Emails have become a lucrative way for hackers to make a quick buck. After all, these essential communication platforms are an integral part of every organization. Email can make or break small businesses since they are the most vulnerable when it comes to cyber-attacks. For example, SMB’s were targets of 58% of all data breaches.
To make matters worse, two-thirds of small organizations suffered a cyberattack in 2018. The problem that arises is these businesses believe hackers have bigger fish to fry, so they skimp on security, leaving themselves more vulnerable and worthwhile targets for scammers.
Utilizing an email security strategy can go a long way to solving the pervading data protection problem. This strategy should take a multi-faceted approach to protect email infrastructure as well as those who use these services.
Imagine a business not having any protections in place when an employee clicks on a malicious attachment in a message that infects the network with malware. With the proper end-user education and policies for them to follow, the outcome would have been much different –even without the use of technologies and applications that would prevent that email from ever reaching the staffer.
When developing the right email security strategy for your company, be sure to consider these five core elements.
1. Develop Policies That Align with Industry Best Practices
An email security policy is a baseline for your clients’ business defenses. It should include information their employees can use, starting with the basics — how corporate communications can and cannot be used. Staff should also have access to protocols to avoid attacks as well as information on when and how to report potential incidents.
Be sure also to include general guidelines, such as “never click on attachments from an unknown sender” and “ignore financial offers.”
2. Adopt Effective Technologies
A robust set of security tools will successfully protect businesses as well as minimize the amount of guessing for employees. Technical services such as anti-phishing, filtering, and encryption are a must.
Use a filter that quarantines suspect email and provides daily security reports so the IT staff is kept up to date with current threats. Go beyond filtering spam and viruses and manage outbound messages with self-defined parameters to stop damaging or sensitive data from being leaked.
Round off these technologies with an encryption application. Sometimes sensitive information needs to be sent via email — this is where an encoded message can prove beneficial.
3. Implement Mobile Protection
The business environment is changing, with many employees working at least some of the time remotely. Whether staff is accessing email via a laptop, tablet, or phone, if they are not using the company network or a VPN, trouble will arise. That’s why businesses should use cloud-based email security to protect against those threats.
4. Educate Users
Applications only go so far. Inevitably, there will come a time when employees are the last line of defense. Recurring education allows staffers to safeguard themselves against attacks. When it comes to preventing human error, there are several avenues management can take — from forming general guidelines to using a white hat phishing attack. The key is to reinforce that message repeatedly with ongoing phishing and awareness training activities.
One of the many topics organizations should be sure to address is the current threats employees face. Analyze the threat landscape; who will they target and what information do they want? When staff is already armed with this information, they will be much more likely to catch it.
5. Review and Update Periodically
Cyber threats are ever-changing, and hackers are becoming increasingly creative. With a constantly evolving landscape, businesses need to review the products in use, ensure all updates have been made, and consider adopting more advanced security programs and services.
Step Above the Rest
Because email is such an integral part of every business, it only makes sense that they look to their IT partners to make it as secure as possible. If your clients are not implementing these strategies, their network could be at risk.
Cybersecurity serves as a great consulting opportunity and a differentiator for MSPs. While other providers only want to sell equipment and hardware, your firm can prosper by taking a deeper look at what prospective clients need and offering a variety of strategies that will address those objectives.