Email security is becoming more of a concern to so many users. Amidst these covid-19 times, the danger in your inbox has been on the rise. It seems as though hackers are seeing this pandemic as a great opportunity to “cash in” while causing havoc for everyone else. Recent research shows that phishing attacks are up 350%, since the covid-19 pandemic. The reason for this is because email is one of the easiest entry points to hack.
Users aren’t as careful with securing their inboxes, or taking precautions when checking their emails. They figured, “I got an email…it’s only right that I open it”. To their defense, hackers do a really good job of making their phishing emails look legit.
So it’s easy for the average user to fall for a phishing scam.
We’re left to our own merits to be responsible for our own email security. Unless of course, we’re working for a major corporation with highly sensitive data. Then it becomes mandatory.
But there’s hope…I will share with you today, 5 tips you can do to improve email security for your office. Let’s dive in.
1. Having A Plan In Place
A plan is always better than no plan at all. A plan of action puts your organization in a much better space from a security standpoint. The plan essentially should provide the guidelines for proactive and reactive protocols. For example, the proactive protocols could be encrypting emails, and or have each computer with scanning software, such as an anti-virus (more on that later) to scan each email that comes in and goes out.
Reactive protocols would be what to do in the event your company was to be hacked. What types of backup procedures are being carried out? How fast could emails or data be retrieved, if the account was hacked? Or what’s the rollback policy in the event the type of attack is ransomware, which affects company data?
Being able to answer those types of questions and similar ones in nature will help to put you in a better trajectory for better email security.
2. Education About Email Security
It is up to the organization to educate their employee about email security. The reality, however, is that most companies don’t have any protocols or training in place that their employees can follow. Here are a few tips to get you started in this area:
- Understand what email Phishing is. The more educated you are about phishing, the better prepare you will be when you come across it.
- Be aware of the sender that’s sending you information. If you don’t recognize the sender, then don’t open that email. Most email services today, does a good job of filtering bad phishing emails to spam/junk mail. Hackers are aware and getting more sophisticated with this, so still, be careful.
- Speaking of which, hackers know how to use real company names to look even more official and legitimate. So before you get click-happy when there’s a link in the email, make sure to verify the sender.
- Have a plan of action in place to recover from a phishing attack.
3. Backup Those Important Files
Having a good email security plan must include a robust backup plan. What hackers are after more than anything is information. The more information they have on you, the more damages they can do. Guess what has a ton of information? Your company data.
There are several data backup plans that are out there for you to choose from. Choose the one that’s best suited for your business. What’s most important, however, is that you choose something. A backup system that consistently backup company data to the cloud, preferably on a daily basis. Not having a backup plan simply is not an option anymore.
4. Invest in a Good Anti-virus Package
Many anti-virus software comes equipped with the ability to scan incoming and outgoing emails. It’s possible that hackers can still figure out a way to get around this, it does give them additional hurdles to go over before they can get past your line of defense.
Sure, this can be an additional step that has to be done when you’re sending and receiving emails. But when you compare this small inconvenience to the potential of losing company data what would cost your company tens of thousands of dollars in recovery. I think it’s definitely worth it.
Two good antiviruses that have this email protection feature are Bitdefender and Norton 360. They’re both worth looking into.
5. Hire An Email Security Expert
Having a team of experts to monitor and track company emails is a great way to be proactive in defending yourself against email hacking. One of the true benefits here is that you have a dedicated team to take care of this for your office. The first step of course is to be better about how you and your company open emails. That includes taking precautionary measures and training your employees on proper email safeguards.
In addition, having an external dedicated team adds to the arsenal to protect your company against any possible email hacking.
This is where I’ll leave it for this post. The rise of email hacking has brought a lot of attention to higher security for small and medium-sized businesses. Consider putting a strategy together that will secure your company from any potential email hacking.