2020 was a roller-coaster ride for most individuals and businesses, and everyone had to adapt to a new normal. The most notable change was in the way we work. While businesses started work from home policies, individuals started relying on electronic modes of transactions and communications. The increasing reliance on emails, unsurprisingly, led to a considerable hike in the number of email-based cyberattacks. While businesses are becoming more informed about the advantages of maintaining a robust cybersecurity posture, they are ignoring email security. This article will persuade them otherwise.
Analyzing The State Of Email Security In 2020 And What Can You Do To Make Your Email Infrastructure Better
2020 has been a tumultuous year globally, with almost every industry suffering because of the pandemic. It has given rise to a revolutionary shift in the work culture as more people started working from home/remote locations. Emails have become the primary communication mode for everyone, from students to workers. Malicious actors have enjoyed a good outing under such circumstances, using spear-phishing, BEC, and ransomware to globally infiltrate enterprise networks.
Despite being aware of the various cyber risks, small businesses choose to ignore the need for a robust cybersecurity posture. They believe malicious actors only target large organizations and not them. However, lack of phishing protection or a business continuity strategy in the event of a cyber-attack leaves them at high risk. These cyberattacks can cost a business dearly if the IT security teams do not have an effective cybersecurity policy. The primary step in this direction is to address the challenges and vulnerabilities characteristic of an SME environment.
Malicious actors still prefer to apply social engineering strategies in messages to steal critical information such as passwords and financial details and make people perform tasks such as completing a wire transfer to their account or downloading malware. All such incidents ultimately jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of any organization’s crucial information assets. Hence it calls for serious attention to email security and email continuity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
Smart companies use phishing prevention technology to protect their employees and organization from phishing attacks. And whether they use their own, on-premises email server, or opt for a cloud-based email provider, companies have some important security decisions to make.
If you subscribe to the notion that hackers go where the users are, it’s not surprising that Microsoft Remains the #1 Impersonated Brand in Phishing Attacks. Others making up the top five include PayPal, Netflix, Facebook and Bank of America, which confirms the theory.
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.
We live in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) world. It’s great being able to pay a monthly fee and have some other companies handle your organization’s services for you. There are all kinds of companies that provide SaaS services.
Continue reading “The One Big Drawback of Using SaaS Providers and What to do About it” »
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.
Ransomware is a violent and deadly form of attack that each year results in the loss of more than a billion dollars to corporations. Six out of every ten virus payloads were ransomware in 2017, with companies being subjected to this form of attack every 40 seconds, on average.
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.