How To Enhance Your Company’s Approach To Email Security
Email continues to be one of the primary means through which businesses communicate with external sources, such as business partners, customers, and clients. And while it’s largely safe to use, it can also open your business up to certain threats when not utilized properly.
Having the right security strategy in place can ensure you don’t fall victim to these threats.
Top Email Security Threats
No matter how ubiquitous it might be, email is not a secure mode of communication. It allows data to move quickly from one server to the other, which leaves messages ripe for interception and manipulation.
It’s for this reason that some of the most successful hackers in the world prefer to focus on email as a conduit for delivering malware and/or stealing sensitive data.
Top email security threats include spoofing, phishing, ransomware, malware, configuration mishaps, and even client-side attacks. Without a plan or combatting these threats, organizations with dozens or hundreds of employees can easily become compromised.
All it takes is one mistake from one employee.
5 Email Security Tips
You can’t take a reactive approach to email security. If you do, it’s only a matter of time before you experience your first security issue or compromise. A proactive approach is a must.
Here are several ways you can step in and build a strong email security foundation.
1. Email Encryption
There are a couple of primary methods of encrypting email. The first one is Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the second is end-to-end email encryption. TLS protects email in transit and prevents costly man-in-the-middle attacks.
End-to-end encryption protects all of the sensitive data when an email account is compromised. In other words, end–to-end encryption ensures your message is unreadable to anyone other than the intended recipient.
Encrypting your emails allows you to protect confidential information. Not only that, but it also helps you comply with laws and regulations, avoid security breaches, and enjoy peace of mind. It might be tempting to skip encryption, but it’s an investment that’s worth its weight in gold.
2. Password Management
Hackers aren’t always as sophisticated as we make them out to be. One of their preferred methods of attack is still basic password theft. In other words, they target user passwords and log into email accounts the same way everyone else does. Then, once inside, they’ll change the passwords and lock the users out.
The best way to prefer password theft is to enhance your approach to password management. For starters, require that employees create stronger passwords. (A minimum of 10 characters, combination of different characters, etc.) Secondly, passwords should be changed every couple months. Thirdly, enforce two-factor authentication to ensure there’s an added layer of security mixed in with the password.
3. Employee Training
Don’t automatically assume that employees understand security best practices. Most of them haven’t been formally trained in how to make smart security-first decisions. It’s your responsibility to close this knowledge gap.
Employee training requires a regular, ongoing investment of time and resources. Don’t just teach through static methods like videos or manuals. Actually take the time to put employees through the paces. Encourage hands-on training and mock threat simulations for best results.
4. Anti-Virus & Endpoint Protection
Arm your team with the right security solutions to help neutralize threats before they become serious problems. We recommend investing in managed security services that include managed email security. (Converged Technology Group’s Assist360 Essential Security Bundle is one example.) The objective is to make as much of this as hands-off as you possibly can through proactive anti-virus software and endpoint protection.
5. Remote Working Security Hygiene
Remote working is the norm in many industries by now – and that’s great! However, if you’re letting your employees work remotely, you have to arm them with tools and knowledge to stay protected. This is especially important when it comes to working outside of the home, such as in a coffee shop or hotel with public WiFi.
In addition to proper email client encryption, requiring the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must. It helps secure the internet connection and keep your company’s sensitive data safe even when the WiFi network isn’t as tight as it could be.
Adding It All Up
As you strengthen your approach to email security, make sure you’re being proactive. Threats change, techniques evolve, and you must be willing to iterate in response to this dynamic security environment. Hopefully, these tips get you pointed in the right direction.