Email is the primary method used to initiate security threats ranging from phishing to spam to ransomware. These attacks cost many companies millions of dollars each year. However, there are steps you can take to protect your business from advanced security threats.
Develop a Strong Line of Defense
Many hackers and cybercriminals prey on employees who are unaware of the threats they face. It is, therefore, critical for organizations to train employees on how to recognize, avoid, and report attacks. The training should teach employees basic best practices for security, including:
- Don’t click on links in emails that you don’t know. If you hover over a link that does not go where it says it should go, do not click it.
- Be cautious when opening email attachments. This is a common method of attack for ransomware.
- Reply to emails that seem suspicious, asking questions such as, “Why did you send me this with a link?”
- Look closely at the email domain (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) of the sender. Is it correct? Or is the spelling wrong, a letter missing, etc.?
- Do not download software without checking with your IT department.
- Reboot frequently to apply the latest security updates and patches to your computer.
- Do not put anything in your computer—including CDs and USBs—that is from an unknown source.
- Minimize web browsing at work, which can open the business to attack.
- Avoid clicking on links posted in social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter from your work computer.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi on your work computer. When you do use public networks, use a VPN or other secure network to connect remotely.
- Use passphrases instead of simple passwords.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA), AKA two factor authentication (2FA), to help protect your accounts.
Simplify and Strengthen Email Security
Every message counts, and it only takes one erroneous click to cause a business harm. Many businesses today hire experts to run phishing campaigns on their employees to assess their security awareness. These penetration tests help a company with their email awareness training, which can prevent employees from exposing data that you’ve worked so hard to protect.
Another way to improve email security is to implement enterprise-grade security and threat visibility tools, including a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS). A HIPS monitors a user’s computer for suspicious activity and reports potential threats to the firewall, which blocks emails until an administrator can determine if they should be allowed through to the end-user.
With threats continuing to increase, it’s critical to ensure you have the latest business protections in place. LBMC can help you proactively identify and prevent malicious cyberattacks. If you need additional help determining the best solution to address your security needs, LBMC has experienced IT security experts available to assist.