We can all agree this year has been a roller coaster ride. Almost everyone has had to adapt to some change or the other. The most significant change has been in our work lives. We have started relying more on electronic modes of communication and transactions. With such a heavy reliance on emails, it is not surprising that the number of email attacks has also hiked up considerably. Organizations today allocate a sizable budget to their cyber security, but fail to give due consideration and attention to their email security. This blog will persuade you otherwise.
306.4 billion emails are sent per day in 2020. The number is expected to reach 347.3 billion in 2023 (Source: Techjury)
The relevance of email security in coming times
Most companies aren’t likely to shift back to onsite work anytime. After an initial adjustment period, you likely became efficient with WFH. But did you transition your security to the home environment? Cyber threats, most notably email borne threats, have exploded by 37% in 2020. Just because you can get the same amount of work done from home (possibly more), doesn’t mean the security aspects of your work will also automatically adapt to remote work.
But why is email becoming such a popular attack vector? There are two primary reasons we should be worried about email security.
The Stressful Atmos’fear’ of Covid-19
In our blog on social engineering (Note: to be linked when Part 2 goes live), we discuss how hackers manipulate your emotional state to trick you into falling for their acts. Right now, we’re all sitting by the edge of our seats, wishing for a breakthrough in the pandemic. We listen eagerly to daily or weekly case statistics to see if there’s a decline. We follow the news sincerely, reading up about developments, possible vaccines, and ways of preventing the coronavirus.
Imagine this: you tune in to your mailbox in the morning. You notice the subject line: “The following areas in your vicinity are Covid-19 hotspots”. You open the email which says the Government has identified dangerous areas near you. The email also mentions the name of the area where you live. The list of hotspots is in a Word file attached to the email. How likely are you to download the Word file?
Other examples of phishing baits maybe ’10 Things to Do for Preventing Coronavirus’, or ‘Russians find the cure for Coronavirus’. These things are just spear phishing attempts that exploit your fear-based reaction to the current situation.
The changing nature of email traffic
While previously you may have used business email primarily for updates or requests for information, now the scenario is different. There is now more pressure on email security solutions to hold up to threats because the kind of content has changed. Now emails contain transactional data, funding requests, sensitive business data, and key decisions. All of these are rich harvests for an email hacker. If an intruder could somehow get into your email communication channels, now they can possibly do more damage than before.
Not necessary that your company should be in tech. Or that it should be a giant. Email security matters today and will continue to matter for all sizes of organizations.
What can you do to fortify your email security?
Securing your email, thankfully, is still in your hands. There are measures you can take to protect your email from modern threats. Some of the following steps described are immediately actionable, by yourself. However, to get the maximum email security for your business, it is advised to partner up with a trusted security service provider who has expertise and experience. This comes with additional benefits of constant support and built-in security features.
Organize Security Awareness Programs
- Educate and create awareness among your employees
- Protect your domain from spoofing
In email spoofing, an imposter sends an email to the victim by hiding behind a legitimate looking domain. You can protect your outgoing emails and have more control over emails that fail authentication by implementing DMARC.
Buy DMARC Monitor, a powerful email authentication and domain protection tool.
- Prevent your organization form all form of advanced threats like business email compromise, ransomware, malware or invoice fraud.
Logix Email ATP enables organizations to combat a variety of email borne threats
- To protect your own mailbox, use strong filtering rules to fight against spam messages. This will prevent your inbox from falling victim to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Employ the services of a Cyber Intel Team
Often, cyber-attacks go unhandled because there’s no set process for dealing with them. With a dedicated team of security experts, you can even report the measliest of suspicions and get the benefit of a deep investigation. This is a great way to keep security vulnerabilities, including email threats, at bay. An experienced team will also help you streamline response behaviours and mitigation protocols.
The choices you have are: invest a little in all-round online security or invest a lot in recovering from a successful email hacking attempt.
Choose maximum security for your email security gateways
Take a step back and think about the simple example of why security guards do their duty at the gates. You want security for yourself but that doesn’t mean the guards are hovering around you all the time. Same goes for virtual threats. Email borne attacks are best handled before they enter your systems. A strong gatekeeping approach will eliminate email threats before they can become a bothersome problem.
Having a strong security specialist by your side frees you up from the stress of maintaining proper security all the time. Take a look at our mailing security offerings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common email security threats?
The most common email security threats are phishing, email domain spoofing, malware, spam, business email compromise and invoice fraud. Find an in-depth analysis and safety tips for dangerous email threats here.
How will Covid-19 affect email security?
Ironically, one type of live virus is prompting the spread of several virtual viruses. Because the Covid pandemic is a global distress, hackers are seeing wider potential victim pools. Using the ruses revolving around Covid, more and more phishing attacks are looking for victims to act emotionally and engage with scam emails. Read about Covid-19 cyber fraud cases here.
What are the different types of email security services I should look into?
Email security services can be broken down in the following manner:
1. Email message encryption.
4. Data protection
5. Content filters