2021 email security trends that could put your business at risk of cyber attacks

Ever since COVID-19, there has been a significant shift in how businesses are operating. The Majority of the global workforce is still continuing to work from home – a trend that is likely to stay for quite some time. One of the most popular ways that businesses are staying in touch with one another is through email. This has posed several cyber security risks that all businesses are a potential target of. 

Email is one of the most preferred methods of sharing private information and a channel for communicating which businesses require instant access to and cannot afford to lose. However this is a gold mine for cyber criminals who seek opportunities of gaining access to your privately shared information and in order to compromise it. These cyber criminals are taking advantage of how dependent businesses are on emails and are continuing to craft sophisticated attacks in order to steal private information.

Unsecure networks

As a result of the pandemic, many businesses are continuing to work remotely. It is not uncommon for those working from home to be using insecure networks and devices which all contribute to the ever rising cyber attack figure. Insecure networks allow cyber criminals to easily trespass and hack into your emails and devices. This is something that businesses cannot afford to happen as there is a risk of private and sensitive information being leaked or even deleted. Many cyber criminals will require you to pay a ransom in order to retrieve your data but this isn’t guaranteed. 

Microsoft 365 has been one of the most popular communication and collaboration tools that businesses have migrated to whilst they are working from home. However if you fail to add critical additional layers of protection to fill the gaps that are precedent in Microsoft 365 email security defenses, cloud users are at risk of phishing attacks and of their data being compromised (1). The protection that is built into Microsoft 365 is not enough to keep cloud email users safe whilst working from home, it is single-layered and unable to anticipate zero-day attacks. In fact, it has been reported that 85% of users have experienced an email data breach over the past year whilst using Microsoft 365 and its native security system (1).

Difficult to anticipate and catch phishing attacks

With an increased reliance on cloud email and SaaS cloud platforms it has caused a surge in phishing attacks. However, along with the increase of phishing attacks, the sophistication of these attacks has also grown. Cyber criminals use advanced social engineering techniques combined with fileless and other types of specially crafted tactics that are all designed to allow malware to swiftly pass through security systems without being detected.

To avoid being caught out by phishing email make sure that you check for any obvious spelling or grammatical errors, suspicious subject lines and email signatures. If you recognise the sender but are unsure of the email, call the sender and ask if they have sent you an email to verify its legitimacy.

On the rise

The increase and impact of ransomware has never been more clear. We hear and see news articles report on phishing attacks almost on a daily basis. The factor that drives cyber criminals to conduct ransomware and phishing attacks the most is the profit potential. Many cyber attacks will require a ransom to be paid if you want to regain access to your files, businesses that do not back-up their data regularly will be the likely ones to engage in this.

Mobile ransomware in particular is becoming more and more popular as these devices lack basic security defenses making access to sensitive information easier than ever. Therefore this type of ransomware attack is starting to become more and more problematic and worrying. 

To prevent becoming a victim to ransomware attacks ensure that you verify any links or documents before clicking on them. You should also ensure that your device is patched and regularly updated to minimise any vulnerabilities that cyber criminals could exploit.

In conclusion

Without a doubt the last couple of years have been one of the most challenging times for many businesses. For a lot of businesses cyber security has taken a back seat while they are busily trying to manage and adapt to a new way of working. However, this has caused cyber attacks to spike and take advantage of businesses and their data. 

Email systems have been a big saviour to help businesses communicate throughout the pandemic and even now. This is something that we cannot afford to lose and leave unprotected.

 


 

Speak to our team about how we can help boost your email security and prevent malware from affecting your email systems, call us on 0121 289 4477 or email us at info@solutions4it.co.uk

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