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What is the current state of Email security?

With incoming and outgoing emails containing sensitive details on pending contracts, litigation, mergers, or other confidential information, you can’t risk beefing up the security of your business email.

Today, most companies around the globe rely primarily on email for communication with clients, colleagues, suppliers and other business affiliates. However, many businesses and organizations fail to realize the threats they face by not safeguarding their organizations against increasing email attacks. In many cases, most IT security managers in these organizations do know that email is a primary source of the attack, but they fail to take the necessary precautions to safeguard the company. For example, research by Mimecast on email security showed that 83% of IT security managers believe email is a primary source of the attack, yet among them, 65% say they don’t have the systems to properly deal with email threats.

With email attacks, black-hat hackers can gain access to a company’s system by phishing, for example, and lead to malware installations, financial fraud, information theft, and more. Today, the major concerns posed by different email threats include;

  • Viruses
  • Malware
  • Spam
  • Insider Threat
  • Financial Fraud
  • Ransomware
  • Spear-phishing
  • Social engineering
  • Cyber-bullying and harassment

With increased complexities posed by electronic mail threat and attacks today, companies need to embrace a holistic approach to mitigating these risks. They need to consider the mindset of an attacker, the current trends in email security and the various threats present. Remember, whether you are using on-premises or cloud email service solutions, accessing both your internal and external risks is vital.

Email threats

Most email attacks are instigated by external attackers looking to exploit a company’s information or finances. A survey by Ponemon Institute on 300 pro hackers showed that 69% of them targeted businesses for the purposes of financial gain. 72% of these hackers confessed to being more interested in easy targets that are more vulnerable and therefore easy to exploit. However, 69% affirmed that they would quit an attack if the target proved to have a strong defense. Additionally, the following go-to hacker techniques were found to be the primary ways that attackers use to gain access to their desired targets;

  • Guesswork– They repeatedly try combinations of passwords and usernames using automated tools.
  • Virus attacks– They embed a virus into your email to gather information or give them network access that allows for data collection. This can be in the form of spam, worms and Trojans, adware, ransomware, and more.
  • Fraud– By using keywords gathered during your online research, the attackers compose emails directing you to interact with a well-known financial institution such as Paypal, just by clicking on a link.
  • Social engineering– They simply give you a direct request while disguised as a trusted contact.

Human error and email security

Human error plays a significant role in email security breach because many hackers take advantage of a target’s mistakes or misunderstandings to successfully launch an attack. Employees should be trained about social engineering and personal usage of corporate email accounts. They should know how to avoid suspicious contacts and separate private emails from corporate emails. Generally, an effective email security solution on this should cover;

  • Automating the manual screening of emails
  • Reducing human error by educating employee and accurately processing emails
  • Verifying sender, links, and attachments
  • Separating problematic emails for analysis

Protect your organization and reduce email attack risk

Cloud services have massively changed how many organizations structure their IT solutions. A recent study by IDG Connect shows that many companies are opting for hybrid solutions (that is, a combination of both on-premise and cloud email solutions) to increase their email security. Office 365 email solution from Microsoft has been one of the best and most widely adopted email security solutions because of its high-level, trusted and reliable service.

For more on professional email security services in Los Angeles & Across Southern California, contact us at info@computerhelpla.com to learn more about our services. You can likewise call us Computer Help LA at (310) 893-0878 to schedule an appointment.

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