Why email security matters

Why email security matters

Email remains the most popular and most effective method of communication across businesses in every sector. This makes email a top target for cyberattacks; it’s no surprise that the majority of data breaches have an email phishing element. Enterprise-grade email security takes collective measures to secure access to email accounts and mitigate the effects of malicious content.

Email is the number 1 channel for attackers

Social engineering scams can target anyone in any channel — it doesn’t even have to be online. But the ubiquity of email makes it the obvious target for attackers. It’s extremely cheap to send out malicious emails en masse, and because almost everyone uses email, attackers always have reliable access to potential victims.

Phishing scams aren’t the only way attackers exploit email. Aside from false pretenses meant to dupe unsuspecting users into giving away confidential information, email is also a popular channel for malware delivery. Malware may be hidden in attachments or on malicious websites linked to in the email.

Sometimes, hackers target email accounts themselves. If attackers are able to compromise an account, they can use it for launching highly convincing targeted phishing scams against people in the contacts list. Others may use it to collect confidential information like intellectual property and trade secrets.

Malicious emails hurt productivity

Even when attempted data breaches aren’t successful, the productivity cost of malicious email is enormous. It costs the global economy billions of dollars every year in remediation efforts and wasted work hours alone. Without enterprise-grade spam filters, business users can end up spending many hours every month manually evaluating potentially suspicious emails.

Sometimes, attacks against business email systems are designed to cause disruption rather than steal data. Outbound and inbound mail flooding, for example, consumes the bandwidth and slows down the processing capabilities of your email servers. Junk attachments can quickly fill up inbox quotas so that legitimate emails cannot make it through.

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are another common threat. Even if they don’t target sensitive data itself, the arrival of huge volumes of email can degrade network performance, even over externally hosted services. In some cases, a DoS attack can render other online services, such as VPN and remote desktop connections, unusable.

Weak login credentials

By far the biggest threat to information security is the human one. Whether intentional or accidental, the human element cannot be underestimated. It’s bad enough that weak email login credentials are widespread in the consumer world. For businesses, however, they can easily lead to a disastrous data breach.

Hackers can hijack email accounts simply by guessing the user’s password. Or attackers will try to dupe users into giving away their login credentials. One common method, for example, is setting up a fake email login page that looks like the real thing but is designed to capture login information.

Business-grade email security delivers multiple layers of protection to keep email accounts safe. For example, it ensures all outgoing communications are encrypted, so even if a hacker does manage to intercept them, the information will be useless to them. Another important layer of protection is multifactor authentication, which verifies user identities before they can log in.

Why consumer-grade email security isn’t enough

Consumer-grade email security controls, such as those included in popular email services like Gmail, aren’t enough for businesses. Firstly, businesses are favorite targets for more sophisticated attacks and determined hackers, simply because the information they have is more valuable. Secondly, many businesses face stringent regulations that require them to retain email communications and ensure continuity and visibility throughout their systems. Finally, a typical business email account handles a lot of incoming and outgoing emails, which naturally requires a more robust and scalable security system.

Kortek Solutions provides enterprise-grade email filtering and spam protection to protect your communications and enhance operational efficiency. Call today to find out how it works.