The Basics of Email Security

      Posted by May Elliott on Nov 18, 2020 11:10:00 AM

      Advancements in technology have enabled organizations to do more than ever, especially in the digital space. But along with the good comes the bad, and those with negative intentions know how to target your organization’s most sensitive areas. Your email is often a weak link when it comes to security because it constantly travels in and out of your organization’s network, leaving it vulnerable to attack by way of viruses and other malware, ransomware, and phishing attempts. With a lack of email security, your business is left open to these attacks – but implementing reinforced email security controls can protect your email, your employees’ email, and ultimately your data from unauthorized use. Blog Image - The Basics of Email Security

      Gaining an understanding of how email security works, what types are available, and how it can protect your business from unwanted attacks gives you the advantage and enables you to conduct your operations in peace. It can also build your organization’s reputation as a trusted partner and instill confidence in your clients and vendors to do business with you without fear of having their own data compromised. To avoid the perils of spam email, learn what you can do to implement advanced email security features within your organization.

      How Does Email Security Work?

      Without email security, emails travel through servers en route to their destinations and have the potential to be intercepted by just about anyone with the right knowledge and hacking experience. Not only does this mean that sensitive information can be obtained and turned into public knowledge, but it also means that hackers can manipulate your email to send out realistic-looking phishing attempts and malware to others, seemingly from your account.

      Good email security is all about encryption, which prevents messages from being read during transit. Before leaving your outbox, the data contained in your emails is scrambled so that it can’t be read by hackers or their computers. When your message successfully reaches the authorized recipient, it is decrypted so that it can be viewed as intended. Depending on how your organization is set up, you may be utilizing email security for each message, or, you can opt to have your organization’s network encrypted with TLS so that everything you send remains protected throughout the journey. Email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo encrypt messages behind the scenes to add a layer of protection that you may not be aware of, as does Microsoft 365.

      What Are the Different Types of Email Security?

      Breaking down email security involves looking at three main components that are responsible for protecting your messages, both incoming and outgoing. Each plays a role that contributes to the health of your organization’s email services and can help to eliminate risks associated with malicious attacks. Educating your employees can help them to understand which actions are providing protection, and how to recognize threats that make it past these barriers.

      • Email Encryption. Typically, this means digital encryption that is handled automatically by the email client. Messages are encrypted before takeoff and then decrypted when they reach their intended destination. If an interception occurs while the message is in transit, the information within can’t be read or extracted.
      • Spam Filtering. Most are quite familiar with spam folders that trap unwanted and potentially dangerous emails from reaching their inboxes. Spam filtering is a form of email security that redirects these emails based on a number of factors and known spam email tendencies to help minimize the chance of someone clicking any unsafe links.
      • Attachment Scanning. Most email clients will perform a scan of any incoming attachments – especially those from unknown senders – to determine whether the files are safe to be opened. Malicious files that contain viruses or other malware frequently look like innocent files, but attachment scanning can help to detect these before damage occurs.

      How Can You Improve Email Security?

      If email security has been an issue in your organization, there are several practices that you can introduce to regain confidence. Each can have a different impact on your organization and may require implementation by your IT department. Again, educating your employees is crucial and serves as an additional line of defense. Many email security breaches can be detected before damage is done if your employees know what to look for.

      To help cut down on email attacks, your organization can implement:

      • Phishing Exercises. Attackers often use phishing attempts to trick employees into providing information, installing software, or clicking links. These emails look very real, but there will always be something that isn’t quite right. Teaching your employees to hover before clicking links, and to always double-check the sender’s email address are two powerful ways to detect phishing attempts before any action is taken.
      • MFA or 2FA. Multi-factor authentication or 2-factor authentication requires that employees sign in or input a code on their smartphone in order to access their email on company devices. Microsoft 365 and many others offer this feature to prevent access to attackers if they are able to breach the user’s email account. Unless the attacker also has the user’s phone, they won’t be able to fully access the account or any sensitive data.
      • Domain-based Messaging Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (or, DMARC for short) helps to reduce fraudulent or malicious email by providing a way to detect unauthorized emails that are sent from a legitimate company email account (domain spoofing). DMARC will request that detected emails be deleted or blocked as they come in so that the recipient doesn’t receive them in the first place.
      • Integrated Solutions. SaaS offerings such as NewCloud Email Security can provide a robust layer of added protection that is designed to combat malicious email in more aggressive ways than the standard protection features that are built into traditional email clients. NewCloud Email Security safeguards employee communication and uses a targeted threat protection technique along with data leak prevention and enforced security controls.

      NewCloud Email Security Solution

      Our goal is to help your organization prevent attackers from using malware, ransomware, phishing attempts, and interception tactics to breach your sensitive data. NewCloud Email Security detects, blocks, and neutralizes threats from both internal and external sources and can protect your employees from social engineering and impersonation catastrophes. To talk with us about email security for your organization, complete the form below.

      Topics: Cloud Security, Cybersecurity, Email Security, Cloud Solutions, Cyberattacks

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