Email safety is critical for small businesses to avoid cyber threats such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. These threats can lead to data breaches, financial losses, and company reputation damage.
Small businesses can protect themselves and their customers’ sensitive information by implementing email safety measures such as encryption, spam filters, and employee training.
Unveiling the Importance of Email Safety: Why Businesses Must Prioritize It Now More Than Ever
Email security is the first line of defense against cyberattacks and data breaches. If you’re a business owner, you likely have sensitive information that must be protected at all costs.
In the third quarter of 2022, financial institutions were the target of 23% of phishing attacks worldwide. Additionally, webmail and web-based software services accounted for 17% of attacks, making them the two most often targeted industries for phishing during the investigated quarter.
Email safety software can help you do just that.
Here are three reasons why businesses should invest in email safety:
Protecting Sensitive Information
If you’re not protecting confidential information like customer records, bank account numbers, and intellectual property, it’s only a matter of time before hackers attack your business. Email security software helps keep your most sensitive data safe from unauthorized users.
Preventing Cyber Attacks
Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise, so protecting your business from them is important as much as possible. Email safety software helps prevent hackers from accessing your company’s data through phishing scams and other fraudulent methods.
Ensure Compliance with Regulations
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law that requires companies to protect their customers’ personal data and privacy. It also requires them to report data breaches within 72 hours of discovery.
Email safety helps you achieve both these requirements by providing tools that enable you to track, monitor, and report all your communications from within one centralized platform.
Maintain Business Reputation
Email is a critical part of every business’s communication strategy, so they must always keep it secure. This will help them avoid any potential damage to their reputation if there is ever an issue with their email safety.
For example, if your company sends out an email with a phishing link embedded in it, it would put your brand in a bad light among your customers and could even lead them away from doing business with you. Also, it’s always advisable to work with software development or MVP companies that have a proven track record of providing reliable and security solutions that can help businesses protect their reputation and avoid costly data breaches.
Avoid Legal Liabilities and Regulatory Penalties
Email accounts often store business data, including customer information, employee records, and financial data. If your emails are breached, you risk legal liability if any confidential information is leaked on the internet or sent to unauthorized recipients.
In addition, many industries like healthcare, finance, and government have strict compliance regulations that require them to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access or misuse. You may be liable if these regulations are unmet due to a lack of email safety measures.
To further safeguard your business from legal liabilities and regulatory penalties due to email safety measures, establishing your company as a limited liability company (LLC) can provide an additional layer of protection. By incorporating, you can demonstrate your commitment to mitigating risks and adhering to legal and regulatory requirements (such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States if you are established in one of the states like an LLC in Texas state). Relative to the possible safeguarding advantages, the cost of an LLC is manageable for a new business and can even in certain circumstances be acknowledged for tax deduction purposes.
Protect Intellectual Property and Other Confidential Information
Data loss prevention (DLP) tools can help protect against data leaks by scanning emails for sensitive keywords, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers before they reach their destination inboxes.
They also monitor file attachments, such as documents containing trade secrets or product launch plans that shouldn’t be shared outside the company without approval from relevant stakeholders.
Shielding Your Small Business: Top Email Safety Tips to Keep Cyber Threats at Bay
The most secure email solution is the one you don’t use.
But if you’re going to send and receive emails, it’s important to be aware of the security risks.
According to the research, phishing attempts that are not email-based are also on the rise, with quishing (QR code phishing), smishing (SMS phishing), and vishing (voice phishing) all increasing sevenfold in the second quarter of 2022.
Here are some email safety tips for protecting your company from spam, phishing, and other threats:
Enable DMARC alignment
This is a good first step toward implementing email safety best practices. DMARC helps prevent spoofing by letting you tell ISPs what to do with mail that fails SPF or DKIM authentication checks.
You can choose between policies like quarantine and reject, which will help ensure your domains are adequately protecting against phishing and spoofing attacks.
Use SPF and DKIM records
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) are other headers that can help protect your domain from spoofing attacks, though in combination with DMARC Both allow for stronger authentication by using sender authorization and cryptographic signatures to validate that messages from your domain were legitimately sent by someone on your team or from an authorized third party, such as a marketing agency.
Deploy Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
If you don’t have ATP, consider it an essential element for securing your network against malware and viruses. ATP monitors all incoming emails, attachments, and URLs, looking for signs of suspicious activity.
It can also block malicious attachments before they reach employees’ inboxes by using sandboxing technology that safely analyzes suspicious files in a virtual environment before they’re-they’re allowed on your network.
Strengthen Email Security with BIMI and Verified Logos
A standardized mechanism for businesses to display their brand logo next to the subject line of their authenticated emails is provided by BIMI.
BIMI is obvious and simple to spot, unlike other email security measures, even for non-techies.
It also enhances your email deliverability rates and helps prevent fraudsters from posing as your company in phishing emails targeting your clients and other customers or organizations.
The DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) standard for email authentication is the foundation of BIMI. Businesses must implement DMARC authentication and create a BIMI record containing the URL for the file’s location containing the company logo to use BIMI.
To fully leverage the branding potential of BIMI, companies are increasingly turning to AI Logo creation services, which ensure their logos are designed to meet the technical specifications required for successful DMARC authentication.
Use Email Sandboxing
Sandboxing allows IT professionals to analyze suspicious emails without putting their organizations at risk. The process involves isolating potentially dangerous messages in an isolated environment that can be analyzed without impacting other systems or users.
This gives IT teams time to investigate malicious emails before they become part of the company’s-company’s overall email traffic. This can help protect employees from harm while ensuring legitimate messages aren’t blocked or quarantined unnecessarily.
Implement Email Encryption for Sensitive Information
Encryption isn’t just for protecting sensitive information in transit — it can also be used to protect sensitive information at rest. Encrypting emails protects against unauthorized access by hackers or other malicious actors who might gain access to your network. The best part is that many email providers offer this service freely — so there’s no excuse to enable it!
Enhance Protection with MTA-STS
One of the most effective ways to improve email security is to enable MTA-STS. This email security protocol is a defense against man-in-the-middle attacks because it enables messages to be transferred over an encrypted connection.
Limit Email Forwarding and Auto-Forwarding
Eliminate unnecessary forwarding options on your email server so that only authorized employees can access your company’s-company’s accounts. If you allow employees to forward messages, configure your firewall or security software to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the server through ports 25 and 110.
A secure, vetted business process, such as online scheduling, can also protect small businesses from cybersecurity threats. Implementing automation, using tools such as marketing automation tools, can also reduce the risk of human error, making processes more efficient and secure. Additionally, automated systems can detect malicious activities and alert the business of any potential security threats.
Final Words: Strengthening Your Business’s Defenses with Email Safety
In today’s digital age, email is an essential tool for communication in the workplace. However, it also poses significant security risks, making email security a top priority for small businesses. Small businesses can protect sensitive information, prevent cyberattacks, and ensure compliance with regulations by implementing email security measures such as DMARC, SPF, and DKIM authentication, end-to-end encryption, and advanced threat protection.
Additionally, employee education and awareness, strong password policies, and regular security audits can help strengthen email security and reduce the risk of data breaches and financial losses.
By investing in email security, small businesses can safeguard their operations, reputation, and bottom line and stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape.
- Identifying and Safeguarding PII (Personally Identifiable Information) - February 28, 2024
- Types of Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities - February 15, 2024
- Klaviyo DMARC, SPF, and DKIM Setup Guide - February 15, 2024