What is Email Security? Definition, Threats, Best Practices

What is Email Security?

Email security refers to the methods and processes used to safeguard email accounts, information, and communications from unauthorized access, data loss, and other hostile threats.

Significance of Email Security Practices

Hackers and cybercriminals use email as a means to disseminate malware, spam, and phishing assaults. It's also one of the common ways to get into a business network and steal sensitive data.

Approximately 92 percent of all malware is distributed via email. Every day, 15 billion spam emails are sent, accounting for around 45 percent of all emails. Furthermore, 95% of corporate email hack damages ranged from $250 to $984,855.

Threats to Email Marketing

  • Spam – Spam is defined as unsolicited emails sent in large numbers. Vector spam can contain links that download malware files in some situations.

  • Phishing – Phishing is when hackers use false emails, adverts, links, or messages to steal personal information or gain access to internet accounts. Phishing is involved in 36% of breaches, according to Verizon.

  • Malware – Malware is when cybercriminals use harmful code distributed in email communications to infect one or more machines. Email virus infections will increase by 600 percent in 2020.

  • Spoofing – Spoofing is a spam and phishing assault tactic used by hackers. It is meant to deceive consumers into believing that the communication comes from someone or something they know or can trust.

  • Botnet Messages – A botnet is a network of computers that have been infected with malware. It commands the 'bot-header,' a single assaulting party. It's used to hack into devices, steal data, send spam, and get access to the device and its network.

  • BEC (Business Email Compromise) – The tracker uses this approach to acquire access to a business email account and impersonate the owner. The attacker usually targets organizations that use wire transfers to send money to overseas vendors.

How Can You Identify an Email as a Threat?

Dangerous emails have some common features. Look out for the following attributes to identify emails that have been sent with a malicious intent −

Untrustworthy Email Address

Look for emails that utilize display name spoofing to hide the sender's true identity. These emails look like to have been sent by respectable organizations or trustworthy persons. Examine the sender's email address in the header for any small variations, such as extra characters or letters.

A Sense of Immediacy

In addition to verifying the email's header, you should also check the email's body. If you receive an unusual request that makes you feel compelled to act, it's likely that it includes malware. As a result, examine the email's wording for any feeling of urgency. Check for grammar and spelling issues, as most spam emails are poorly written.

Requests for Information Verification

Any email that requests you to verify, evaluate, check, or confirm any information is most likely a virus email. As a result, double-check the sender's email address before responding.

Suspicious Links

Malware might be contained in an email with an unexpected attachment that asks you to open it. .zip, .xls, .js, .pdf, .ace, .arj, .wsh, .scr, .exe, .com, .bat, and .doc are examples of suspicious attachment file extensions.

A Link Must Be Clicked

Keep an eye out for emails that push you to visit a website. It might be infected with malware! Check the URL before clicking on the link. If it's a hyperlinked link, hover your cursor over the text and double-check the link before clicking.

Email Security Best Practices

Following are some of the best practices in email security that work −

  • Email marketing should be encrypted. Customer-sensitive information is sometimes included in emails, making them susceptible. As a result, it's critical to protect these communications by encrypting all emails sent to and from your customers.

  • Email security software should be used. Additionally, employ high-quality email and security solutions that aren't easily manipulated or hacked. Invest in password management software, as well as anti-phishing and anti-spoofing software.

  • Use two-factor authentication. It's a common habit as well as an efficient security precaution. Before logging in, a user must submit two pieces of identifying information, making it far more difficult for hackers to get access to an account, even if they know the password.

  • Make sure the devices you use to log in are up to date. With the rise of remote work, many workers are encouraged to work from home and use personal devices to access company email accounts. Personal gadgets, on the other hand, are far more difficult for an organization to track, posing a serious security concern.

  • Only connect to secure Wi-Fi networks. If your firm doesn't utilize Wi-Fi or work from home, make sure you're always connected to the internet over a secure connection.