Email is a critical component of your company’s communications. But it is also vulnerable to many cyber-attacks.
These attacks include phishing, baiting, and social engineering to download malware that can damage the organization’s communication network.
To safeguard email communication, you need specific security protocols. These include encryption, multi-factor authentication, advanced cybersecurity tools, and human vigilance.
Email encryption keeps emails and attachments private so only the intended recipient can read them. This is an important part of email security because emails can contain highly sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, financial terms, and other confidential business information. Without encryption, anyone who intercepts an unencrypted email can gain access to this information and use it against you.
When implementing email encryption, look for email security solutions that balance ease of use and strong security. Ideally, you want a solution that works through your current email platform or program, so employees don’t have to take extra steps to secure their messages. It’s also good to consider email encryption incorporating digital signatures to identify who sent an email and whether or not it has been tampered with.
Some of the best email encryption solutions offer end-to-end encryption, meaning the message is encrypted from start to finish so that only the sender and the receiver can decrypt it. This type of email encryption is typically based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology, which provides robust protection for data at rest and in transit. It is the same kind of technology that you might see protecting your web browser’s traffic with the green lock symbol when you’re on a secure site.
- Multi-Factor Authentication
Email is a popular vector for cyber attacks, including ransomware, spyware, worms and malware. Attackers also use email to steal sensitive information like PII, PHI or intellectual property for industrial espionage purposes.
Without email security, it is incredibly easy for attackers to get access to the confidential information that employees share via email. However, protecting a business’s email communication with the right tools is possible.
Some important components of email security include antispam filters, antivirus protection, and multi-factor authentication. These tools work together to protect a business’s email and employees from various cyber threats. For example, a spam filter detects and blocks junk mail and helps prevent emails with malicious file attachments from reaching the inbox. Email encryption also helps to conceal communications by converting them into a garbled arrangement of letters, numbers and symbols that unauthorized parties can’t read.
Additionally, it is important to implement an adaptive MFA solution. This type of tool uses contextual and behavioral data, like the location from which an email is accessed (e.g., a public Wi-Fi network), the time since the user last authenticated, and other red flags to assess risk and determine whether an employee should be allowed access to the system. This type of solution effectively reduces the risk of cyber attacks by requiring multiple levels of authentication.
- Advanced Cybersecurity Tools
Email security solutions safeguard emails and the infrastructure that supports them from cyber-attacks. They protect mail servers, mail clients, and other email systems against malware, phishing, spoofing, and other threats that can lead to data breaches and loss of revenue.
Cybercriminals use phishing baits and social engineering tactics to hack email accounts, which have access to sensitive information, including customer data and credentials. Once hackers access an employee’s account, they can send messages with links designed to steal critical information or install malware.
A lack of email security is a great way for cyber-criminals to monetize confidential information shared via email by selling it to competitors. Attackers can also use this information to launch targeted attacks against the company’s customers.
Authenticity measures like message relay attack prevention are also important to email security. These technologies use cryptographic standards and protocols to help verify an email’s legitimacy, ensuring it hasn’t been delayed, saved, or modified and sent again.
Businesses should invest in comprehensive email security to prevent cyber-attacks, protect the integrity of sensitive information, and ensure compliance with regulatory bodies such as GDPR and HIPAA. Moreover, they must ensure that employees receive comprehensive training to understand different email threats and how to avoid them. The training should cover best password practices, ransomware, and Business Email Compromise (BEC).
- Human Vigilance
Email security covers a range of cybersecurity concepts that protect email accounts and the communications sent or received through them against cyber threats like phishing, ransomware, spam, brand impersonation, and more. While traditional approaches like DMARC authentication can help safeguard the authenticity of email, email security also includes more comprehensive solutions like cyber awareness training and phishing testing for employees.
Cyber attacks like phishing and social engineering are the biggest threats to email security because they directly target employees and can have devastating consequences for the company. Three in four cyber security professionals surveyed for the Cyber Security Hub
The most important part of email security is ensuring employees know potential attacks and how to recognize them. This involves leveraging effective email security awareness training that uses short, Hollywood-quality videos and real data about employee engagement to teach them how to spot suspicious emails and take the right steps in the event of an attack. Additionally, it’s crucial to encourage employees to be cautious when opening file attachments from unknown senders and always hover their mouse over links to ensure they are not going to a malicious website. This will also reduce the number of incidents caused by phishing and other malicious files and file-sharing errors.