Email remains to be the number one tool for business communication. It also implies that hackers use it as the primary channel to attack firms, companies, and enterprises. The common cases underline that despite being warned about cybercrimes, people tend to ignore basic rules and download viruses, causing thousands and millions of dollars to the companies.
That’s why organizations want to improve their email cyber security, set specific policies, and identify threats at email gateways.
Read on to know more about email cyber security and how you make your computer safer.
Why is Email Security Important
How many network security email threats are there? More than enough. Email communication remains the leading means for infecting the employees’ computers, resulting in the possible circumvention of the whole corporate system.
Email security is essential as it protects sensitive data and avoids frauds as well as reputation or financial losses. In particular, the most common threats are:
- Social engineering. It aims to get sensitive information and utilize it for subsequent attacks targeted at creating fraudulent schemes.
- Phishing attacks. Hackers use these types to steal information regarding bank accounts and cards and manipulate customers or users to get their money.
- Malware. This kind of activity contemplates sending a file containing a virus that can harm the company’s computer systems.
- Spam. The particular emails are also called junk emails that can be harmless. Yet, due to their shady nature, they can also have phishing or malware elements aimed at the inattentive workers.
- Business Enterprise Compromise. The complicated attacks that hackers launch to get sensitive information and steal money or data. It usually involves a personal approach and is aimed at financial departments. That way, hackers impersonate employees of the companies to get the payrolls or information that can be used for blackmail.
As you can see, there are enough threats. In 2020, the American companies lost around $4 billion due to email attacks, not to mention the reputation effects. Email cyber security is vital for preventing companies from being subject to criminal activity. Besides, a robust cloud email security can help protect the data of the employees and clients, adding to the brand and credibility of the company.
How to Improve Email Security
You or your company may have protection against cyber attacks. Yet, they are advancing all the time, incorporating new impersonation tactics. That’s why the additional protection methods can contribute to the safety of computer systems. Notably, they can refer to increasing awareness about the issues, adding new layers of protection, and incorporating encryption for greater control over the data.
Let’s consider the leading solutions that allow keeping the computers safe from the attacks:
Gateway protection is a way to control all the incoming messages heading to the organization’s inboxes, as well as the messages an employee sends. In other words, it is a server that inspects the emails engaging with the company’s email system. Notably, there are three types of gateways protection: encryption gateway, spam filters, and secure analysis.
The first type is about encrypting and decrypting outcoming and incoming messages, respectively. It allows analyzing and protecting the messages before the subsequent distribution. The second group is concerned with establishing filters that would manage the emails regarding the specific patterns. They may refer to the words, content elements, or domains. Such mechanisms are adequate for determining spam messages. The third one implies the advanced machine learning and sandbox approaches applicable in large systems.
Usually, the IT departments integrate the first or the second email security solution, sometimes both. The main reason is that they are pretty simple and allow detecting the threats on the entry level. For instance, the filters just send junk emails into spam boxes. Yet, the downfall is that the user can still get the system infected if they ignore the recommendations or warnings from the system.
Backing the files
The particular email security solution can be very effective against malware or ransomware. When you download files or install specific programs, they can block a computer and require you to pay ransom for the unblocking. If you have your files blocked, you are likely to reinstall the operating system and restore the files. It is the easiest way to save them.
That’s why you should have different storage for files and their copies. The strong cloud email security would offer a backup on the cloud. However, you can also have your files’ backup on a hard drive.
Use sandbox approach
Notably, not every file you get from a shady source should be deleted. The sandbox email security solution contemplates the environment that is isolated from the central system, allowing you to scan the file and identify risks without the threat of infecting the whole computer.
For instance, you work as a marketer or a salesperson, and you need to find emails of your leads. In your case, one of the options is to buy email lists. Yet, their sender is usually questionable, and you do not know how those emails were found.
In this regard, you should use a sandbox email security appliance to make sure you will not be a victim. Besides, if you decide to look for corporate emails, you should use bulk email finder software that is ethical and has transparent searching algorithms behind it.
Email encryption methods
Also, email cyber security in its application largely relies on the encryption of the data. Contemporary organizations widely utilize email encryption and try to automate this process to protect the data. The principle behind this email security solution is the following: the encryption process is applied to any sensitive data, which is determined to be so before leaving the company’s servers.
That way, the company ensures that the hackers’ chances of harming the company are lower if the message is intercepted. The higher the encryption methods, the better it is for the company. Yet, such a solution is unlikely to prevent a breach resulting from a human factor or account hijacking.
Apply email authentication standards
On the other hand, the IT departments can use additional layers of protection referring to authentication. These email security solutions are effective against phishing attacks, spoofing, and even business email compromise.
The particular protection methods aim to verify and support the sender authentication: Sender Policy Framework (against address forgery), Domain Keys Identified Mail (offering signature and encryption keys for the validation of the email integrity), Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (combining two methods to determine where to locate suspicious files). These principles define the nature of the email based on the sender’s information.
Besides, an IT department may apply multifactor authentication to improve the security of the email account or server. If a hacker gets access to the account, they can create sophisticated social engineering attacks being inside the system. Thus, you have to make sure that your email account is secure. In this regard, multifactor authentication is applied.
Additional codes are granted with a specific email security appliance, device, or flashcard to prove the identity and access the account. At the same time, the phone or reserve email can also be used as a tool to recover files or get access if the algorithms detect suspicious activity.
As a result, such network security email solutions prevent the hijacking of the account and block any attempt to do so. That way, the access may be regained or mitigated by the possible social engineering risks.
For sure, there are enough email security products. Certain cybersecurity companies offer solid solutions for corporate actors. How does it work? The most straightforward case is the antivirus program with certain filters that can show you if you download suspicious files and add them to quarantine. The antiviruses with cloud solutions and email security integrations can help small and middle-sized businesses.
If you are looking for one that will protect your personal computer or add to the organization’s security, try to check the email security software reviews. For instance, Avast Kaspersky and McAfee have email security solutions within their suites. Yet, picking the best email security software depends on the goals and sizes of the company, as well as its email system.
Lastly, most of the attacks still come through because of the human factor. People tend to forget about simple rules regarding email cyber security and ignore corporate cyber security policies. The standard rules are that you should never open emails from the shady domain or with over-promotional subject lines. Besides, it is important not to download any files and insert any private information like bank credentials and passwords.
In terms of the corporate policies on cyber security, people use public Wi-Fi networks, share their information with third parties, and ignore password recommendations. All such actions lead to data leaks, breaches, and financial losses associated with emails. Thus, the corporate organization should have a firm policy supported by the training pieces. Improving the cybersecurity literacy of the employees can help to minimize the risks.
What does email security mean?
Email security is a set of standards applied to the email accounts and the contents of the emails to prevent any fraudulent activity of the third parties. They refer to the protection of the account access, sensitive information, and definition of the protocols for the usage by the employees.
Email security risks and how to reduce them?
The email security risks refer to the vast number of operations referring to phishing, social engineering, malware, ransomware, and spam, to name a few. If hackers manage to manipulate users or employees into establishing malicious programs or sharing private information, they can use it for more extensive fraudulent activity. Companies or employees can use protective measures to reduce them, including antivirus software, gateway protection, and firm policy regarding suspicious emails.
What does email protected mean?
The term “email protected” means that the email was protected by the Email Obfuscation Feature by Cloudflare so that it is hidden from the bots and spammers. It is the email security solution to decrease the spam-sending to the address.