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8 Key Elements to Great Email Security

Worldwide, nearly 400 billion emails are exchanged daily, and the majority of users check their email multiple times per day. With email the primary mechanism for business communication, it’s mission-critical for organizations to prioritize robust email security. Especially because many data breaches begin with an email, as it’s an easy access point for cybercriminals to manipulate behavior and cause human error.

Benefits of Email Security

To thoroughly protect systems and data, business owners should leverage the latest cybersecurity tools along with employee training to reduce their vulnerability to email-based threats. Other benefits to strong email security include compliance with data privacy laws and other industry regulations (Think HIPAA or PCI-DSS), enhanced productivity, and protected brand reputation.

Data privacy laws are concerned with preventing personal information from being accessed and exploited by cybercriminals. But without proper protection, businesses can’t guarantee emails are safe from external threats, and the consequences of data breaches are severe, from loss of productivity to hefty regulatory fines, longstanding financial implications, and reduced consumer trust.

Methods for Enhancing Email Security

Enhancing email security is one step in implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It starts with basic protections like strong password policies and multi-factor authentication – but they’re not enough. More sophisticated tactics like encrypted email, antivirus software, and managed firewalls provide a crucial second layer of defense. Work with an expert managed IT provider to build a security strategy that fits your specific needs.

1. Enforce a Strong Password Policy

Strong employee passwords are the foundation of email security. Protect your email from hackers by requiring long, complex, unique passwords or passphrases that are regularly updated.

2. Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires two or more forms of identification to gain access. This is especially helpful if passwords do become compromised. Multi-factor authentication requires the use of at least two of the following:

  • A password, the answer to a security question, or something else only the user knows
  • A security code or token that only the user has
  • A physical characteristic scan, like a fingerprint or facial recognition

3. Adopt Employee Security Awareness Training

Human employees are both the first line of defense and the biggest point of vulnerability. Security awareness training helps employees protect themselves with an expanded awareness of potential threats, minimizing successful phishing attacks and reducing threats and liability. Individual user security consistently reinforces positive cybersecurity habits within your workforce.

4. Use Secure Email Gateways

Email gateway protection proactively identifies and blocks malicious emails before they ever reach your employees’ or customers’ inboxes. Supplement it with managed inbox detection and response, which allows employees to report suspicious emails in real-time and validate their authenticity.

5. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is highly vulnerable to malware distribution, man-in-the-middle attacks, and other cybersecurity threats. If it can’t be avoided, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection.

6. Utilize Email Encryption

Encrypting email is another secure communication practice that protects emails in their most vulnerable state: transmission. Encryption ensures confidentiality and privacy, protecting sensitive messages both at rest and in transit. End-to-end encryption is the gold standard, ensuring that only the sender and recipient are reading the contents of any email.

7. Pay Attention to Access Levels

Admin email permissions should be carefully scrutinized and only given to employees who need access in order to do their job. Similarly, implement a policy that ensures any employee email is disabled (and their password changed) as soon as they leave the company to prevent unauthorized access to company data.

8. Consistently Patch Software and Applications

Outdated software and applications can quickly become major vulnerabilities. Maintain a consistent patching schedule and always immediately perform required upgrades. Legacy technology doesn’t have the latest cybersecurity protections, creating vulnerability. Especially for email security, don’t let old plug-ins or applications allow fraudulent messages to slip through. If keeping up-to-date with patches sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is – that’s why many companies turned to managed services provider to automate patching and provide the invaluable peace of mind that you’re covered.

Protect Your Inbox With TPx

Email security is one piece of the cybersecurity puzzle – but it’s a big one. Work with TPx’s managed IT services to implement comprehensive measures that fit your budget. Get in touch with our team to learn more.



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