Picture a typical Monday morning. You are up and ready to start the week. You begin by logging into your email account, only to receive the shocking news that you’ve been locked out of all your accounts. What exactly happened?! Who has access to your information? Well, security breaches, cybercrime, identity theft, and corporate espionage come to mind at the onset. Let’s explore the business email security issues and email security solutions that come up in this scenario.
A recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report brings to our attention that over 66% malware was installed on a network via malicious email attachments. As email is essential to your business, it is an area that is especially vulnerable to threats. Hackers are creative and persistent; they are just waiting to exploit any weak link in your email security policy. We are providing you with business email security advice to help keep your emails, and ultimately your business, safe.
Business Email Security Practices for 2019
Follow these Tips for Email Security
Use a Multi-Layered Security Approach
Spammers are using techniques such as phishing emails, social engineering, keylogging Trojans, and malicious website links. Using a multi-layered security approach, from technology services to employee education, can help fend off malicious attacks. Businesses should use an email spam filter that helps reduce the amount of malware or spam entering your mailbox. Anti-virus software will help mitigate the damage should malicious content make its way onto your network. Educating employees about email security solutions will also help reduce or eliminate threats. Let’s take a look at the best email practices for businesses.
Related Article: How to Deal With Cyber Threats
Verify Before Clicking: Your internal official emails can also be susceptible to malware
Malware is mostly sent from external sources, but an employee could be unknowingly sending malicious emails from a malware-infected system. Additionally, an email address can be copied, or “spoofed,” to look like it’s coming from the person down the hall when in reality it’s an external spammer disguising the source.
Most users are more likely to click on a link or open an attachment sent by someone they know. Watch out for links in your email messages even if it seems that these are taking you to familiar locations, or coming from familiar contacts. If the link or email address contains odd variations in name or misspelling, or .org instead of .com email address, it is wise to verify it before you click. You can check a link in an email by hovering over it without clicking.
If an email, email address, or attachment seems suspicious, reach out to the sender via a new email message or other methods like phone or text. Never respond to a suspected spam email.
Related Article: Ways To Protect Your Online Information
Block Large Email Attachments
Emails should not contain large attachments. Most email providers will not deliver attachments over a certain size threshold. As a standard email security policy, use alternative resources such as Google Drive or Dropbox when sending or receiving large files.
It is more common for malware to be disguised in PDF’s, Word documents with macros, and Excel files. Just one click on the affected file can corrupt your entire mailbox.
Do not open any attachments or click on any links from an unfamiliar source!
Employee Training and Security Practices
Training employees on email security practices from their first day of employment is an important step in prevention. Implement an email policy that all of your employees should follow. Reiterate the importance of not clicking on links or open attachments from unknown senders or unexpected emails, and the basic security practices listed below.
Encrypt your emails to ensure that your private information is not stolen. This step will prevent hackers from intercepting your emails and deliver to only the intended address. With email encryption, you’ll need to decrypt and read the message, but it is a valuable tool to protect your sensitive data in transit and is worth the additional cost it usually requires.
Basic Business Email Security Practices to Remember
● Change your password regularly
● Use secure passwords and don’t repeat them for different sites
● Consider using a secure website for password management and generation
● Do not use your business email address for personal matters, and vice versa
● Use generic passwords – no birthdates, SSN, addresses, common names
● Log out of websites when you are done
Now that you know about business email security best practices, nothing should stand in the way of your business. Make sure that everyone in your organization grasps the true meaning of email data theft and protection. Remember that hackers are everywhere, and will try all that is possible to steal your data. However, implementing the right data protection and standards will help you protect your data integrity. The solution that you choose depends upon the need of your organization.