Every company uses email regularly. More than 200 billion emails are sent every single day. It’s an essential part of day-to-day operations – which also means that it’s one of the most common IT security threats to your organization.
Using spam filtering and blocking is not enough – because these only filter out known threats. If your employees are not properly trained and educated about email security, they can download malware or keyloggers from malicious third parties, or their email may be at risk of being hacked due to weak passwords.
In this article, we’ll explore the basics about email attacks and security, as well as best practices you can use to prevent your systems from being compromised. Let’s begin.
Understanding The Most Common Email Attacks
There are a number of different ways that your company and employees can be attacked through email:
- Viruses – Even innocuous download links could contain infected programs that encrypt and delete user info or infect master records. These viruses often hold data hostage unless the hacked individual pays a large amount of money – examples include CryptoLocker and other types of “ransomware”. Other types of viruses include keyloggers, which save the data that a user enters through their keyboard, often exposing passwords to hackers and allowing them to access your company’s proprietary data.
- Phishing – Phishing tricks users into entering sensitive data into a malicious attacker’s site, compromising their passwords and accounts, and allowing the hacker to log into your company’s databases, services, and more.
- DoS (Denial of Service) attacks – A DoS attack overloads your email server, wasting your time and overloading your email storage.
While there are many other attack vectors, these are the most common – and can result in enormous costs, and expose sensitive data to third parties. Failing to protect yourself can expose you to liability – particularly if customer or client data is breached and stolen by the hackers.
Protecting Your Employees From Email Attacks And Hacks – Our Top Tips
So, how can you protect your company and your employees from hacks and malicious attackers? Here are a few top tips.
- Educate employees on rules for email and recognizing suspicious messages – Your email policy should be outlined in your employee handbook. Make sure all of your employees understand these rules, and how they protect your company. You should also train them on recognizing suspicious phishing emails and best practices – NEVER download a file from an unrecognized email address, for example.
- Use anti-virus filters and advanced email security services – Email security starts with your filters and firewalls. While not perfect, these can filter out most spam messages quite easily, protecting your employees.
- Implement policies for strong passwords – You should implement common-sense rules for passwords, such as requiring changes every 90 days, a minimum length of 15+ characters, mandating the use of special characters ([email protected]#$%, etc) and numbers, and so on, to help prevent brute force attacks.
- Use captchas and security questions to prevent brute force attacks – Captchas on employee logins help filter out bots who may be trying to “brute force” passwords by trying thousands of different combinations. Security questions do the same thing, and help prevent unauthorized logins.
Need Help With Email Security? Contact K3 Technology Today!
To learn more about K3 Technology’s Email Security Services, call us at 303-770-8050. We’re here to help, and we can ensure that your business won’t be compromised by phishing attacks, or any other type of email-based hack. Don’t put your company at risk – get started right away.