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Business users heavily depend on email to communicate with their associates, clients, partners and external vendors. As emails from companies often contain proprietary, sensitive or confidential information, they are very much suspect to cyber crime and hacking.
Sending an email over the internet is just like sending a letter in the traditional snail mail. It can be intercepted by just about anyone during its journey. You can only trust that the mailman/courier takes adequate steps to protect it.
So how does one go about making the company email secure?
There are a few steps by which it is possible to increase the security of your business email communication.
A Secure Email Service:
It is highly recommended to exercise caution while using Web-based e-mail services as they are frequent targets of attacks by cyber criminals.
If you are using a Web browser to handle communications, you need to ensure that the connection is encrypted with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protection.
You can do this by verifying if it’s https instead of http at the start of the Web address. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) ensures that you are using SSL encryption.
Use a Strong Password:
Obviously the most common requirement for anything on the internet, it is crucial that you use a strong password for your email account. Going beyond the standard requirement of a lengthy (at-least 8 characters) passphrase it is also highly recommended to utilize the 2 Key Authentication process for login – if available. This combination can be a great defense to secure your email account.
When you send an email it is very likely that it may be intercepted and read by hackers. One way to avoid this is to make sure that it is encrypted. Make use of an email encryption software and also that the connection with your email server is encrypted as well. Having multiple layers of security in place will only increase the safety.
Verify the Sender:
At some point or other, most of us would have received a spam email from someone we know. This could have been a consequence of their account being hacked. One of the most assured ways to ensure the authenticity of your emails is to make sure you know who has sent the email. If the sender’s credentials appear suspect in any way, it’s better not to open the email at all.
Creating awareness among users:
Human curiosity remains one of the main sources of risk for any business. Even the best technology in the world can’t protect your systems from it. It’s not just about securing data in the outgoing e-mail; your company’s systems can be at risk of incoming mail as well.
There is a dizzying rise in malicious spam, as is the evolution in it’s delivery methods. The malware in the e-mail will slip past security gateways and the malicious script that can compromise your network is activated when a curious recipient clicks on a link in the email.
Have regular and frequent end user training for your employees so that they know how to screen suspicious emails and how to handle them.
More often than not, businesses tend to set up their email systems and then leave them alone. Outdated software can leave you vulnerable to hacks. It is imperative that your e-mail server software is maintained regularly. Installing updates and the latest patches is critical and should be adhered to religiously in order to avoid vulnerabilities.
A capable email should be able to filter for content such as inappropriate language or images. In addition to the security aspect, this will also serve to provide a professional work environment and go a long way in protecting your company’s reputation. Parameters can also be set to scan for content that should not be sent externally, say credit card account or social security numbers.
Chances are that most businesses turn to a third party vendor for handling email security. It’d be best to discuss your requirements with an experienced and knowledgeable IT service provider in Austin to determine best system suited for your business.