Email attacks are still the best way to target companies. If one of your employees opens a malicious link, then attackers can bypass all your cyber security defences. Thus, it is important to prevent email-based threats. There are various security practices that you can implement for protecting your users. In this article, we are going to share the best email security practices that you should follow. These practices will help you in keeping hackers out of your employee inbox.
Best Email Security Practices
If you are using an easy password, then attackers can easily guess it. Due to this your account will be breached. You can’t rely on passwords like “password123” or “qwerty”. Many people still these types of passwords. Hackers don’t even need to guess these passwords. They will run a brute-force attack for cracking your passwords. These brute-force tools can even crack moderate passwords. For example, you might think that “Pa$$w0rD120000” is a secure password. However, good brute-force tools can crack it in minutes.
You should ensure that all your employees are using unique and strong passwords. This will help you in protecting your users from brute force attacks. A good password should be 12 characters long at least. Try to use unique and random passwords. Make sure that your password doesn’t include any personal information as your personal info can be doxxed.
2FA or Two-factor authentication will help you in protecting your employee accounts. Your employees need to provide an additional credential for accessing their accounts. They can’t access their email account by typing their password only. 2FA will help you in adding an additional security layer. This will help you in countering both password cracking and brute-force attacks.
Your users need to provide their password and username. 2FA will require your employees to provide OTP or one-time passwords. This will ensure that attackers can’t access your employee account even after stealing their passwords. The best thing about 2FA is that it is very easy to deploy. Most email platforms are already offering 2FA to their users. You can enable it from the email settings.
Attackers will generally use email attachments for executing files in your employee system. They will use email attachments for sending malware into your system. Your employees should ask these questions before they open any email:
- Is the email coming from a legit address?
- Should I get this email attachment?
- Is the sender someone I can trust?
- Does attachment have extensions like .jar, .exe and .msi.
If your employees have even a small doubt, then they should never open the attachment. They should first check the content of every mail. This will ensure that your employees are opening real email only. You can use endpoint email security solutions for protecting your employees. These solutions will help you in protecting your employees from malicious files.
Make sure that your employees are not using Public Wi-Fi networks for accessing emails
If your employees are working from their home or remote location, then you should ensure that they are not accessing emails on a public network. Attackers can easily see the data that is transmitted on public Wi-Fi networks. They can check both login credentials and sensitive data that your employees are sending.
Make sure that your employees are only accessing their email if they are sure about the network security. The best way to solve this problem is by using VPN. Your employees can use VPNs for accessing their email from remote locations. This will help you in enabling remote work and also protecting your sensitive data.
Regular password changes
The easiest way to protect your email account is by ensuring that your employees are regularly changing their passwords. You should ask your employees to change passwords after every 2 months. Try to prevent employees from reusing the same old passwords. Make sure that they are not adding one new character to their old password. Also, you should force password changes as your employees will generally ignore this security policy. Thus, you need to enforce this security policy.
Every new password should follow the rules that we have already mentioned in this article. Make sure that every password is random and unique.
A phishing email will try to trick your employees into downloading malware. The main aim of a phishing attack is to either install the malware in employee devices or steal sensitive data. Phishing tactics are combined with social engineering methods for improving its efficiency. Some of the common strategies that attackers use are:
- They will send the hidden malicious file to your employee.
- Will pose as a superior and ask for sensitive data from attackers.
- They will pretend as a service provider and will ask your employees to login into a fake website.
- They might pretend to be a part of your security team and ask for passwords from your employees.
There is no perfect method to stop all phishing emails. Your employees will receive them. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are educating your employees. This will help you in protecting your employees from phishing emails.
The best way to deal with phishing attacks is by not clicking on any links or opening suspicious attachments. Your employees should use their common sense when they are interacting with email. This will help them in recognizing suspicious links and files. They should assess the reasoning behind the email content. Also, they should check the sender’s email address. They should also check the general state of the email. This will include things like business context and grammar.
Make sure your employees check email URLs
This is another effective and simple email security practice. Make sure that your employees inspect URLs before they click on any email. They can hover over the link for checking the link address. Make sure that they are looking for an HTTPS extension. If the email link doesn’t contain an HTTPS extension, then it is probably a fake email. Scammers will try to trick your employees into clicking on fake links.
Sometimes the website link will look like a familiar link. Scammers can replace one or two characters in the domain. Thus, your employees might think that they are clicking on the legit URL. However, it is important to ensure that they are closely examining the link.
Don’t reuse passwords
Your employees should use a strong and unique password for protecting their accounts. Their email password should be unique. Sometimes employees can use the same passwords for accessing tools and backend services.
This is also applicable to private accounts. For example, your employee might have the same password for their Facebook and bank account. If their Facebook account gets hacked, then their work and bank account will also get hacked. Thus, you should ensure that your employees are using a unique password for accessing work mail.
The best way to protect your email account is by using a password for every account. However, it is difficult to remember all these passwords. Thus, you can give password management tools to your employees. There are tools like Lastpass or 1Password which will help your employees in protecting their passwords. They can use these tools for generating strong and unique passwords. Your employees don’t need to remember these passwords. All they need to do is remember the main password for accessing the password manager tool.
A spam filter will help you in ensuring that only legit mails are coming into your employee inbox. This will help you in lowering the possibility of spamming and phishing. It will also ensure that your inbox is manageable and tidy. A spam filter will also help you in reducing the number of emails you receive. This will ensure that your employees are more focused when they are checking their inboxes. They can easily spot suspicious messages or emails.
Most people think that spam is only used for sending ads. However, a spam email can also contain ransomware or malware. A spam filter can help you can in stopping ransomware or malware from entering your employee inbox. This feature is already provided by major email providers. Thus, you can enable it from the settings.
Attackers can try to intercept your email. Sometimes your important email can go to the wrong email address. The best way to avoid these threats is by using email encryption. Encryption will help you in scrambling the original email content. This will ensure that your message is in an unreadable format. The recipient can use the decryption key for revealing the message text. This will ensure that attackers can’t intercept your email. Also, you don’t need to worry about sending your email to the wrong email address.
Make sure that your employees are not using business emails for private work
You should ensure that your employees are using their company email address for company-related work only. Make sure that they are not using this email account for private purposes like making accounts on social media sites and subscribing to the newsletter. They should never send work-related things to a private address. Also, make sure that they are not using their company email address for shopping online. This address shouldn’t be posted anywhere online like chat rooms or social media sites.
If your employees are sharing their email addresses, then it will increase the chance of a data leak. Hackers are always checking public sites for collecting information that they can sell. Thus, you should ensure that your employee email address is also protected.
If your employees are sending work-related stuff to private email, then anyone who has access to that email will get access to your important documents. Thus, it is important to ensure that your employees are not using your company email address for communicating with a private email address.
Educate your employees about the importance of IT and Email Security
You should ensure that you are educating your employees about best email security practices. If you are not building awareness, then your employees won’t use complex passwords. You should organize cybersecurity awareness sessions for your employees. Your employees should know about the best email security practices. They should know about the latest trends that attackers are following. You should ensure that your employees can detect phishing attacks.
They should inspect email addresses before opening any mail. Your employees should know how to create strong passwords. They should know where they can check the password and email-related policies. Make sure that your employees can react to suspicious or malicious emails.
You can deploy the best security measures for protecting your employees. However, phishing and spam emails can still make their way to your employee inbox. Thus, you should ensure that your employees can spot these emails. Your workforce should have a good understanding of email threats. This can help you in protecting your organization from IT attacks.
A single malicious email is enough to destroy your security protocols. Attackers can bypass your entire security strategy by sending a fake email to your employees. You can use the best email security practices for avoiding this. This will help you in improving your resistance against email-based threats. You should start protecting your business by using both proactive and active measures. Your employees should know about the best email security practices.
The best way to improve your cybersecurity posture is by working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will help you in implementing the best IT security controls. This will ensure that your employees have access to the best IT security strategies. They will help you in creating a good IT security strategy. Bleuwire will also help you in training your employees about the best IT security practices. They will also implement the best email security strategies for protecting your email accounts. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.