Email security and how to recognise phishing attacks

One of the most common communication methods amongst businesses is through email. However like with most things, emails come with their own vulnerabilities and security problems. A lot of businesses will have a low security email system in order to receive emails from new and existing clients. A high security email system poses the issue of not receiving all emails which can be disruptive and inefficient in a work environment. This is why it is important to understand how to recognise fraudulent and ‘phishing’ emails and the best practises on staying safe whilst communicating through emails.

What is email security?

The term ‘email security’ details a series of techniques that all aim to keep private and confidential information within email communications secure against any unauthorised access that could result in data being compromised.

Emails are one of the most frequent ways that cyber criminals gain access to the victims account and data. Typically the process would be through sending a deceptive email that aims to encourage the recipient to either open/ download an infected file or click on a link that will install malware on the victim’s device.

How secure are emails?

Emails were created to be easy to use and as accessible as possible to use in order to help businesses communicate with one another. The biggest issue of emails is that they are not secure and are susceptible to cyber attacks and passing through malicious emails.

Attackers will be using all types of methods to reach email inboxes whether it is through spam campaigns, phishing emails or targeted attacks (1). These individuals will take advantage of the fact that emails are not secure and encourage users to download malware in order to allow them to access your data. This also highlights the importance of educating your employees on recognising these types of emails to avoid data being compromised.

This is a huge problem especially for businesses as a lot of sensitive emails are constantly being passed across featuring confidential information that you don’t want hackers to get their hands on.

Best practises

1. Secure Email Gateway

By implementing an email gateway you are able to monitor all incoming and outgoing emails. This is essentially a barrier between an email and an inbox. Therefore you can go through the emails and remove any that seem malicious and pass through safe emails. 

2. Encryption

If your business handles a lot of sensitive information it may be a good idea to implement an automated email encryption. This solution will completely analyse any outbound emails and check for sensitive information. If the information is deemed to hold sensitive information it will encrypt the data and pass through to the intended recipient. This also prevents attackers from being able to read any confidential information that can be used as ransom. 

3. Training

As we briefly mentioned earlier one of the most effective practises is to ensure that your employees are educated against recognising phishing emails and the preventative measures that come within that. Training employees will help them spot these types of emails and report them.

 


 

Are you worried about phishing emails and how to recognise them? Speak to our Cyber Security team and we can advise you on how to keep your business safe from cyber attackers. Call our office on 0121 289 4477 or email us at info@solutions4it.co.uk

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