Optimize Email Security

Follow These Ways to Optimize Email Security

By: Sunder Singh
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The web of hack has grown due to constant attacks by cyber criminals, malicious hackers and nations on email inboxes in 2018. Moreover, security experts say that the number of attacks will increase, leading to business email compromise. A survey by Ponemon states that about 70% of CISOs assume they are to be a victim to the future cyber-attacks while considering emails to be a potential source responsible for such attacks. Their consideration is completely right if we check the statistics of phishing attacks in 2017.

About two third of all reported security attacks involved phishing emails or malicious attachments. Why emails are means of cyber-attacks because cyber crooks do not require that massive resources, but just a malicious link to get access to data. This makes hard for companies to detect and mitigate security incidents before they turn into big attacks. Therefore, they use BYOD for business and private use.

With the increase in the number of hackers, viruses spam, phishing and identity theft, Email security has become a need of the hour to secure business information. Therefore, cautious entrepreneurs enroll cyber experts or prefer cyber security training to learn the most appropriate ways to avoid cyber-attacks. Let’s discuss what tools and techniques you can opt for to ensure your data does not leak out through any technique.

Go for email encryption

It is a process of encrypting and disguising email content so that only intended recipients can read it rather than any outsider. Websites use “Secure Sockets Layer” (SSL) to encrypt data when it is being sent to and from a website which prevents them from accessing that data while it is in transit. The ‘s’ in the “https://” and the green padlock icon in the URL bar ensure encrypted transaction online.

Furthermore, using SSL is a good way to access the site because:

You store or send sensitive data online- Visiting sites using SSL is important when you use the Internet to perform tasks like filing your taxes, make purchases, renew your driver’s license, etc.

Encryption is necessary in cases when your workplace has encryption protocols, or it enrols certain regulations that need encryption.

This has increased the popularity of email encryption software as it is less expensive to adopt by and deploy in as compared to other products. Mostly, email encryption software doesn’t require a public key infrastructure (PKI) to be set up for any business. Moreover, a PKI can be costly to maintain and setup.

Two-factor authentication

It is an act of doubling the security of your account through the combination of a password and mobile device. This adds an extra layer of security while reducing the chance of your account being hacked into and protects your data.

What are the types of authentication factors?

The authentication process is divided into three categories which are:

  1. Knowledge factors – It includes what a user knows, for example, a password, PIN or shared secret.
  2. Possession factors – It includes what a user has, for example, an ID card, security token or a smartphone.
  3. Inherence factors, such as biometrics – It includes what a user is, for example, personal attributes- fingerprints, face and voice.

Here is an example of two-factor authentication

2 step verfification

Gmail

Let’s take an example of your Google account. After logging into your account, click on the upper right corner of the screen which displays your name. Click on Account to access the account settings page in the resulting menu drop-down. You would find an option for 2-step verification under security. Start the sign-up process by clicking on Edit. You can associate this account with your mobile number. In case someone logs into your account, he/she first needs to punch-in the code that Google sends on your number.

google 2 step security

How to protect against DDoS attacks?

By sending a large number of messages to your email client, hackers try to block you from using the service by crashing your computer as a result of an email denial-of-service (DoS) attack. You need to stop denial-of-service attacks to prevent malicious email messages crash your network.

Attacks on endpoint computers and network connections prohibit users from visiting websites, retrieving email, or accessing accounts online.

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack takes place when an attacker uses a computer together many others to attack a target endpoint successfully. The hacker takes over control of your computer to send spam to other email addresses by exploiting security weaknesses.

By sending mass volumes of email to an address in a bid to overwhelm the email server or to overflow an inbox, a hacker tries to crash your whole network. A pack of email messages destroys user accounts to flow in the given quota of data while restricting access to genuine messages. This influx of trash refers to an email bomb which is a hosted DoS attack. Mostly, messages are crafted using meaningless data in an effort to gain maximum network resources.

Particularly, the total elimination of email DoS attack or other variations is not yet possible; however, you can minimize the chance of being prone to with antivirus software and a firewall which restricts traffic across the endpoints. By implementing filters, you can manage traffic and perform good security practices to optimize corporate email communications.

The use of rate-limited SMTP connections on email messages through a particular system can stop denial-of-service attacks to a great extent. A botnet, for example,  is capable of sending a large number of email communications in a few mins which overwhelm the network performance resources or CPU. When messages are archived or retained, this could also fill the storage up used on the email system.

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