Why good email security is essential for every business

What is email security?

Threats to email security are on the rise.Research conducted for cyber security hub 2022 Mid-Market Report i got you 75% of cybersecurity professionals believe email-based attacks, such as phishing and social engineering, are the “most dangerous” cybersecurity threats to their organizations. Businesses need to protect this vulnerable asset without compromising communication efficiency.

Email security is essential to protect your business from external threats, but it’s also essential to protect your brand’s customers from outbound threats. Without an adequate email security strategy, businesses expose themselves, their customers, and their customers to the consequences of cybersecurity incidents such as phishing and data breaches. Business Email Compromise (BEC).

Threats to email security also include cybersecurity issues found within companies, such as employees with a lack of cybersecurity knowledge. According to a Stanford University study, 88% of all data breaches are due to employee error, so companies need to be very vigilant when training their employees. This training should be conducted in an easily accessible format so that employees can easily retain information and avoid future mistakes.

This threat to a company’s internal structure can also cause further damage to its brand if not addressed quickly and effectively. Even longtime customers can lose trust in an organization if they feel they cannot trust their cybersecurity strategy, especially if their personal data has been exposed.

on the article, cyber security hub provides guidance on how to implement good email security and ensure employees understand its importance.

read also: Reports on Cybersecurity Challenges, Focus and Spending

Vulnerabilities caused by weak email security

Overlooking email as a security risk is a dangerous oversight for any organization. In 2020, her Deloitte of Professional Services Network reported that 91% of all cyberattacks started with phishing emails.

From social engineering attacks, phishing, and account compromise to hijacking and data theft, there are many threats with poor email security. Phishing attacks can target user passwords and accounts, which may contain sensitive and valuable customer information. Credential theft is also a risk. If employees reuse passwords for multiple different platforms in their business and personal lives, and any of these accounts are compromised or exposed during a data breach, the security of your business will be undermined. Because it is possible.

When it comes to email security, you can have the best software countermeasures in place, but true email security is about knowing why and how your company is being attacked via email, and what to do if it is compromised. It also depends on whether employees understand. .

The results of a phishing campaign can be devastating for your business. In 2014, Sony PicturesEmployees, including system engineers and network administrators, were targeted with fake emails that appeared to be legitimate communications from Apple, asking them to verify their Apple ID credentials. Upon clicking the link provided, the employee was taken to her web page, which appeared to be legitimate, and had to enter her login details. These emails were targeted at people most likely to have access to Sony’s network, so those details were used to hack into the network. Spear-phishing campaigns have stolen gigabytes of data, including business-related content, financial records, customer-facing projects, and digital his copies of recently released movies. The hack cost Sony an estimated US$15 million.

read also: How to improve email security and protection against advanced ransomware attacks

Employees within a company are accustomed to being contacted by people outside the company and talking to people they don’t know on the job, which can make them less wary of potentially dangerous or fraudulent emails. .

Ensure email security within your business

Email-based attacks such as phishing and social engineering that directly target employees within a company can have devastating consequences for the company. cyber security hub The Mid-Market Report 2022 says these attacks are the “most dangerous” threats to cybersecurity. These attacks are directly targeting employees within companies, and the responsibility lies in their hands to prevent attacks from progressing. Additionally, these attacks often rely on psychological manipulation of employees. Even if your employees have had security her training, they can be very effective in persuading them to act in ways that are out of the ordinary. It said these attacks were the “most dangerous” threats to cybersecurity.

The effectiveness of phishing attacks can depend on how effectively employees can assess whether an email is safe. This can become a problem if employees do not pay attention to cyber security training. Your dissatisfaction with this task may be due to the misconception that email antivirus or antimalware software can block all threats. Antivirus software can only stop and prevent known threats, so if a compromise attempt involves a new, unknown file or URL, it may not be able to block the attack.

To ensure good cybersecurity within an enterprise, employees must engage in training. This allows employees to better retain information and use it later when they encounter cybersecurity threats.

How to implement email security for your employees

in the discussion between Cyber ​​Security Hub Advisory Board, one member suggested that linking email security to a company’s universal goals is highly beneficial. This includes conducting multiple phishing tests throughout the year. Scores on these tests affect a company’s bottom line. This is because phishing attacks have an indirect impact on a company’s bottom line. Cyber ​​attacks cost a lot of money. This means that in the event of a cyber-attack, businesses will lose money in operating costs. Additionally, cyberattacks can cause customers to lose trust in a company and move their business elsewhere, leading to lower overall revenues. Since bonuses are directly linked to profits, financially motivated employees should work harder to avoid clicking on potentially dangerous links.

Companies may also be able to increase employee engagement by using short-form video content with real case studies as examples.

One such example is an actor’s testimony posted on LinkedIn titled “LinkedIn post caused huge damage to company.”

In the testimony, the actor said someone posing as a recruiter lured him into communicating with them, first through comments on his LinkedIn posts, and then through messages containing lucrative job offers. explains. A fake recruiter formed a relationship with him and eventually sent him a PDF that supposedly contained job openings. Instead, it contained only a cover letter and his two blank pages. When the actor contacted what he believed to be a recruiter, they explained it was a secure file and encouraged him to download and install a secure PDF reader. If the issue persisted, the actor contacted the recruiter again, but the recruiter did not respond to his messages. He dismisses this, but a few weeks later, his company suffers a data breach that costs the company millions of dollars. The violation is traced back to him, as this PDF reader actually contained malware that was used to level the attack against the company.

The actor explains that job fraud attacks are becoming more common because people are expected to communicate with strangers and download attachments sent to them.

By training employees using an easy-to-understand video format, companies can help employees realize how much the business’s email security depends on them, and help them in the event of a cyber security incident. You can give employees a framework for what to do. It can also provide tips on what to look for in potentially malicious communications.

Ensuring email security beyond the employee

Beyond training, when it comes to ensuring email security, a layered solution can be beneficial because different controls can be used to address different threats. This can be combined with content protection such as structural sanitization. It removes active content in the body and attachments of emails and removes or rewrites URLs to pass through different web browsers. Identity protection is especially important because social engineering and phishing attacks often rely on impersonating someone with authority within your business. By looking for good senders rather than preventing malicious senders, the software can identify and block malicious senders after delivery to prevent their spread.

How email security protects your brand

Email security is important not only for the safety of your internal data, but also for your company’s external brand. Poor email security can affect your customers in many ways, from exposing personal information to making your brand less secure and trustworthy.

Use DMARC authentication to detect and prevent email spoofing techniques used in phishing, business email compromise (BEC), and other email-based attacks, but can be complex, especially in large organizations. may become.

Attacks on larger or more influential companies lead to the disclosure of sensitive emails, as attackers can leak highly sensitive information to the public and affect the trust of the company. There is a possibility. If this trust is lost because customers believe the company is not protecting their data adequately, concerned customers may switch to a different brand, leading to lost revenue.

By ensuring that both employees are fully engaged and informed in training and that a robust email security solution is in place, the company will be better positioned to identify and mitigate cybersecurity incidents. You can put yourself in place.

Improving email security: Summary

There are many threats to email security that employees have to face. The most dangerous of these attacks are social engineering and phishing attacks. It can directly target employees and have devastating consequences for the company.

Email security fundamentally relies on your employees being vigilant against potential inbound attacks. To ensure that all employees are aware of and avoid engaging in malicious emails, companies should consider how to educate their employees on cybersecurity. Using more engaging techniques like short videos, associating content with yourself as an employee, or using reward-based systems increases employee engagement. That means you’ll be in a better position to ensure email security.

Additionally, enterprises should ensure robust security, including the use of structural sensitization and identity protection like DMARC. By using these methods, companies can reduce the success rate of phishing attacks. This is because the URL may be considered safe before it is clicked, making it less likely that a malicious actor trying to impersonate a high-ranking company during a social engineering attack will succeed. .

This allows businesses to protect their customers and customers from outbound threats while protecting their employees and the business itself from cybercriminals and inbound threats. Communicating these efforts to your clients and customers will help build trust in cybersecurity and prevent it from being lost in the event of a cybersecurity incident. This prevents customers from feeling that their data is not properly protected and leaving the business to take their habits elsewhere.

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