Consider the volume of email that flows into and out of your organization each day. From vendors and clients to internal messages amongst employees, email is still a robust communication tool for conducting business.
Unfortunately, email is also a common inroad for cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can penetrate the IT architecture of your company more easily than you might think unless you implement a solid email security plan. This plan includes preventing fraud, blocking malware, filtering spam out, and encrypting content for safe access. Let us outline a few of these methods by which bad actors target email:
Malware: Email attachments can contain malware in the form of spyware, adware, and ransomware using several tactics. For example, one can embed malware into a seemingly harmless Word or PDF document containing code, including macros, which can be used to download and run malware on the target’s computer.
Phishing: Cybercriminals can attempt to trick employees into revealing personal information by forwarding them to a spoof website or simply asking them to reply to an email which is controlled by the attacker.
Fraud: Accounting departments can be targeted with business email compromise (BEC) messages in an attempt to con employees into wiring money to false accounts. Attackers also use domain spoofing to make their monetary requests appear to be generated by a trusted organization. Malware and phishing scams may get more attention, but BECs can cause significantly more damage as they can be costly for businesses.
Email communication is an important piece of a business’s IT infrastructure, and compromised email could hinder a company’s operations. Besides the issues listed above, email can also sabotage employee productivity with spam that floods inboxes with irrelevant content or leads to phishing scams. If emails containing private data are not encrypted, sensitive information could also be compromised. And an unauthorized user can send emails that appear to come from an official business account when, in fact, they are sent fraudulently.
Whether you rely on email to communicate with internal or external recipients – or both – there are numerous reasons that an effective plan can benefit your organization. For example:
- Guidelines for authenticating email help employees and clients trust that emails from the company domain are valid.
- Organizations can decrease the chance of malware infiltration if a thorough set of security options are available through the email platform.
- Socially savvy attackers can be thwarted by anti-phishing protection that keeps employees from downloading malware or sharing company information.
- By identifying potential threats such as spoofing, organizations can detect and avoid fraud before it happens.
- Having an email security plan in place keeps email services online so team members can stay in touch with clients and each other.
While cyberattacks through email are a worrisome threat to organizations, a well-developed email security strategy can safeguard your company, employees, and clients against costly and damaging incursions. If you need to create or update your cybersecurity plan, we’ve got your back. Learn more about our offerings here, and, reach out to us with any questions you may have about keeping your email system running safely and smoothly.