Most businesses, irrespective of the industry, prefer email as their primary mode of communication — not only with employees but also with external parties such as vendors and clients. Despite the extensive usage of emails, they are not inherently secure.
Email systems were not built for the sophisticated risks that exist in the digital space today. They were designed to be an open format of communication where information is sent in plain text without any precautionary measures. This causes severe security concerns, as emails can be viewed, and misused, by anyone. This is where email security steps in.
Email security refers to various procedures that must be implemented to protect email accounts and the content from unauthorised access, loss, or compromise.
Although email security has been inherently insecure in nature, technologies such as password
encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA) have emerged as solutions to safeguard important and sensitive information.
More than 90% of targeted security threats originate from email—and these threats are in number. According to the State of Email Security 2020 Report, 77% of respondents are implementing cyber resilience strategy in their personal capacity. In contrast, only 62% of South African organisations are actively doing so, despite 47% of businesses expecting to suffer from an email-borne attack. This proves the importance of implementing your own email security strategy.
While many people immediately think of malware when they think of the danger to their email
addresses, email security issues come in many more forms. Even if your business is protected against software intentionally designed to damage your network, cyber thieves have creative ways to cause security threats. Unfortunately, most of the attacks are caused by social engineering.
As humans, we instinctively want to trust people. Social engineering exploits this trust by psychologically manipulating people, and tricking them into sharing confidential or sensitive information.
The type of information that is extracted using this method varies. But, in most cases, when you are targeted, the cybercriminals often trick you into sharing confidential details such as your bank account information, passwords, or information that can help them access your computer or network.
Once they have access to your network in particular, they will be able to install applications that can give them complete control over your devices. The hacker could then access your emails, check your business financial records, steal the identity of your employees, or do anything else they can think of.
Identity theft is a serious concern, as it could lead to a fraudulent case against your business. And you don’t only need to concern yourself with your own identity theft — hackers could impersonate people you trust, like a company executive, and submits fake bills or initiate an emergency EFT payment. If left unnoticed, your business stands to lose a lot of money and credibility.
If you haven’t considered or implemented email security protocols to protect your business, here are five key features to think about:
Phishing is a cyber-attack that is rooted in emails, aimed at getting your data and passwords. When your business communication is protected by Microsoft 365 Advanced Threat Protection, you will have access to anti-phishing tools, like. machine learning models which carefully examine incoming emails for pre-determined phishing indicators. These models analyse message content, and take appropriate action based on configured policies drafted to protect you.
Spoofed emails use fake addresses that feature no mechanism for authentication, and are often used for spamming. Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP) includes excellent cyber security features to protect your business from spoofed email senders. The three key features of EOP are spoof intelligence, anti-spoofing policies, and email authentication.
The Safe Attachments feature is designed to check if any incoming emails contain attachments that could cause a malware or virus attack. All email messages and attachments that contain viruses or malware are directed to a special environment where various machine learning and analysis procedures and techniques are used by ATP to learn about malicious intent.
The message is released for delivery to the receiver’s mailbox only if no suspicious activity is detected. ATP Safe Links automatically blocks any malicious looking content in emails and Microsoft Office Documents, while allowing valid links to be accessed as normal.
Microsoft 365 Advanced Threat Protection allows you to create powerful reports using the “Real-Time Detection” feature. This helps your security team to identify and respond to threats in real-time. With this report, you can review the list of malwares detected, view phishing URLs, allow or block addresses, investigate emails with malware, and more.
Microsoft Office 365 Message Encryption allows you to protect sensitive emails by encrypting email messages that are sent to and from your organisation. This feature helps you stay in control and enhances email security.
As a Microsoft Gold Certified organisation, we are perfectly placed to help with your Email Security. We’re just a click away, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
Since 2003, Solid Systems have specialised in delivering leading technology solutions and offering guidance to organisations in South Africa and abroad, in the most human way possible.
We love technology and the exciting ways that it evolves, and are constantly improving the tools that we use. But humans are at the heart of our business. That’s why we value each relationship and prioritise a personal approach, finding solutions that deliver results for your company in the best way possible.
With our highly skilled and passionate professionals behind us, and the latest and most sophisticated tools at their disposal, we ensure that the businesses we work with are constantly evolving, and can step into the future with confidence.