There has never been a time more than now for businesses to be concerned about cyberattacks – and especially ones carried out through emails. Cybercriminals are targeting businesses of all sizes as they attempt to unleash destruction and gain access to critical files and data.
According to recent research from IRONSCALES, 81 percent of organizations worldwide have experienced an increase in email phishing attacks since March 2020. And another recent study by APWG observed a record number of phishing attacks between July and September 2022.
More than 75 percent of cyberattacks begin with someone opening a malicious email. These emails are intended to extract data from the recipient — known as phishing. The type of data they are after is usually a password, which is used to gain further access to a company's network.
Too often, small and medium-sized business owners make the mistake of thinking that they won't fall prey to a cybercriminal. For example, only one in five organizations deliver phishing awareness training to their employees once a year.
The reality is that cybercriminals frequently target smaller businesses. More than 40 percent of cyberattacks are going after small businesses, primarily because they usually don't take the same security precautions that larger organizations do. They are also more likely to pay a ransom.
The consequences of these cyberattacks on a business can be devastating, and it's not just a matter of major financial losses. Studies show that 60 percent of small businesses that experience a data breach close their doors within six months of the attack.
Because the stakes are so huge, identifying ways to significantly increase your business's email security is now more important than ever. Your company needs to be as secure as it can possibly be.
Watch this video for steps on protecting your business email:
Here we will share five steps that your business should take to beef up your email security. If you take these actions, you'll likely be more confident that the chances of your company becoming a victim of a cybercriminal are significantly diminished.
1) Utilize Better Password Management
Focus on creating long, strong, randomly generated passwords if you want to strengthen your company's email security. Keep in mind that phishing attacks typically target user's passwords. It just takes one cyberattack to put your business data, customer data, and financial information in danger of being stolen.
The last thing you want to do is have your employees use the same passwords for multiple accounts. Your business will have no reliable way to manage passwords or ensure your workers are regularly changing passwords.
The most simple and easiest way to boost your password security is by using a password manager. This will create impossible-to-guess passwords, and your employees won't have to remember them. The beauty of a password manager is that it will keep your passwords secure and autofill them for you.
Doing this prevents the issue of passwords being reused for other online accounts – which is a major security risk.
Along with these measures, your business should also enable multi-factor authentication or MFA. This gives your company an additional line of security. It will send you a single-use password or PIN via your mobile device or a USB key every time you log in. While this may be more time-consuming, it will significantly increase your email security.
2) Use Encrypted Email
You are assured of improving your company's email security if you encrypt your email. This will go a long way toward protecting your user's and business data. No matter how big or small a business you are, it is important to have encrypted emails.
This doesn't have to be a costly or complex process. There are numerous cost-effective and easy-to-use encryption services that you can sign up for to secure your emails.
The primary purpose of encrypting emails is to ensure that emails are only received by their intended recipient while the data in these email messages are also protected. This process involves a user logging in to view the encrypted emails. As a result, email senders have greater control over email, and this includes being able to rescind access to email that is sent to the wrong people. Email senders will also be able to see when emails are opened and stop emails from being sent.
One reason encrypted email is so vital is that there has been a substantial increase in malware attacks that are designed to compromise emails. But if companies like yours use encryption, attackers will be thwarted from reading sensitive business emails. This also helps to protect email data that is sent over the cloud and prevent data from being intercepted.
3) Put into Practice Anti-Virus & Endpoint Protection
One important step you can take to boost your company's email security is implementing endpoint anti-virus protection across all your office devices. This is an essential measure in preventing ransomware and malware. It will stop any malware or ransomware that is delivered through email from infecting your endpoint devices.
Malware is able to be delivered via email in the form of compromised attachments and links to websites that contain malicious downloads. But anti-virus solutions scan files and websites to ensure they aren't malicious while assisting users in extracting malware that is found on their systems.
4) Establish and Enforce Corporate Email Policy
A comprehensive email policy is essential because it protects your brand, lessens the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches, and defines how employees need to use a business's email.
This corporate email policy formally outlines the guidelines for the appropriate use of business email. The objective is to ensure all employees are aware of their responsibilities when utilizing company email and spelling out what employees can and cannot do. These terms need to be agreed upon by staff and management.
Specifically, this corporate email policy addresses corporate email retention issues, limits on what types of files employees are permitted to exchange with others, guidance concerning prohibited content, and the handling of confidential data. This policy could extend to informing your staff that they could be subject to monitoring of their actions for compliance purposes. Prior to being given access, it is a good idea to ask employees to confirm that they have read and understand the email policy by signing off a confirmation document.
5) Implement Training for Security Awareness
Security awareness training is the foundation of your company-wide campaign to increase email security. Businesses like yours need to invest in security awareness training to equip their employees with the tools and resources they need to act safely regarding email and other information security risks.
This comprehensive security awareness training program is intended to train your staff on the potential threats to your company's information and how to prevent situations that could jeopardize your organization's data. It's not the equipment but the people that are the weakest link when it comes to email security threats. Cybercriminals set out to exploit weaknesses in human behavior in order to compromise your business's information systems.
Organizations should train their workers on how to identify and respond to email-related cyberattacks like spam, malicious attachments, spoofing, social engineering, phishing, and spear-phishing attempts using customized training programs.
Look to Adept Networks for Providing Your Business with the Best Email Security
At Adept Networks, keeping emails safe is what we do every day. We can help by training your staff and putting a raft of technical measures in place to lessen the chances of an attack and to reduce the impact if it does happen.
We are able to create a gateway to block or quarantine suspicious emails, scanning both incoming and outgoing emails for malicious content. And we can deploy end-to-end encryption, which stops anyone from reading the content of your email unless they have the correct encryption key. This means that your email is only ever received by the intended person, and data cannot be tampered with.
If you would like Adept Networks to make sure your business emails are secure, we invite you to reach out to us today.