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The Ultimate Guide to Email security

By November 29, 2021No Comments10 min read
Email Security Guide

Email security is very important for modern businesses. Phishing attempts, compliance violations, and bogus attachments are some of the problems that you need to deal with. It is important to ensure that your employees are not clicking on phishing emails. Attackers are still using simple attacks like phishing attacks to target companies. Thus, modern businesses can’t ignore email security. In this article, we are going to talk about email security.

Why email security is important for your business?

Email security is an important part of your cybersecurity. The content of your email is not the only important part of your email. You might think that you are not emailing the state secrets. Thus, you don’t need to worry about the information that you are sharing. However, you should be still careful as you will be sharing valuable information about your business.

Attackers don’t use their email for sending content only. They are using email as a gateway for attacking the larger network. If an attacker has access to your network, then they can steal all the data that you are storing.

Common Email Security Threats

Cyberattacks are always evolving with time. It is important to ensure that you are keeping up with them. Attackers are becoming more creative and smart with time. Thus, it is difficult to keep up with them.

However, you can still protect yourself if you know about the common threats.

  1. Phishing

This is the most common email security threat. It refers to an attack where someone will ask for valuable information. A spear-phishing attack is an advanced form of a phishing attack. In this, the attacker will use the information that they have stolen to get more information.

It is very important to ensure that your employees know about these phishing emails. They should know how to differentiate between legit and phishing emails. This can help you in protecting your business from attackers.

  1. Social engineering

This is another very common attack. Most attackers will generally use social engineering attacks for stealing data. The best thing about this attack is that attackers don’t need to target any machine. It is difficult to break the code written by developers. Thus, attackers will target your employees. They will send malicious links, attachments, or emails to your employees. If your employees click on the link, then their accounts will be compromised.

It is related to spoofing where the attacker will present false information as legit data. Your employees will think that they are talking to the right person. However, they will be talking with the attacker.

  1. BEC or Business Email compromise

A BEC is a very special case of spear phishing. In this, the attacker will act as some high-level executive. The scammer will try to scam your employees. Your employees will think that they are receiving an email from some high-level executive. Thus, they will follow the instructions that are mentioned in the email. Attackers can steal data or even money from your employees.

  1. Spam

Most people think that spam is annoying only. They don’t understand the dangerous side of spam. Attackers can include Trojans, malware, malicious links, and other security threats in these ads. Spam can be sent by a bot that is controlled by an attacker. Sometimes attackers can customize the spam message to trick your employees.

  1. Malware

Malicious software like Trojans, ransomware, and other programs can also attack your systems. Ransomware is a special type of malware that is designed to encrypt your files only. If you want to decrypt your files, then you need to pay ransom to attackers. There is no guarantee that attackers will decrypt the files after getting the ransom. Trojans are even more dangerous malware. They will give access to your machine to attackers. Attackers can check everything that is stored on your computer.

  1. DDoS and Botnet

Botnets are a set of computers that are controlled by attackers. They will use the botnet for phishing and spam campaigns. Attackers can also use their botnet for launching a DDoS attack. These attacks can disrupt your entire business as your servers will go down. There are various methods to create chaos by using a botnet.

Email security is hard to achieve. You need to use both technological and human prevention for protecting your data. If you are trying to block any threats before they even affect your system, then you need to use some barriers.

How your employees can spot email threats?

Your employees should understand that all the emails that demand money are mostly malicious. They should be very careful with these emails. If some business email appears to be legit and it is coming from a bank, then you should always double-check. Make sure that the email was actually sent from the bank. If the email address is random, then you should never trust it.

Attackers will generally ask you to pay through cryptocurrency or wire them money. Make sure that you are avoiding emails that ask you to wire money. If some email is asking you to use these payment methods, then you should double-check with your IT team. Never open attachments from people that you don’t know or don’t trust.

You should also check the grammar or spelling of every email. Most spam emails will have bad grammar. Thus, you can easily verify that the mail is coming from some spam machine. If anyone asks you for a password on email, then they are probably a scammer. You should never share social security numbers, passwords, and upfront deposits on email.

Email Security Best Practices 

You can follow the best practices for protecting your email. We are going to share some of the best email security practices. Make sure that everyone on your network is following these practices. Even one compromised employee account can take down your entire network.

  1. Always use common sense

The best way to prevent cyberattacks is by practicing the best digital habits. You should have a good dose of skepticism. If you have received a weird email, then you shouldn’t open it. Also, you don’t need to click on any attachments or links. These attachments will generally have malware.

Make sure that you are not sharing highly sensitive data via email. This simply means that should never send your business secrets, banking details, social security number, and passwords through email.

  1. Strengthen your passwords

Make sure that your employees are using strong passwords. If you are using weak passwords, then attackers can easily guess your passwords. They can use a brute force attack for checking all the possible passwords. Attackers can also find your password on the dark web after a data breach.

There are multiple methods that attackers can use for stealing your passwords. Thus, you should ensure that you are using unique passwords for your accounts.

If you want to create a strong password, then you can use a passphrase. A passphrase is a collection of words that you can use for making a strong password.

There are password managers available in the market that you can use. These password managers will help you in creating strong and unique passwords. Thus, you don’t need to worry about remembering these passwords. All you need to do is use these password managers for creating a unique password.

  1. Enable MFA

You can increase your security by using Multi-factor authentication (MFA). It will help you in protecting your account from attackers. If you are using MFA, then OTP will be sent to your SMS. You can also use 3rd party apps like Microsoft Authenticator and Google Authenticator for protecting your account.

Most email providers are using 2FA for protecting their users. You can enable this setting for your email.

  1. Use Email security software

Your email provider will have a built-in spam catcher that you can use for avoiding spam emails. However, if you want even better protection then you should go for spam filtering services.

Your email provider will help you in filtering out the obvious spam emails. But, sometimes they can also remove legit messages from your inbox. Your spam mails will be automatically deleted after every 30 days. Thus, you should check your spam folder regularly to ensure that you are not missing any legit messages.

There are various email security tools available in the market. These tools will help you in protecting your inbox from phishing and other scams. You will get additional protection against unsafe links, sketchy downloads, and malicious attachments.

  1. Email encryption

If you are sending an email, then there is always a chance that attackers can intercept it. Encryption will help you in changing the original content of your email into an unreadable mess. This will ensure that attackers can’t understand the content of your email. You need to provide authentication for decrypting the content of the email.

There are various web-based encryption services that you can use for encrypting your email. Email providers like Outlook and Gmail will provide you option to encrypt your emails. You don’t need to worry about using any 3rd-party application for encrypting your emails.

  1. Update your systems

It is important to ensure that all your systems are updated. These updates exist for a reason. Developers will update their software after finding security vulnerabilities in their products. This will ensure that attackers can’t use known vulnerabilities for attacking your systems.

The WannaCry Ransom attack affected more than 200k systems in the world because their OS was not updated. Thus, you should ensure that you are regularly updating your OS and tools. This will help you in protecting your data from attackers. Email data breaches can go unnoticed for months or weeks. Thus, they can be bad for your brand image.

  1. Data Loss Prevention System

You should take all the precautions that you can take for preventing email data loss. However, these steps can sometimes slow down your workflow. DLP solutions can help you in optimizing your email security without affecting your employee productivity. DLP solutions will help you in managing all the sensitive data that is present in your network.

A DLP solution will help you in identifying and monitoring data that is motion or in use on your network. It will also ensure that the data at rest is also secure.

  1. Secure your attachments

Your outbound attachments will generally have valuable information. Email providers like Gmail will help you in encrypting your email. However, they are not going to encrypt your attachments. Thus, you should ensure that you are encrypting the attachment from your side.

This will protect your attachment from attackers. Attackers can’t check the data present in the attachment even after accessing your email.

If you are sending word files, then you can send them as PDF files to trick the attackers. The PDF files can be password-protected. Thus, you can protect your valuable data.

  1. Add a legal disclaimer

There is no guarantee that your recipient will know that you are sending confidential data. Thus, you should ensure that you are sending a legal disclaimer to your recipient.

There might be some limitations to disclaimers that you can add. You should ensure that the disclaimer is approved by the compliance officials. This will help you in avoiding legal troubles in the future.

Conclusion

Email security is very important for your business. However, it is difficult to implement all these solutions if you don’t have a good IT security team. Thus, you should consider outsourcing IT and email security to a good MSP. This will help you in saving a lot of time and money. You need access to the necessary infrastructure for making sure that your network is protected.

Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in solving this problem. You will get access to the best security professionals available in the market. Also, you can use the latest security tools for protecting your network. You don’t need to worry about implementing these security solutions. Bleuwire will create a unique security strategy for your business. Thus, you don’t need to worry about hiring an in-house IT security team. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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