Most business owners recognize how crucial email is to the success of their company. But with this increased reliance on email also comes increased risk for businesses. Email security threats are increasing, as are cyber attacks in general. Most businesses will experience a data breach at some point – it’s just a matter of when.
There are so many ways hackers can gain access to your confidential information through your email system: phishing scams, ransomware, spyware, and worms pose very real dangers for businesses using email. If you’re concerned about protecting your business against different types of email threats, this article is for you! Read on to discover some best practices for safeguarding your company against malicious attacks. And other risks posed by emails and attachments.
Start by understanding the risks.
The first thing you should do is understand the risks your business faces.
1. Use Two-Factor Authentication
The first line of defense against this type of attack is two-factor authentication. Simply put, this is when a user logs into their account with a password. And then has to enter the second piece of information to gain access to the account. For example, a user might log into their account with their username and password and receive a code via text message.
They would then have to enter that code to log in. This makes it far more difficult for hackers to breach your system, which is highly recommended for all companies.
2. Install a Firewall
A firewall is a critical piece of equipment in your network security infrastructure. It’s designed to identify malicious traffic and block it in real-time, stopping it from entering the network and compromising your computers. Hackers use various techniques to infiltrate your systems and gain access to your data.
A firewall will monitor your network and help you detect malicious traffic and stop it before it can cause any damage. Most businesses will have a firewall installed on their network. However, it’s important to verify that the firewall you’re relying on is up to date and has all of the latest patches and updates to minimize your risk.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you have the right firewall for your business model—you don’t want to invest in an incredibly expensive solution if you only need a basic firewall.
3. Don’t Use Default Passwords
Attackers love to use default passwords to gain access to computers and accounts. For example, some hackers attempt to log into your email account using the user name and password that the email service provider has set as the default. You can protect against this attack by not using default passwords in any of your systems.
Not only should you not use the default password set by your email provider. But you shouldn’t reuse your passwords across different systems. This increases the risk that one of your accounts will be breached, leading to hackers gaining access to multiple systems. Instead, use a password manager that enables you to create unique passwords for every account.
4. Don’t Run Unnecessary Services
Another way hackers gain access to your systems and extract data is by exploiting vulnerabilities in your software. This is often referred to as a “hack” because the attacker is taking advantage of a bug in the software that wasn’t intended to be there. To safeguard against these attacks, ensure you’re not running unnecessary services.
This means you should only be running the software on your computers that is critical to your business. If a server or computer is running software that isn’t necessary, it makes it much easier for hackers to break into your system and exploit it.
5. Encrypt Your Data
Another line of defense against hackers attempting to access and steal your data is to encrypt it. Some companies employ a standard encryption policy, meaning that all data is encrypted, but others only encrypt sensitive or confidential data.
No matter what, it’s critical to encrypt any data that you don’t want hackers to be able to access—email messages, attachments, passwords, etc. If you would like to encrypt your data, there are many ways you can do so. Ideally, you should use a product that allows you to easily and quickly access your data if necessary.
Additionally, it would help if you were sure that the product is regularly updated to account for new threats and changing technology.
6. Protect your email with a Virtual Network Gateway
Finally, you can protect your email by utilizing the powerful protection capabilities of a virtual network gateway (VNG). A VNG is a virtual firewall that works with your existing firewall to protect your email and other applications.
Depending on the VNG solution, you can log, detect and block malicious traffic and automatically quarantine infected emails by diverting them to an isolated holding area. The VNG will also scrub all incoming and outgoing emails of attachments, removing any malware or viruses they may contain while protecting your email account.
Email is a critical business tool, but it’s also an easy target for hackers. These best practices can help you protect your company against malicious attacks and other risks posed by emails and attachments. When it comes to protecting your business, every second counts. Protect your systems by implementing these best practices as soon as possible, and you’ll be much better prepared should malicious attacks ever try to infiltrate your network.