Email is one of the more vulnerable areas of any network infrastructure. The fact that it leaves one network and enters another makes it one of the most obvious contributors for threats and malicious activity. Every day, email is used to transmit viruses, malware, and phishing schemes. Thus, making email security a major priority for all businesses, large and small.
Here are 4 Email Security Basics you should have in place!
1. Spam Filtering
Through spam filtering, you can redirect harmful, useless or deceptive emails away from your inbox so they are either automatically dumped into your junk folder or never even enter the network at all. Spam filtering can eliminate numerous front-line threats and can prevent many risks to end users.
2. Attachment Scanning
Many email security threats come through the unwitting download and opening of an attachment that contains malicious spyware, ransomware, virus, or code with the intent of capturing sensitive company information. Most times these threats are disguised as harmless documents, and can end up crippling a user’s computer once downloaded and can then bring an entire network down. Attachment scanning can detect if the attachment contains any known malicious code packages, and will notify, isolate and remove any attachments deemed harmful.
3. Email Encryption
Email encryption should be enabled to prevent messages being intercepted and/or read by anyone other than the intended recipients. Doing this relies on public-key cryptography. Which means, users can publish a public key that others can use to encrypt messages to them, while keeping secret a private key that can be used to decrypt messages – or to digitally encrypt and sign messages that are sent.
4. End User Knowledge
Targeted attacks are gaining popularity, like spear-phishing, which attempts to infiltrate a network by posing as a common email. Such as, one from a boss or CEO that is requesting information. These sort of attacks may not be prevented by any of the methods mentioned above, and could leave your network open to even larger infiltrations and threats. Which is why there is no replacement for end users having the knowledge and proper training to tell the difference between malicious and safe email. These sort of attacks can be even more insidious if they come from within an organization. Thus, making a properly trained and educated end user the last line of defense to bolster any email security strategy.
Note: Email security is just one component to a strong cyber-security strategy.
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