What is Email Security?

Email security refers to any processes, products, and services designed to protect your email accounts and email content safe from external threats. Most email service providers have built-in email security features designed to keep you secure, but these may not be enough to stop cybercriminals from accessing your information.

With some investment in email security, you can make it nearly impossible for a hacker to take control of your email accounts, and stop in-progress attacks the moment you notice them develop.

What is Email Security?

Why Is Email Security Crucial to Your Organization?

There are two reasons why email security is crucial for your organization:

1. Any email vulnerability can be devastating.

Understand that even a single flaw in your email security protocols can be devastating; experts estimate that cybercriminals stole more than $12 billion from companies in 2019 from phishing attacks alone. A single email breach could also lead to a much bigger-scale attack.

2. There are email vulnerabilities everywhere.

There are countless opportunities for exploitation and attacks in your email strategy. A criminal could gain control of one of your accounts. They could seize information from a critical message. They could even lure your employees into providing their login credentials for other services using a deceptive email message.

Most common Email Security Threats

1. Phishing:

Phishing schemes have evolved greatly since the Nigerian Prince days, and now include meticulous social engineering techniques designed to exploit built-in and traditional protections as well as human nature, including spoofing techniques designed to make the email look legit to the unsuspecting eye. There are different types of email phishing attacks, with the most common and dangerous ones being impersonation, spear-phishing, and Business Email Compromise (BEC).

2. Malware:

Malware attacks are usually sent as an attachment to an email, and can range from a seemingly innocent Resume file sent to HR to an invoice file sent to accounts payable. The goal is to infect the end-user’s machine and gain control over it and the data on it, and in many cases move across the network to infect other machines within the same organization.

3. Account Takeover:

Account takeover or hijacking attacks aim to steal users’ credentials in order to access their accounts, enabling them to steal sensitive information, money, and intercept private communications. These attacks can be the start of a lateral attack on an organization, as the hackers have access to an inside account and can impersonate the owner of the account. These attacks often start from a spear phishing campaign against a specific person in the organization with authority to access sensitive information or to approve money transactions, and once the credentials are stolen, hackers can begin their lateral movement.

4. Data Leak:

Employees can intentionally or unintentionally leak sensitive data outside the organization, which puts the organization at risk of regulatory compliance fines, loss of competitive advantage, intellectual property, or reputation damage.

How to Improve Email Security

So what steps can you take to improve your email security? Most organizations use a combination of investing in new email security products and developing more robust internal security processes. These include:

  • Basic best practices. Anyone can improve their adherence to best security practices when it comes to email. Choose a strong password and don’t give it out to anybody. Enable multifactor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Be suspicious of unfamiliar links or attachments. Train your employees to do the same.
  • Data leak prevention. Controlling the exchanging of sensitive information like personal data or credit card information can be a powerful extra layer of security.
  • Zero-day attack prevention. Zero-day attacks can be devastating, but the right email security strategy can stop them in their tracks.
  • Phishing scheme prevention. Phishing—the deceptive practice of luring people into providing their login credentials or other data—is incredibly common in the world of email and has gotten extremely sophisticated. Most email services attempt to filter out phishing attacks naturally, but they can’t catch them all—which is why you need an additional layer of protection that is designed to detect and block these social engineering attacks before they reach users.
  • Monitoring and Visibility. The best email security products offer actionable insights and easy monitoring, to help you in understanding what is happening in your environment and take better security decisions.

Are you interested in improving your email security? Consider using Check Point’s Cloud Email Security and Office Suite Protection—sign up for a free trial today, or request a demo to see how it works to keep you safe!

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