Email security tips are crucial for protecting your business from evolving cyber threats. Implementing DMARC, encryption, and authentication measures can prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
By monitoring account activity and enabling recovery options, you can quickly respond to potential security incidents. Focusing on cyber security email tips ensures your sensitive information’s confidentiality, integrity, and avoiding costly consequences.
Why Email Security Is Essential: Disturbing Statistics and Financial Impacts
Email security is a topic that’s been getting more and more attention in the past several years. It’s no wonder, as this is one of the most common ways cybercriminals attack businesses. Security breaches via email are on the rise:
- With an estimated 3.4 billion spam emails generated daily, phishing is the most prevalent type of cybercrime.
- The most frequent reason for data breaches is the use of stolen credentials.
- Every day, Google bans over 100 million fraudulent emails.
- In 2022, 83% of the firms in the UK that had a cyberattack identified the attack type as phishing.
- Spam made up more than 48% of emails sent in 2022.
- Russia is where more than a fifth of phishing emails come from.
- Internet users in Generation Z and Millennials are especially susceptible to phishing scams.
- A data breach often costs an enterprise more than $4 million.
- An incident involving whaling costs a company $47 million.
Email Security Best Practices: Safeguarding Your Business in Today’s Threat Landscape
Email security is an important part of any organization’s IT infrastructure, and it’s something that you should never take lightly.
If your business needs a proper email security strategy, you could be at risk of being hacked and losing valuable data.
Here are eight email security tips you should know by now:
1. Implement DMARC
DMARC is a security protocol that helps prevent spoofing of your domain. It works by checking if the sender’s email address matches yours and verifying the message’s content against its digital signature.
If this check fails, DMARC will either reject or quarantine the message so a human can review it before being delivered to your inbox.
2. Utilize End-to-end Encryption for Email Communications
If you send sensitive information through email, you should ensure that it remains encrypted from when it leaves your computer until it reaches its intended recipient’s inbox.
End-to-end encryption ensures only authorized users can access your messages, even if hackers or government agencies intercept them.
3. Enable SPF and DKIM to Authenticate Email Senders
If you’re using Gmail as your primary email service provider, you can enable SPF and DKIM to help prevent spoofing attacks. Spoofing attacks occur when someone creates a fake version of your company’s domain name and sends emails. By enabling SPF and DKIM authentication, recipients can verify that their domain name registrar approves the sender before they open any emails sent from it.
4. Use Reputable Antivirus Software to Scan Email Attachments and Detect Potential Malware
Email attachments can contain malicious code that will execute automatically when opened by their recipients, so it’s important to make sure they’re safe before sending them out. Thus, it’s wise to use a security solution that scans every attachment for malware before sending them out as part of your daily routine.
While some argue that this will significantly increase your workload due to having more emails sent back from recipients who find something suspicious with their attachments, this can be easily avoided by only sending out personal messages rather than business-related ones.
5. Enable Email Account Activity Monitoring for Unusual Login Attempts
Knowing when someone is trying to access your email account is important so you can take action. The first step is to enable email account activity monitoring, which will send you an alert if someone tries to log in from an unknown location.
This is an effective way to deter phishing attacks and other cyber-criminal activities.
6. Set Up Email Account Recovery Options
If your account is compromised, it’s important to have a way to regain access quickly and easily. Gmail offers two different ways to recover your account: With a verification code or by answering questions to which only you would know the answers.
You should also set up two-step verification on all of your important accounts — this adds an extra layer of security by requiring anyone trying to log in using your password to enter an additional code sent via text message or generated by an app like Google Authenticator or Authy before gaining access.
7. Regularly Back Up Your Data to a Secure Location
A backup lets you recover lost information if something happens to your computer or phone — like losing or stealing them. If you have sensitive data on your device, make sure it’s encrypted so no one else can access it if they find it.
8. Be Cautious of Suspicious Email Attachments or Links, Even from Known Contacts
Opening attachments without knowing where they came from may expose your computer to malware that steals personal information or takes over control of devices remotely (known as “ransomware“).
Links in emails can lead users to fake websites where login credentials are captured and impersonated by phishing scams
Email Security Tips for Employees: Strengthening Your Digital Defenses
Here are some Email security tips for employees to help protect your company from email security threats:
1. Be Wary of Phishing Emails
Phishing is an email scam that uses fake websites and bogus messages to trick you into giving up your personal information. To avoid being phished, don’t open any suspicious links or attachments in your email, even if they come from someone you know.
2. Use Strong, Unique Passwords
Employees need to use strong passwords that are different across all of their accounts. Your company can also help by requiring complex passwords and enforcing password expiration policies.
3. Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Email Attachments or Links
Ensure employees never click on links or open attachments in emails they aren’t expecting, even if they look like they’re from a trusted source. If there’s any doubt about the authenticity of an email, double-check with the sender before taking any action.
4. Regularly Update and Patch Software and Applications
To reduce the risk of malware infections on company computers, IT departments need to keep software up-to-date on all devices in the network — including PCs, laptops, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets — so users have access to the latest security updates when vendors release them.
5. Encrypt Sensitive Information Before Sending via Email
If you send confidential data through email, encrypt it before sending it. This will make it much harder for hackers to access your data. Several types of encryption software can encrypt any file or text.
The software uses a password or key to unlock the encrypted content so only authorized users can view and edit it.
Conclusion: Strengthening Your Business Environment with Email Security Tips
Prioritizing email security is imperative for businesses in today’s digital landscape. Organizations can safeguard their sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access by implementing robust practices such as DMARC, encryption, authentication, and vigilant monitoring.
Educating employees about phishing risks, enforcing strong password policies, and promoting a culture of cybersecurity awareness further, fortify defenses. Neglecting email security can lead to devastating consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.
By taking proactive measures, businesses can establish a secure email environment, enhance customer trust, and mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats. Protecting the integrity and confidentiality of email communications should remain a top priority for organizations of all sizes.