In this day and age, one of the most commonly used forms of communication is email. We use it at home, on our mobile devices, and in our workplace. This leads us to the question, what are workplaces doing to keep their email system secure from attacks? According to PhishMe, 91 percent of cyber-attacks start with an email. Email-based attacks come in various ways:
- Phishing: Attempt to obtain personal information such as passwords and credit card details.
- Spear Phishing: Personal and highly customized phishing attacks. This is a type of phishing that usually will come from a trusted source and seem legitimate. Spear phishing is highly personalized, attackers usually have done research on the victim.
- Malware: Malicious software in the form of attachments, links, and drive-by downloads. Malware is usually delivered by spam emails. Spam emails can appear to be sent by legitimate sources, which then increases the chance of download.
Email security solutions
Undoubtedly, organizations must provide protection for their employee’s email communication. Determining the best solution for email security varies from business to business, you should carefully consider what will protect your email communications from attacks.
- Endpoint Security: Endpoint security is the process of securing various endpoints in a network, mostly end-user devices such as smartphones, desktops, laptops and tablets. Endpoint security systems can either be a software application or hardware that allows the system admin to manage and discover any devices trying to connect to the network. This will prevent from malware downloaded on the network, but will not prevent from phishing.
- Anti-Spam: Anti-spam is software, hardware, or even a process that combats spam by filtration. It is key to realize that not one anti-spam method is perfect, end users should be encouraged to be careful about providing corporate email address information. Anti-spamware can be installed to strengthen the security level of your businesses email provider by conducting screening prior to delivery.
- Secure Email Gateways: Secure email gateways come in many forms: public cloud-based, hybrid cloud based, hardware, virtual appliance, and email server based. Secure email gateways monitor emails being sent to a company and prevent unwanted content from being delivered. Secure email gateways prevent from malware, phishing, and spear phishing.
- Email Security Training: Human error is considered the biggest risk in email security. End users can click on malicious links, fail to keep their security solutions up to date, and divulge confidential information about the company. Training employees on cybersecurity and email best practices is crucial in preventing unwanted content and unauthorized users.
Email security takeaway
Email security approaches differ from organization to organization, not one single approach will work for all businesses. Every business has risks, issues, budget restrictions, and current security solutions to consider. With that said, a strong well-implemented system should have multiple solutions to cover every end of the organizations network. Businesses should also set up a reporting system, where employees are able to report all suspicious emails in a convenient way.
No email security system is completely secure, but implementing the right solutions can maximize efficiency and minimize risk.
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