Email Encryption and security in the new threats environment

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The new digital transformation of businesses improves productivity and opens a new window into network and connectivity with clients, partners and workers. This convenience comes with a price: increased exposure to threats to your business IT systems. Most common threats breach your systems by not sufficiently protecting email systems, which result in phishing and hacking attacks that might lead to a loss of data and even loss of business. Below we will help you understand more about your system, common threats to it, and what is available in the market to protect you and your business from malicious activity.

WHAT IS EMAIL PHISHING?

Phishing is a term used to identify data and information theft and virus malware that spreads in a breached system. It is a type of account theft occurring by messaging to one’s email. Scammers or hackers send false information which often comes from a recognized company or organization that makes the email receiver more likely to respond with their personal information.

WHY IS IT CALLED PHISHING?

The name Phishing comes from the term fishing. The basic function behind phishing activity is to send a bait email, link or file and to make the receiver activate the content which will mean that the bait worked and now the fish, or in our analogy the email user, is basically hooked and his faith is now in the hands of the fisherman, or in our case the hacker.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF EMAIL PHISHING ATTACKS?

There are many different types of Phishing. Usually, there is a link for one to click on which leads to a website where the user is asked to update their information. This information may be passwords, credit card information, bank account numbers, and social security numbers. In other cases the email itself contains the malware and can be activated upon opening or downloading of attached files. A protected email system is usually able to filter and monitor these emails even before one can make the mistake of opening them.

WHY ARE EMAIL PHISHING THREATS DANGEROUS FOR BUSINESSES?

Phishers can also infect your computers with viruses. Computer viruses can be like a human flu virus spreading from person to another. A computer virus spreads from host to host. It is a detrimental code written to change the way your computer operates. A virus achieves its objective by embedding itself into a document or program in your computer that supports macros. Why macros (micro-instruction)? The virus spreads to other computers through software programs like Microsoft Excel or Word that are common and capable of executing macros. Viruses written for these programs can infect other documents every time the document is opened. Hence, the ease with which a computer network can be infected. Once you unknowingly open an infected document and attach it to an email you are sending to someone else you have spread the attack even further. Since these files are being transferred thought email, often between workers and sometimes even clients and customers, the potential to spread these viruses when your email lacks the proper security protection systems is almost inevitable.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BUSINESS EMAIL IS SECURE?

Many businesses rely on common email provider accounts or even private email accounts in some cases. Those email accounts are generally free and come with a cost of minimal security, usually not including liability for damage that can be caused to your systems and business. While using those accounts is a common practice, users need to be aware of the possible threats and must take action to ensure security avoid being attacked, hacked and breached. A certified and experience provider of email security services can perform an assessment of your email system and to guide your business through solutions and measures you should take to secure your system.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EMAIL SECURITY?

There are many best practice requirements for email security. It can be challenging for a business to figure out what are the proper measures it needs to take by self-assessment. Here’s our take:

  1. The first step to best results in securing your email and system is to contact a reliable provider of email security services. The provider will perform an assessment and will need you to define your type of business email use and what you consider to be sensitive data.
  2. Based on the initial audit of your system or your preferences, the provider will offer tools and solutions to be implemented in your system.
  3. One of the main tools is usually improving your authentication and access processes. Good providers will offer a multi-factor authentication method for the users in your business.
  4. Another service would be Filter and Monitoring. These services will significantly improve your email security and will allow the provider to implement a passive filter for threats and proactive monitoring that audits activity to protect your system and secure your email.
  5. Lastly, the provider should offer you configuration tools to be combined with a web protection. Some email rules and configurations, such as forwarding rules, directories management, and type of files which can be sent and received should provide an additional and crucial layer of secure email activity.

WHAT IS EMAIL ENCRYPTION AND DOES MY BUSINESS NEED IT?

Email encryption is a function meant to protect your emails from exposure to third party unwanted users. Or in other words, it is a process which makes sure your confidential or sensitive emails are not visible to parties who you don’t wish to see it.

The question of whether a business needs email encryption is quite simple and usually the answer is, yes. That being said, different businesses have different definitions of what is considered confidential or sensitive data. Medical offices and healthcare providers for instance usually provide encryption under HIPAA regulations to be in compliance with patient’s confidentiality. Other industries such as legal practices and law firms, should always refer to email encryption for their clients information to prevent sensitive data leaks. So too should manufacturing companies, and any business dealing with clients and information which might risk their business activity if hacked or leaked. You must remember that the size of the business is not what matters to hackers. Sometimes the Small Businesses are easier targets and their lack of understanding and security make them more prone to attacks and breaches.

CAN I SIMPLY USE SECURITY SOFTWARE I DOWNLOAD BY MYSELF?

Again, the simple answer is, yes. Should you? In most cases, probably not. There are many companies that allow you to download a tool or software to protect your email and systems. The difference between those and using a professional security services and email encryption provider is that the provider will know what the needs of your whole system are. Buying one or two tools to protect your system might mean you still have ten other security issues in your system that you didn’t fix, or account for. In addition, a provider will make sure you get all the relevant updates and releases on time. Lastly, the provider will have full support available for your business to address issues and changes within your business infrastructure and activity that may arise at a later date.

HOW DO I FIND AN EMAIL ENCRYPTION AND SECURITY PROVIDER?

There are many email encryption and security services providers in the market, but from our experience what makes the difference is the experience and the accessibility of your provider. Experienced providers will know best how to translate your needs to the right security solutions for your systems and choosing a local and trustable provider will ensure you get best service in those moments when you need it urgently.

TechnoLiving IT is a Managed IT Services Solutions provider specializing in email encryption and security services solutions for businesses in West Palm Beach and South Florida. Trusted by clients to provide the best solutions for almost 20 years.

Have questions or interested in hearing about our Email Encryption and Security Solutions for your business? Send us a message below.

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OR
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