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Why Email Security Protection is Necessary for Business Continuity

Email is the primary attack vector for cyber-criminals attempting to steal your data. Hence, having layers of security encompassing email servers and messages sent to user inboxes is critical to your business continuity. A sophisticated phishing attack could lead to tremendous data loss, and a particularly nasty attack could be a small organization out of business. 

 

Latest Email-Based Cyber-Attacks and Their Consequences

Several businesses in the last few years didn’t add enough email cybersecurity to their environment, and they became the latest victims of a data breach after users fell for phishing. Phishing is the number one concern for businesses globally, causing a majority of ransomware, malware, and data theft. 

Even large enterprises with security teams on staff can suffer from phishing. For example, in July 2022, American Airlines suffered a data breach after cyber-criminals successfully phished several network credentials from their employees. After stealing credentials, the malicious user could synchronize employee inboxes with their local email application using the IMAP protocol set up on the America Airlines network. Cyber-criminals then used the stolen email accounts to send additional phishing emails to American Airlines customers and third-party vendors.

In February 2023, Activision suffered a data breach after employees were tricked into divulging their credentials during a phishing attack. Activision employees and intellectual property were stolen in this data breach, which can be just as expensive as losing customer data.

Intellectual property can be worth millions, so some attackers go for sensitive data in code. For example, in November 2022, Dropbox fell victim to a phishing attack, and threat actors were then able to access GitHub accounts with permissions to the company’s sensitive codebase. Access to a corporate codebase gives threat actors visibility into API keys and user secrets. API keys and secrets can then be used to access user data, make charges on accounts, or steal sensitive data.

Did You Know?

99.99%

SpamTitan's spam catch rate

11 Seconds

a ransomware attack occurs

$285

the average cost to manage spam per person without an email filter

56.50%

of all email is spam

The Human Element is the Most Difficult to Predict

For every year there are several of these examples every month. Unfortunately, the human element is the most difficult to predict. Users might know the signs of a phishing threat, but they can still fall victim to a sophisticated attack when threat actors use intimidation and a sense of urgency. Both tactics cause employees to forget their training, and it’s why phishing is such an effective attack vector.

One common mistake in small businesses is thinking they are not a target. Unfortunately, small businesses are the biggest targets. They don’t have the resources, infrastructure, or knowledge to stop threats. Threat actors know that small businesses are easier to trick than large enterprises with expensive cybersecurity infrastructure and onsite security staff.

 

Benefits of Email Security Protection

It’s not enough to rely on workstation data protection to stop malware. Zero-day attacks bypass the latest cybersecurity technology and successfully install ransomware, malware, and other malicious software, giving an attacker access to corporate data and infrastructure. To find the right solution, you need email security protection that offers the right benefits.

 Here are a few benefits of email security:

  • Stop users from clicking on phishing links embedded in malicious messages
  • Block sophisticated email-based attacks from reaching the intended target victim
  • Increase user productivity by reducing the amount of spam and malicious email messages sent to their inboxes.
  • Stay compliant with the latest regulatory standards.
  • Protect users from downloading and installing ransomware and malware on their local workstations.
  • Improve a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy by allowing users to access email on their personal computers and mobile devices.
  • Preserve your corporate brand by avoiding bad press from a data breach.
  • Keep customer loyalty and trust when they know your business protects sensitive data.

A good solution is convenient to deploy, but it still must be effective during a security event

Best Practices for Deploying an Email Security Solution

Administrators unfamiliar with email threats and the cybersecurity technology used to stop malicious messages must deploy a solution using best practices. Poorly deployed email security leaves administrators and business stakeholders with a false sense of security. Another benefit of following best practices is the ease of maintenance for your solution. A good solution is convenient to deploy, but it still must be effective during a security event.

Here are a few best practices for deploying an email security solution:

  • Deploy a solution with artificial intelligence that adapts to changes in the cybersecurity landscape.
  • An email security solution should have very few false positives and false negatives. Both errors could cause productivity issues and allow for vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity strategy.
  • If you don’t have many IT and security administrators on staff, deploy a solution hosted in the cloud for ease of maintenance and support.
  • Use a solution with flexible configurations that meet business requirements. Configurations should adapt to business requirements rather than force changes in how you do business and stay productive.
  • Most organizations must follow compliance regulations for at least one regulatory body. Find a solution with developers that understand compliance and help you stay compliant with PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FINRA, CCPA, GDPR, and others you’re responsible for following.
  • Require users to authenticate using multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA should be established for internal network access and email synchronization. Using MFA lowers the risk of a data breach after a successful social engineering and phishing attack.
  • Monitor the email environment for any suspicious activity. An email security protection solution helps stop malicious emails from reaching the intended recipient, but monitoring the network can detect any additional security threats.

Email filtering solutions like SpamTitan block malicious messages from reaching the intended recipient's inbox.

Don’t Forget to Incorporate Security Awareness Training

You can have the best cybersecurity infrastructure available but must still train users to identify and stop email-based threats. For example, email and web content filtering solutions significantly reduce the risk of a data breach from phishing and social engineering, but it does not ultimately reduce your risks. In addition, you still have chances of threats from human error, but security awareness training helps employees identify threats and avoid them. 

Most effective cybersecurity training involves reading material for users or small videos explaining concepts, but the training then involves a small quiz to test the user’s retention of concepts. The quiz results are reported to stakeholders to determine if employees need additional training. Then, to test users in the future, phishing simulation exercises send phishing messages to users and track anyone who reads the email, deletes the message, clicks an embedded link in the email, and follows through by divulging sensitive day, including network credentials (e.g., username or password).

Susan Morrow Bio

Susan Morrow Bio

  • DATA PROTECTION
  • EMAIL PHISING
  • EMAIL SECURITY

The Importance of Email Security Protection

It’s difficult enough to protect data from cyber-criminals, but the human element of your business is the weakest link. Email is the most effective attack vector for cyber-criminals, so you need a way to stop them from tricking employees into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware. Deploying email security protection is the best and most affordable way for corporations to stop email-based threats. 

Data protection can be in filters, security awareness training, and MFA. You have several forms of cybersecurity infrastructure to choose from, but the best form stops threats before they even reach the intended victim. Email filtering solutions like SpamTitan block malicious messages from reaching the intended recipient's inbox. It’s a proven email security solution that protects data, your brand reputation, and customers and their data.

If you’re looking for an effective and affordable email security data protection solution, check out SpamTitanSpamTitan Plus, or start a free trial and deploy it now.

Talk to our Team today

Talk to our Team today