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Top E-mail Security Threats of 2021

As technology advances, hackers have upped their game. They are currently using sophisticated techniques to breach individuals’ and organizations’ data. According to statistics, e-mail security breaches have increased significantly over the past 12 months.

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The 2019 email breach saw more than 2 billion e-mail addresses leaked, a figure that doubled in 2020. In 2021, e-mail users will be looking for more secure e-mail service providers. Organizations also need to ensure that their clients’ data is safe as no one knows when the next e-mail security breach will be.

Types of E-mail security threats

Business leaders should be aware of the following five types of corporate email security threats they may encounter in 2021:

Spam

Though annoying, most people think spams are harmless. However, some spam e-mails may pose serious data security. For instance, in 2017, a misconfigured spambot was left prone to attack, leading to 700 million e-mail leaks.

E-mail bombing is a trending cyber-attack where there is the identification of spam e-mails as Trojan horses. All spam e-mails get to isolate, hence becoming accessible to the attacker. Since most spam is confirmation links and notifications, the hacker will access numerous unsecured accounts and websites.

Phishing

Phishing is an attack whereby hackers use programs that mimic and impersonate electronic communication channels, especially e-mail. The moment you click on them, the hacker may request you to provide sensitive information like account logins. Otherwise, a program will start installing in the background and send sensitive data from your device. Phishing attacks are becoming familiar to most electronic users.

Viruses

Viruses are programmed to infiltrate into your system and cause havoc by adding their code, a payload, to your system. Once viruses get access to your system, they may be programmed to execute different tasks, including erasing your hard drive, stealing passwords, corrupting files, or crashing the system.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and holds it hostage until the owner pays a ransom. Once in the system, they will lock you out of the computer till you pay the figure requested. It’s hard to trace the attackers as they are currently asking for payments through cryptocurrencies.

Insider threats

Insider threats come from an employee intentionally or accidentally leaking an organization’s sensitive data. Data may leak due to human error or maybe leaked deliberately, especially when an employee is avenging for an injustice.

Measures businesses should take in 2021 to guard against data security threats

An occurrence of an e-mail breach in an organization may become catastrophic. Such a breach would lead to data loss, reputational damage, and business disruption. Businesses should take precautionary measures to safeguard themselves against any security breach.

The following are ways in which businesses can protect themselves against any form of email security breach:

Install antiviruses

Businesses should install antiviruses to protect their database from e-mail breach. There are many companies providing antivirus services; hence companies should choose the best. Even after purchasing the antivirus, you will still have to observe other precautionary measures.

Develop a proper e-mail security gateway.

Organizations should create a secure e-mail gateway, an approach for blocking the unauthorized transmission of e-mails. The e-mail gateway filters all incoming and outgoing traffic and identifies any suspicious attachments.

Adoption of secure archiving solution

Secure archiving solutions protect all e-mails stored in the archives. The best secure archiving solution is the one that has encryption with user authentication using a multi-layered security approach.

Installation of strong passwords and Adoption of multifactor authentication

Organizations should use a strong password with capital letters, small letters, symbols, and numeric to make it hard for a hacker to guess. Multifactor authentication involves the application of more than one way of authenticating your identity. You may use a combination of password, SMS Code, fingerprint identification, and security question.

Be vigilant on e-mail attachments

System users should always be keen on the e-mail attachments they are downloading. You can know whether an attachment is safe by looking at the file extension. Avoid any file with an EXE extension or a double extension. Files with JPG, MP3, MPEG, WAV, GIF, and JPEG are always secure. Individuals, small scale businesses, medium enterprises, multi-national corporations, and non-profit organizations should practice the above measures to protect themselves against security bleach.

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