Email Security

 

The use of emails has always been increasing ever since its inception in the 1960s. Business communication, circulation of academic information, conveying personal information – almost everything is passed on between individuals or organizations via emails mainly for either or all of the following reasons:

  • Emails are faster.
  • Emails are reliable.
  • Emails ensure that the information reaches the end recipient and, if not, notifies the sender about it.
  • There is no scope of data loss with emails.
  • Emails are an excellent means of recording information chronologically.
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Are Emails Secure?

On the surface, there is nothing to be concerned about in email communication. The accounts of both the sender and the receiver are self-operated and locked by passwords which only both of these parties know. However, with the advancement of useful technology occurs an equal (if not higher) rise in technology which brings vicious attackers and hackers into the picture.

What Is Phishing?

Phishing attacks are just like fishing in a river where a person tries to get hold of a fish by giving it a believable bait of a bread crumb or any similar bit of food. However, in phishing attacks, the fishes are the netizens, and the fishermen are the cyber attackers. Phishing attacks are most commonly circulated via email messages. In such attacks, an unexpected mail from a seemingly credible source asks the receiver to take specific immediate action (such as paying unpaid dues or claiming a reward) by clicking on an attached link or downloading a file. But these are impersonating emails taking the user to fake websites created by the attacker. And often, these install malware into the computers of users. These attacks also happen in other forms like through voice messages (Vishing), SMS frauds (Smishing), attacks targeting the big shots of an organization from whom the profits can be maximum (Whaling) or creating a replica of a website to win the trust of an unsuspecting user (Pharming).

What Is Malware?

Malware is another means used by attackers to install corrupt files and software into the computer systems of users without their permission or against their will. Often malware operates secretly and steals the private information of users without their knowledge. This information is then accessed by the attacker who either uses the data to blackmail the victim, launch a sextortion campaign, or sell the stolen details at a high price in the dark market. Its types include:

  • Ransomware – which locks the system of the user or encrypts files until the demanded ransom is paid.
  • Spyware – which launches spying software into the computer and steals data.
  • Scareware – which attempts to extract user information by instilling fear in them.
  • Adware – where malware gets downloaded via attacker-created fake advertisements.

What Is Email Security?

Email security is the process of shielding email accounts from the attacks of vicious hackers. It refers to the means employed by a user, an organization, or an information network to keep themselves secure from these phishing attempts and malware attacks.

How To Ensure Email Security?

Email security can never be a fool-proof plan as the attackers always manage to find some loophole even in the most sophisticated methods of protection. However, minimizing such attacks is the objective, and this can be achieved by adopting the following measures:

  • Setting strong passwords: Strong passwords with alphanumeric characters and symbols are highly recommended. It’s always more important to have secure passwords instead of easy to remember passwords.
  • Changing passwords from time to time: Using the same password for too long makes you more vulnerable to hacking attempts of attackers. Hence it is always advisable to change passwords from time to time. Also, having different passwords for different accounts is a smarter decision than otherwise.
  • Having a good antivirus installed: Antivirus software creates a layer of protection against all types of viruses and malware trying to attack your devices. It is a must to have an antivirus when you visit multiple websites on the Internet or install external devices and disks into your computer.
  • Having anti-spam filters: Anti-spam filters ensure that spam emails or messages do not show up in your mailbox, thus protecting your system from the malicious emails sent by attackers. It also saves you a lot of time and energy that gets wasted otherwise in opening those emails.
  • Using only updated software: Software developers update software from time to time to incorporate patches and other improvements to make the software secure and more efficient. Not updating one’s software to the latest version is sending an invitation to attackers to steal your files.
  • Being wise on the web: With everything said and done, the most frugal tip remaining is to be careful on the Internet. One must have a skeptical mind and halt before impulsively clicking on links and pop-ups. A click takes hardly a second, but often its after-effects cost millions of dollars!

Final Words: Since one cannot do away with emails, one needs to find ways and means of doing away with the threats to email security. Protecting yourselves on the web is not easy but also not unachievable. Taking specific preventive measures goes a long way in keeping attackers and malware away.


Beware of the Latest Office 365 Login Phishing Scam

Beware of the Latest Office 365 Login Phishing Scam

Microsoft forms a natural base of the computer world. Almost every big or small organization makes use of the tools provided by Microsoft for their daily operations. Initially, Microsoft Office had a few tools. But because they have the basics done right, the enterprise has now expanded to a lot of other utilities. Outlook 365 is such a tool from Microsoft that has above 150 million users in the corporate sector. The platform combines every facility that one would ever need for the smooth functioning of their business, such as storage of files, exchange of emails, etc. It also features seamless integration of  OneDrive as well as SharePoint into one platform.

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How You And The US Presidential Hopefuls Need To Deploy Better Email Security Solutions

How You And The US Presidential Hopefuls Need To Deploy Better Email Security Solutions

In today’s digital age, emails have become a crucial channel of communication for all organizations. Emails have various benefits, such as reliability, economy, and mobility. Since we exchange a lot of important and sensitive data through emails, it is no wonder that users are seeking the best and latest solutions to uphold the confidentiality of their email contents. Any exposure of the vital information to the wrong people is enough to cripple an organization’s functioning. And a single click on a malicious link is all it takes to compromise the confidential data of an enterprise. Hence, email security plays a crucial role in enterprise networking, and email encryption is the appropriate way to secure emails.

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Online Security Awareness Training – A Necessity In Today’s Digital Age

Online Security Awareness Training – A Necessity In Today’s Digital Age

In today’s era of unlimited internet access, users often end up sharing their personal information on different websites, applications, and portals. However, personal information is not the only commodity at stake here. Cyberattacks pose a grave threat to corporate resources as well. Thus, the administration needs to educate their employees about the latest cyber threats. Furthermore, if an organization wants to follow different industrial and government compliances such as PCI, HIPAA, FISMA, and Sarbanes-Oxley, then on-campus or online security awareness training for employees is a necessity for them.

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The Newest Business Email Compromise Request: Gift Cards

The Newest Business Email Compromise Request: Gift Cards

The purpose of Business Email Compromise (BEC), a type of phishing attack, is to target employees with access to company finances and trick them into sending money to the hacker. In the past this almost always meant a wire transfer.

From the hackers standpoint, there are two problems with wire transfers. First, they’re hard to keep anonymous. The hacker has to send some information about where to transfer the money. Second, companies are getting wise to this and changing policies to ensure all wire transfer requests are verified through a second channel.

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That Employee You Want to Hire May be a Hacker

That Employee You Want to Hire May be a Hacker

You have to hand it to hackers. They’re always coming up with new ways to slip some malware passed unsuspecting email recipients.

It’s not uncommon today for prospective employees to email their resume to the HR department of the hiring company in an effort to land a job. What is uncommon, or at least it was until recently, was for that resume to contain malware.

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Why Software as a Service is no Longer Optional for Businesses

Why Software as a Service is no Longer Optional for Businesses

Software-as-a Service (SaaS) has been around a while now. One of the strongest benefits of SaaS is that it affords businesses the luxury of not having to buy and/or build all of their IT services. And SaaS almost always saves companies money. But what was once a luxury, is rapidly becoming a necessity.

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What Should SMBs do With Little Security Budget and No Security Staff?

What Should SMBs do With Little Security Budget and No Security Staff?

If you haven’t heard, cyberattacks are a big problem. They’re an even bigger problem for small companies. Why is that? Two reasons. First, because there are a lot of them and second, because they aren’t very well prepared.

Small and mid-size businesses (SMB) are the target of cyber-attacks quite often. “According to the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Incident Report (DBIR), 58% of SMBs experienced a cyber incident in 2018.”

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Why Microsoft Should be Ashamed of its Security

Why Microsoft Should be Ashamed of its Security

Do you ever wonder why Microsoft consistently tops the list of favorite brands to target with phishing scams? Because it’s one of the most widely used brands, AND because apparently it’s security isn’t very good.

Now comes word of a spear phishing scam, targeting a company in the energy sector, “using a savvy trick to get around the company’s Microsoft email security stack.”

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Employee Business Travel Should Not Put Your Company at Risk

Employee Business Travel Should Not Put Your Company at Risk

Employees travel, that’s part of being in business. And when they travel, they’re going to check their email. There’s no reason that simple act should put your organization at risk, but for many companies, it does. That’s because of the safeguards they put in place, don’t always travel with the employees. But they should.

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Is Your Hosted SMTP Naked?

Is Your Hosted SMTP Naked?

SMTP service (i.e., email) today is a commodity. So much so, that many businesses pay some other business to “host” their SMTP service for them. This enables the business to send and receive email without having to buy, set up or manage an SMTP server. And judging by how prices have come down over time, it’s fair to assume that there are a lot of hosted SMTP service providers.

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5 Ways You Protect Your Business From Ransomware

5 Ways You Protect Your Business From Ransomware

Cybercrime is one of the most prevalent and growing threats that organizations face today. Malware, and particularly ransomware, can cost companies millions of dollars and heavily impact user confidence. When the city of Atlanta found itself victimized by a ransomware attack, it ended up signing eight emergency contracts – and spending a total of $2.6 million – to control the damage.

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Superior Email Security is the Key to Stopping Ransomware

Superior Email Security is the Key to Stopping Ransomware

The number of ransomware attacks is increasing worldwide, which forces corporate IT teams to come up with innovative solutions to combat the threat.

But email based threats like ransomware are costly and difficult to fight with on-site solutions alone. With an on-site solution, by the time the existence of ransomware is known, the threat is already wreaking havoc across the network.

Once ransomware gains access to a company’s systems, it’s too late. In the best cases, only a few isolated computers are held hostage. But if shared network drives are present, the ransomware can propagate across entire corporate networks, quickly bringing the organization to its knees.

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Office 365 Is A Fantastic Tool, But…

Office 365 Is A Fantastic Tool, But…

Microsoft® Office 365™ is a fantastic choice for companies that want to implement a cloud-based email solution.

Unfortunately, however, the out-of-the-box email archiving solution provided by Office 365 doesn’t meet the stringent security requirements or give the functionality that most organizations expect and demand. These functions include limitations on the number of saved searches, the total volume of messages stored in the archive and ALL users, not just active users are billed at the full rate.

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The Threat Of Phishing Email Attack Is Serious

The Threat Of Phishing Email Attack Is Serious

A phishing attack takes advantage of the user’s trust by impersonating an email from a friend, associate, well known business contact or senior management.

The user is tricked into sharing login credentials, account information, personal or corporate data, or other sensitive information. Often, the user is asked to click on a link to a site that looks exactly like the real thing: online banking site spoofs are common, as are paypal, google login pages or almost any cloud service.

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Ransomware Attacks Are Costly And Difficult To Recover From

Ransomware Attacks Are Costly And Difficult To Recover From

A typical ransomware attack attempts to access corporate data or systems, block authorized access to them, and hold them hostage until the organization pays a ransom of some form. This is a violent form of attack on a corporation: the trend is growing in popularity and the threats are becoming more and more sophisticated.

Malicious URLs that deliver ransomware payloads or weaponized attachments are the usual method by which hackers attempt to exploit the perimeter defenses and to hold an organization’s data for ransom. These typically arrive in an email during a phishing, spear phishing, or whaling attempt.

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Link Click Protection Prevents Spear Phishing Attacks

Link Click Protection Prevents Spear Phishing Attacks

Spear phishing is an exceptionally difficult form of exploit to defend against. In a spear phishing attack, an employee is duped into sharing credentials or other confidential information by representing the email as being from a trusted source. They may be tricked into clicking on a malicious link, opening a weaponized attachment, or visiting a dangerous web site.

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