Email remains the most popular form of business to business communication. Tens of billions of emails are sent and received every day. For all of the advantages of email, it still remains one of the biggest security risks to your company. So how do you know if you’re vulnerable to attack through your email system?
Look at these indicators to see if your company’s email service is a security risk:
1. You Don’t Educate Employees About Phishing Attacks
Phishing threats have become increasingly sophisticated over the past few years and are one of the biggest email threats out there. They target businesses of all sizes with what’s known as ‘social engineering tactics’ to impersonate an actual person or organization via email. The aim is to steal sensitive data from companies.
These phishing attacks often involve them impersonating a company employee, CEO, government official, vendor, or business partner. People are often encouraged to click on a link in the email which could place a virus on your system or other key logging software designed to get your credentials.
Teaching your employees about phishing attacks, how to recognize them, and what to do if they have clicked on a suspicious link is an important step in your email security.
2. You Haven’t Enabled MFA Password Protection
The average employees have up to 100 logins for various personal and work-related accounts. What do you do if you forget a password? You click ‘reset password’ and an email arrives. If someone has access to your email inbox, they can request a password reset be sent to your email, and take control of your accounts.
With multi-factor authentication on your email, you need to use a secondary method to verify your identity when you enter your regular login details. By doing this, even if someone manages to acquire your username and login for your email, they won’t have access to the secondary method. Then they won’t be able to access your confidential company information or reset any passwords to accounts holding sensitive information.
3. You Don’t Have End-to-End Encryption
Should you experience a data breach, you don’t want the hackers to be able to do anything with your data. That’s why it’s important to implement end-to-end encryption on your emails. If your communications are intercepted or data is stolen by cybercriminals, they won’t be able to read it or do anything with it.
IronEdge Group, an IT provider in Houston, recommends seeking professional help with securing your technology. By bringing in security experts, you can ensure your data and all secure communications have end-to-end encryption.
4. You Don’t Strip Out Metadata
Metadata is information contained in the headers of your email that give information about you, your computer, network, browser, and recipient. This could give confidential information to hackers. Ensure that you are using an email security system that strips the metadata out of your emails.
In many cases, it would let a hacker know who your suppliers and business partners are, making it easier to target you in a phishing or other social engineering attack. Or you may be communicating regarding a potential merger or takeover, which you want to keep confidential. This information leaking into the public domain could have huge consequences.
5. You Don’t Have a Password Policy
People have passwords for many different accounts. They are difficult to remember, so people tend to use passwords that are easy to guess or use the same password for multiple accounts. This is a huge security risk. Even if your password is difficult to guess, it may be released into the public domain via a data breach of the other company.
Hackers then use your user name and password to try and login to different systems. If you’ve used the same login details for multiple accounts, then they are all at risk. If you’re curious to see if any of your login data has already leaked onto the dark web, visit a site such as https://haveibeenpwned.com/ – you might get a shock at what’s on there.
Protect Your Email Now
If any of the above applies to your company, then you are at high risk. If you don’t have the resources internally, find a managed service provider who will be able to evaluate your email system and put measures in place to secure it.