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7 essential email security best practices

Your inbox is likely at the center of your work life. Email functions as a key communication tool for enterprises. However, it’s also a prime target of cyber security threats. As many as 90% of cyber attacks on enterprises stem from malicious emails. Below are a series of email security best practices that can help you and your organization avoid compromise through inbox-focused schemes.

  1. Observe the outside. Emails arrive with sender information and subject lines readily visible. Encourage employees within your organization to ensure that they know the identity of the email sender and that unknown senders are vetted for authenticity. Leveraging authentication methodologies can prevent spoofing and email scams. 
  2. Click with caution. Cyber criminals commonly send malicious links within emails, hoping for unsuspecting persons to load the links and the corresponding malware. Emails from unknown senders can be suspect. It can also pay to exercise caution when clicking on links from persons supposedly within your organization. If employees are unsure, encourage them to reach out to internal senders through secondary communication channels. 
  3. Email visualization. Your organization can potentially visualize the number of emails that teams see everyday. You may also be able to see who employees receive emails from and whether or not they contain potentially malicious links or attachments. This software can also provide insights into whether or not employees are liable to fall victim to scams. Email visualization can potentially offer micro security insights that can help you improve security at the macro level.
  4. Encryption software. Block sophisticated phishing threats and share internal business data safely using email encryption software. Encryption tools can also protect the integrity of email messages while they reside inbox folders or elsewhere in email storage. Further, encryption tools can protect your organization with limited or no end-user impact.
  5. Email archiving solutions. Organizations often preserve electronic data or documents in order to comply with industry regulations or for possible use in the event of litigation. Segmenting email access so that older emails are archived can help keep emails secure, prevent data loss and offer easy data recovery in the event of a breach.
  6. Deploy a secure email gateway. Experts report that one in every 239 email attachments is malicious. Organizations that can block threats before they reach the end user have fewer instances of accidental employee-initiated email-based business compromise. 

    Many legacy secure email gateway solutions cannot effectively detect cloud-based email threats. If your organization has recently adopted new cloud infrastructure, ensure that your secure email gateway can keep up. Seek out cloud solutions with advanced artificial intelligence capabilities and industry-leading catch rates.

  7. MSSP services. Is doubling down on email security more than your IT teams can manage? If so, managed security service providers can help you obtain the best security, a broad set of layered email security safeguards, and exceptional email security protection. An MSSP provides you with the freedom to add safeguards and solutions to your portfolio on a regular basis without doing the heavy lifting on your end. 

Email security has changed. For more proven and trusted email security best practices, see Cyber Talk’s past coverage. To receive impactful insights, cutting-edge analysis and more each week, sign up for the Cyber Talk newsletter. 

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