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3 Vulnerabilities In Your Business Email & How To Fix Them

Email is the language of business. It is how things are getting done. In fact, more than 128 billion business emails are sent and received every day. Emails are ripe for cybercriminal activity. The FBI calls it Business Email Compromise (BEC) and reports that more than $12 billion has been stolen over a five-year stretch.

Despite that, many businesses have failed to make email security a priority in their organizations. They either have no security solution, an inadequate solution, or an outdated one. Some rely on the built-in security in Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, or Google suite, which only stops some of the incoming threats.

Most email security solutions use passive risk mitigation techniques. They compare incoming emails to lists of known bad actors. If it shows up on the list, it gets blocked. However, new threats pop up every day. It is easy for cybercriminals to change email addresses or URLs to ones that haven’t shown up on the list yet. That’s why you need a pro-active solution for your business email security solution.

Add to all this the increasing reliance on mobile devices in business. More work is being done remotely than ever before. Workers are using not just company-controlled devices, but personal devices to access company email. They are also accessing these devices outside of secure environments. Employees are using Airport Wi-Fi hotspots and the public internet.

Each device – and each insecure WIFi pathway -is a potential entry point for cyber-criminals. In addition, employees aren’t just accessing email on their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. They are visiting websites, social media, and playing games. Working abroad can magnify the potential threat. Each has its own inherent risks.

Companies need to adopt a stronger mobile security regimen in order to mitigate data breaches and email phishing schemes.


Increasing Threat Activity

The level of cyber thefts worldwide continues to escalate. Unlike robbing a bank, cyber-criminals can be anywhere in the world to try to access your data. They can often remain anonymous, hidden, and out of touch from law enforcement. While some do get caught, many more go undiscovered until it’s too late. There’s simply too much money at stake.

Three vulnerabilities in your business email represent the most common threats:

  1. Phishing Attacks, including fake invoices and documents, CEO fraud, and account compromise
  2. Malicious Files
  3. IP Hijacking or Data Hijacking


Phishing Attacks

Phishing emails purporting to come from known and reputable companies or individuals attempt to get personal information or passwords. Some of the email attacks can be highly sophisticated. Criminals will use social engineering strategies to learn personal details about their victims in order to make the approach more convincing. They may use names of known associates or look-alike email address.

Unfortunately for businesses, email phishing attacks work. They account for the majority of data breaches.


 Fake invoices and documents

An attachment with an invoice or purchase order arrives in your mailbox and looks legitimate. Clicking on the attachment may launch malware. There have also been cases where criminals have gained access to your network, found invoices, and changed routing information to transfer payments to themselves.

In other cases, threats can be hidden within attachments, such as PDF files or cloud-based services.


 CEO fraud

Cybercriminals impersonate C-level executives and pretend to authorize wire transfers or other payments. They might use a personal email that looks to be legitimate, or stolen credentials to send emails directly from CEO accounts.


 Account compromise

Once inside your network, criminals have access to your data. They might generate invoices and send them out to your clients or vendors, requesting payment to their accounts.


 Malicious Files

Malicious files may be contained in an email or hidden in documents or attachments. When launched, they can play havoc on your system.

Malware can launch viruses and spyware. It can map your network and look for confidential information. It can slow your operations to a standstill. It can allow for unauthorized entry into your networks. Ransomware is an insidious tactic. It locks up your data and holds it for ransom. Unless you meet the criminal’s demands, your data may be gone forever. Zero-day attacks take advantage of a known software flaw that has yet to be patched.


 IP Hijacking or Data Hijacking

When data moves from one place to another, it uses IP address and internet routing tables to get it from point A to point B. IP hijacking can occur mid-stream and re-direct the transmission. Unless you are actively monitoring for it, you may never know your data has been compromised.

For all of these threats, training can help, but it won’t stop the threats. The best way to prevent attacks is to stop them before they land in in-boxes.


Data Protection Solutions: Preventing Data Breaches

Shield-SDE Mobile App protects files and handles data in a secure, protected eco-system to prevent breaches. Mobile data that is uploaded or received is stored in a secure folder and never leaves your Shield-SDE server. This provides a secure environment and a consistent experience whether they are working on mobile devices or in the office.

Mobile security starts with strong end-to-end encryption. Active mobile security can prevent file exfiltration, data leakage, malware, and ransomware. File storage in secure and encrypted vaults can provide end-to-end file transfers. In short, you need end-to-end security for all data access and sharing, including email, fax, and web).

Shield-BGProtect’s sees what other data breach prevention software can’t. End-to-end monitoring can track access flow. It tracks where your data is going. If it takes a detour and goes somewhere it’s not intended, it knows. This can help stop man-in-the-middle attacks that intercept data while in transit.

AES 256-encryption provides military-grade encryption for files. It’s the same standard the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) uses to protect top secret documents. It’s used by governments and banks all over the world. Shield use this standard to protect all of your documents and data.

Shield-SDE uses reverse access technology. This allows only authorized users to work with your data. By separating the access layer from the authentication layers, Shield-SDA authenticates users and verifies their device before granting any access.

When it comes to business email security, you need a strong, active email security solution. Data break prevention, email security, and mobile security are critical in preventing data breaches and protecting your business.