thieve the data inside.
Phishing attacks are also among the well-known threats to email security. It begins with the attacks just like Nigerian Prince scams. These scams were recognized for their incredible grounds and grammatical mistakes. With the passage of time and the advent of advanced technologies, the methods become more sophisticated. Nowadays, the attackers send a more polished message than never before with believable pretexts.
Today, the attacks can be targeted or general. By targeted attacks, we mean spear phishing attacks. These attacks are well designed for a group or a person. On the other hand, if we talk about a common phishing attack, it is called BEC (business email compromise). In this kind of attack, the target sends confidential data or money to the attacker.
An attacker can embed an email with a malicious link where he directs the user to a webpage controlled by him. This method is very much weaponized by the cybercriminals in the email. When a user directs to the webpage, he can be manipulated for various purposes. These phishing pages can steal the recipients’ credentials.
Email accounts that we use in a company are attached to the internal system of communication and we can have access to sensitive information. A hacker attacks this sensitive information to access it. Also, an employee can easily fall prey to this phishing attack and accidentally adds an unauthorized party to an email chain.
How to Secure Your Email?
Email is one of the most used medium of communication. That is why, along with the marketers, the hackers also use this easily and effectively for their malicious purposes. These attacks can be prevented on a large scale if the employees follow the best email security practices.
Some of them are as under:
A Strong Password
If you do not want to compromise your email account, do not use a weak password. The weak and leaked passwords are harmful to the email accounts and they make them compromised. That is why we recommend you to use a strong password that is highly important for email security purposes.
Turn MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) On
Let us suppose that if a hacker attempts an attack and wants to access your email credentials, a weak account can be a wet morsel for him. It is possible for them to attack the compromised account. If you turn multi-factor authentication on, it makes it tough for them to perform account takeover because they will need more information than the user’s password.
Phishing Email Filtering
Many email service providers try to prevent phishing content. But there are some possibilities that some of the attacks pass through these filters too. If you want to keep that phishing messages away, you need to add phishing email filtering to your system. This mechanism will prevent phishing emails to your inbox.
Train Your Employees
Phishing attacks are attached to the attachments and the malicious hyperlinks that are used by the attackers. By clicking the link or the attachment the malware will be installed that will be harmful. Further, to prevent this situation, you are advised to provide your employees with cyber awareness training where they need to learn how to handle such messages. By keeping all the knowledge, you will be able to minimize the impact of malicious attacks.
Be Conscious of the WI-FI Networks
According to the experts, you need not access a Wi-Fi account that is not secured. Always use a trusted network to perform your tasks. Especially, open your email when you are 100 percent sure that the network is secured. Otherwise, there are huge chances that you will hurt your email security.
Also, do not allow an application asks the making any changes in the email. When you allow these apps to make changes, you stand on the verge of risk that makes your account highly in jeopardy.
Security Practices for Email Marketing
Email is a highly popular method of communication with 205 billion daily email messages. Moreover, it is a good sign for marketers to use this potential and make their mark in the market. A well-trimmed email marketing campaign can take your business to new heights. As we have discussed a lot the hackers and attackers are well aware of the importance of emails and their usage in the companies. That is the reason, they try to steal the data of the customers.
But here are some of the ways to protect your organization’s reputation when you send an email marketing campaign:
Educate Your Audience
This is out of the question to be consistent with the fake idealism that there is no threat of hackers whatsoever. If you will not educate your audience by telling them the reality of malware and phishing, it can damage your organization. To prevent this problem, we suggest you add a section on the home page or warning and link it with the educational content about the possible email security attack.
Also, This is highly beneficial in the process if your company sends frequent email marketing campaigns to the audience. Educate your audience by sending them emails and videos where they get educated about the real and spam.
Rely on a Suitable Email Automation Software
When you intend to send an email marketing campaign, you need to go with the best suitable email marketing automation platform. The most important thing in this regard is that, make sure the platform is secured and efficient against malware and suspicious activities. Also, if your internet service provider (ISP) is vulnerable, you are going to face a lot of risks.
To conclude, we can say that it is important to take email security measures to limit security threats. Furthermore, you can take steps such as multifactor authentication, educate your audience, human training, turn MFA on, a strong password, and choose the best email marketing automation tool for your email marketing campaign.