If you receive at least one spam email in your inbox, you should be doing this.
Our education on cybercrime has taught us not to trust spam emails. However, data on cybercrime shows employees have quite often fallen victim to enticing email titles. Such accidents have also cost businesses dearly, losing not just money but even business.
What do you do with unopened spam? Most unopened spam emails lie there in the inbox as ticking time bombs, waiting for you to make that one mistake.
Spam volumes have increased with the so-called pandemic, and spammers have become more sophisticated. They now use advanced distribution systems to push their campaigns. These systems deliver spam emails containing malware to a different location in the shortest possible time. Such a heavy volume of spam can increase the risk and costs faced by businesses.
The receipt, processing, classification, and disposal of spam and unwanted mail consumes system and employee bandwidth, creating a service quality issue. Since a typical spam email is very easily identified by most business users when it ultimately reaches their inbox, dealing with spam is perceived to be more frustrating as it’s a more visible nuisance. Also, Phishing attacks are growing in sophistication, and it takes more than intuition to identify and block such dangerous emails.
Why is email the #1 cyberattack technique?
Emails are ubiquitous in all organisations. Unfortunately, its users are the weakest point of security in an organisation, mainly due to ignorance. With sophistication, emails are now the easiest tool to send undetected malware that helps access a company’s network. Well-crafted and uniquely designed malicious emails can easily coax an employee to take any action. Sometimes, the receiver only has to open the email, and the malware gets installed on its own. Getting an email address is not an arduous task either. So, emails remain the easiest way to breach the defenses built up by a business.
What can one malicious email do to your company?
Technology news websites report at least one cybercrime every day, and email attacks are common among them. Almost 91% of cybercrime starts with an email. Different malicious spam emails achieve different things:
Credential theft: You may receive an email wherein you have to log in with your email credentials along with the password. Such emails are so highly-personalised that one hardly ever doubts them. Your credentials are then used against you—for blackmailing, manipulating your system, or even being sold on the dark web.
Fraudulent Payment: You could receive emails impersonating an employee asking to make urgent payments. One mistake could mean a lifetime’s worth of regret.
Malware installation: You could receive a spam email carrying dangerous malware that could get installed in your system just by opening the email. There is targeted malware that not only hacks your network but also makes your system attack other networks. Using you as a proxy.
Ransomware attack: Phishing emails are the primary source of a ransomware attack. Such attacks can lock out your confidential data, and most of the time, recovery is never 100% even after paying the ransom.
Is the built-in security of your cloud email provider sufficient?
Email threats are ever-evolving. Cybercriminals are persistent in their efforts, continually working on perfecting their craft by employing new, increasingly sophisticated methods, tactics, and techniques to deceive users, evade security defenses, and ultimately get paid. Too many businesses are struggling to adapt and adjust to this modern digital threat landscape or have failed to make email security the priority that it needs to be, leaving users and key assets at great risk.
Cybercriminals are now designing unique, targeted content. As part of their social engineering technique, they investigate social profiles, company profiles, colleagues, and the interests of targets. Such targeted attacks can easily play on the vulnerabilities of an employee. In such cases, the static and single-layered security offered by email providers might not be enough.
There are some easy-to-follow suggestions that can help you minimise spam and safeguard your emails.
Tips to stop spam and boost email security
Be judicious: Know where you are sharing your email. Do not share your emails with websites or apps you are not 100% sure about. Your emails can reach the wrong hands if the website gets compromised. The same is true when you post on forums. Create another email address for sharing and subscribing purposes, and be extremely careful while accessing emails in that account.
Report spam: The in-built spam filter of your email service will filter out a good chunk of spam, but those that escape and reach your mailbox should be duly marked as spam so that they get identified by the spam filter in the future. This way, spam emails do not remain in your inbox.
Do not put it on display. Do not display your emails on the website. Web forms are the best; encourage your customers to use web forms by being super responsive when contacted through the form.
Do not use your username as your email id. While subscribing to various websites, it is always best to use a generic name as your username instead of your email id. If the website or app does not allow you to have a generic one, consider using a secondary email address.
Deploy a third-party email security service: While users are aware of the threats that they face online, they cannot be expected to detect advanced threats without fail. So you would need an extra layer of defense to secure your emails.
Concerned about email security?
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Safeguard your business with OPENSHOP’s Email Security Solution. Contact us today to strengthen your email defenses and protect your valuable data.