Every time cybersecurity improves, it seems like criminals and malware developers are finding new ways to circumvent the updates. That’s why the only defense is a multi-layered defense. Malware programs, automated network monitoring, and knowledge about how to protect your online accounts are just a few of the layers that companies need to stay secure. Learn about these three vulnerabilities in most email systems so you can pick the right defenses:
Does your company email identify external domains?
Email hosting services are one of the biggest holes your company has in what you want to be an impenetrable network. But it’s a hole that you have to have, just like the front door to your lobby has to let in everyone from third-party contractors to first-time visitors. Defend that wide open space with:
Extra caution when communicating with outside parties.
All of your employees know the difference between talking to someone in the company versus talking to someone on the outside. There’s a tonal shift. Things are discussed with a formal surface and in less detail. Most importantly, data isn’t shared unless it needs to be shared and it’s according to procedure.
Make your email service smarter by customizing it to highlight external recipients.
See when duplicate domains are phishing for information.
Sometimes, however, external recipients aren’t legitimate third parties. A common tactic for phishing schemes is to use an email domain that looks like yours at a glance. If you have Someone@TomsApplianceRepair.com, a phishing scheme might come your way from Someone@TomApplianceRepair.com or Someone@TomApplianceReapir.com. These emails are hard to spot, especially if a malicious actor copies your company email signature and uses details they can pull from your company’s LinkedIn account. If your systems aren’t identifying these external attempts at domain duplication, your company could accidentally leak crucial information.
How secure are your attachments?
Inbound emails themselves are very rarely dangerous. All they are is text within narrow confines of allowed function. What’s more dangerous is the external information that they lead to. Primarily, this includes hyperlinks and attachments.
Only use email hosting services that have automatically included malware and virus protection. This layer of protection will provide comprehensive security against a long list of common attachment hazards. Depending on the nature of your business and how much you want to protect your network against bad attachments (and bad actors), you can have supplemental features integrated into the system. While an attachment preview isn’t complete protection against dangerous downloads, this features can also help provide a baseline defense against opening malicious files.
Links are another story entirely. It’s difficult and inconvenient to verify embedded links before they’re clicked on. Fully typed out links that are actually embedded links to mirrored sites are also significant risks. Make sure your browsers can verify links and check for phony sites before your employees land on the page. Automating protections helps because it’s second nature to click embedded links and hard to spot signs of phishing in a hurry.
Has it been a while since the last password reset?
Nobody likes resetting their passwords. But it’s one of the best protective elements you can work into your IT operations. Part of this is logistical: employee turnover, position changes, and just accidental exposure over time. But part of this is due to the human element. People don’t like creating complex, unguessable passwords. So they often create easy-to-remember codes with guessable phrases. When it comes time to reset the password, most people only make a few character changes, usually by changing the number component to the next one in the sequence.
So automate your email password security to achieve two key elements: more frequent password updates, and more meaningful changes on each revision.
All of this updates and more are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybersecurity. Go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd for more tips or contact us for an IT service that can handle it for you.