What is Email Security? A Complete Guide

A businessman works on his laptop at home with a virtual display and secure email

What is Email Security? A Complete Guide Why do you need to have a managed email security solution? Get a Quote Download Datasheet Email Security What is Email Security? A Complete Guide In today’s threat landscape, learning how to protect yourself and your business from cybersecurity and email security threats is essential. This guide will tell you all you need to know about email security and how to prevent malware, spam, and phishing attacks. By Cian Fitzpatrick | March 10, 2023 Email security protects accounts and messages from unauthorised access, data loss, or compromise. To strengthen security, organisations can use policies and tools to prevent threats like malware, spam, and phishing attacks. Email accounts are often targeted by cyber attackers since they provide a vulnerable entry point to other accounts and devices. A single unintentional click can trigger a security breach with severe consequences for the entire organisation. How secure is email? An email was created to promote openness and accessibility, allowing individuals and people from the same or other organisations to communicate with one another. Nevertheless, the inherent security of Email is not dependable, which will enable attackers to bypass it and make money. These attackers conduct spam campaigns, deploy malware and phishing attacks, execute advanced targeted attacks, or conduct business email compromise (BEC) schemes. Due to the extensive usage of Email as a primary mode of communication in most organisations, attackers exploit its vulnerabilities to steal sensitive information. As Email is an open format, it is open to interception by anyone, raising concerns about email security. The issue became particularly acute as organisations began transmitting confidential or sensitive information through email. This could be easily read by an attacker who intercepts it. Organisations are enhancing security measures to deter attackers from accessing sensitive or confidential information. Topsec is also a part of this intense security drive. We offer tailored email security services individually designed for your company’s specialized needs and desires. Types of email threats Data exfiltration Data exfiltration refers to unauthorised data extraction from an organisation, either utilizing manual transfer or malicious software. Email gateways are useful in preventing businesses from transmitting sensitive data without proper authorisation, preventing a costly data breach. Malware Malware is a term for malicious software designed to cause damage or disturbance to computer systems. These malicious software comes in various forms, such as viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. Spam Spam refers to unsolicited messages sent in large quantities without the recipient’s consent. Businesses often use spam email for commercial purposes. But scammers use it to spread malware, deceive recipients into sharing sensitive information, or demand money through extortion. Impersonation Impersonation is a deceptive tactic used by cybercriminals who pose as a trusted individual, sender, or entity via email to extract money or data. A business email compromise is one such instance where a scammer acts like an employee with the intent to steal from the company, its customers, or its partners. Phishing Phishing is a fraudulent practice that involves impersonating a trustworthy individual or organisation to deceive victims into sharing valuable information, such as login credentials or other forms of sensitive data. It can take various forms, including spear phishing, smishing, vishing, and whaling. Spoofing Email spoofing is a risky threat that involves tricking the recipient into believing that the Email originates from someone other than the actual sender, making it a useful tool for business email compromise (BEC). Since the email system only reads metadata that the attacker can easily alter, it is difficult for the email platform to differentiate between a fake and a real email. Furthermore, it makes it relatively easy for the attacker to impersonate a person known or respected by the victim. Protect your emails from spam, phishing & malware attacks with Topsec’s managed email security solution. Request A Quote Now & Safeguard Your Business Today! Click Here Why is Email Security Important? For over twenty years, email has been a crucial communication tool in the workplace. With an average of 120 emails received daily by employees worldwide and over 333 billion emails sent and received daily by individuals. However, cybercriminals view the widespread use of email as an opportunity to initiate attacks, such as phishing campaigns, malware, and business email compromise. Shockingly, 94% of all cyberattacks commence with a malicious email.  According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), cybercrime caused over $4.1 billion in losses in 2020, with business email compromise causing the most significant harm. The impact of a successful attack can be severe, leading to significant financial, data, and reputational damage for organisations. Therefore, email security is necessary to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, to ensure business continuity, and to uphold trust with customers and stakeholders. Email Security Policies In today’s corporate world, email has become an indispensable tool for communication, leading many organisations to implement protocols for handling email traffic. One of the initial policies that most businesses adopt pertains to monitoring the content of emails passing through their email servers. Determining the appropriate actions based on the email’s contents is critical. Once the fundamental policies are in place, companies can implement additional security measures to safeguard their emails. Organisations can implement various email security policies, ranging from basic measures like filtering out executable content to more complex ones, such as subjecting questionable content to in-depth analysis using sandboxing tools. For security incidents, the organisation must clearly understand the nature and extent of the attack to assess the damage caused. By having visibility into all outgoing emails, organisations can also impose email encryption policies to ensure that sensitive information is not compromised. Email Security best practices To establish good email security practices, organisations should consider implementing a secure email gateway as a first step. This gateway is responsible for scanning and filtering all inbound and outbound emails to prevent malicious threats from entering the system. That said, traditional security measures like blocking suspicious attachments are no longer adequate due to the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks. Hence, organisations should deploy