Entry into the email security world

Have you ever thought that are the emails you are sending or exchanging protected? Because there are n-number of ways—from spear-phishing and phishing attacks to email spoofing – that cyberattackers are utilizing.

Therefore, to protect your business reputation, it is necessary to secure your email communications. The best option to do so is implementing email security best practices. Let’s begin with it….

Marketing plays a key role in every industry; thus, email, in particular, has become a key driver for producing more leads, conversions, and ultimately revenue. Email is one of the most valuable virtual distribution channels, but it is also the least secure and must be protected at all costs.

It is essential to make sure that your organization’s email marketing campaigns are effective and secure at the end of the day. One should always ensure protecting one’s reputation and helping consumers from falling for cyberattacks and scams, such as “email phishing.”

Let’s have a glimpse of email phishing

Phishing is one kind of devil to marketers as it has a negative impact on the marketing channel and Return on Investment (ROI). As per Venture Beat, for every USD 1 spent on an email campaign, there is approximately USD 38 or above ROI earned. Top executives, such as CEOs (Chief Executives Officer), fall victim to phishing emails. Such a particular category is called whaling.

Email phishing has a significant impact on marketing email campaigns; therefore, it is important to know the warning signs. Why wait? Let’s look out for them:

  • Request for personal information
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • False hyperlinks
  • Check for any lack of personalization
  • High importance marked email might be spoofed

Despite other communication tools such as WhatsApp, Slack, and Telegram, all working professionals, businesses, and freelancers have a common communication platform, i.e., email, to communicate with their consumers. Although email is now part of our daily lives, how often you think about its security before using it?

Just look at the other side of the coin when you see the real picture—for instance, a business lost about USD 190,000 because its suppliers’ email was hacked!

Did you know?

The real whooping fact- about 91% of all cyberattacks start with an email. But this is not it. The entire situation gets more complicated as a high number of emails are exchanged daily. In 2019, approximately 293 billion emails were exchanged daily, and it is anticipated to increase by over 347 billion by 2022.

Email being such an important part of our daily business routine, it is necessary to know the importance of email security. Even a small breach gap could damage your enterprise’s reputation or lead to significant monetary loss.

Why are emails so susceptible to cyberattacks?

When thinking about several reasons that lead to their vulnerability, three primary factors come to mind:

  • Easy to use as everyone and anyone can send an email
  • Usage of public networks makes your data more vulnerable
  • If unsecured, then it is easy to hack

Why one needs to protect their inbox?

  • One cannot control technical attacks
  • Human error is inevitable

“If you spend more on your coffee than on securing your email communications, you’ll be hacked.” – EmailOut

Email security best practices 2020

Now we know that most cyber breaches are happening because of poor email security practices. To avoid being a victim of one such cyberattack, we advise you to implement tried-and-tested email security best practices.

Ready to dive in?

1. Email security measures – the basics

The best email security is not just about selecting a strong password or investing in expensive antivirus software. So, escape from shooting yourself in the foot by missing the basics.

By applying authenticated methods such as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), DomainKeys Identifier Mail (DKIM), and Sender Policy Framework (SPF), one will be able to prevent people from pretending to be you (termed as email spoofing) and verify that the sender is you. These methods help prove the sender is genuine, emails are not being sent on behalf of someone else, and identity has not been compromised.

2. Select quality antivirus software

It’s but obvious; enhanced antivirus software might reduce threats of email security breaches.

Pro-tip – However, it is not enough to protect your organization from the cyberattack.

3. Cyber awareness training sessions for employees

Humans are believed to be one of the major challenges when it comes to email security. Therefore, it is necessary to educate your staff. Train them to identify, flag, and safely handle phishing and spam emails.

Experts have noticed that 2 out of 3 email hacks happen due to employee negligence, and that could cost an average of USD 280,000 per incident.

4. Use strong, unique passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA)

Encourage employees to use unique and unguessable passwords and make sure it applies to one account only. Other accounts must have different passwords. In short, not to keep one password for all other accounts.

It is necessary to apply 2FA and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for extra email security. 2FA could block hackers from reaching your inbox.

5. Use secure email gateway (SEG)

SEGs are an important firewall for emails. Their role is to monitor outbound and inbound email communications. They show the best result when combined with email encryption.

Pro-tip: Do not allow employees to use company emails for personal use.

6. Watch out for phishing emails

Phishing is a straightforward way to steal email and personal data by tricking individuals into handing over their details.

The process comprises:

  • The hacker sends an email that comprises a link to a site you know.
  • As the victim clicks the link, he is directed to the fake site.
  • The victim enters details to log in to his account.
  • The fake phishing site steals the email and password before passing it back to the hacker.

Therefore, be careful before entering your data.

Final verdict

When we were growing up, our mothers taught us not to talk to strangers, right? But somehow, in this enhanced technological world, we have forgotten all those lessons. We are getting involved in a world of danger or, say, stranger danger emails world that can risk your business and your consumers’ business.

In the end, if you think that none of these factors apply to you as you use a dedicated VPN or EPN or emails very carefully, and your emails are safe. Dude, you have to break your little safety bubble because you might need an extra layer of protection for your inbox.

Therefore, to get that extra email security layer to your inbox, follow these email security best practices.

For more such content, download our latest whitepapers on email security best practices.