What is email security? Let’s try to keep it simple here. Securing the access and content of an email account/s or service at an individual or an organization level is email security. Email remains one of the top threats to an organization's cyber security. It is a popular medium for the spread of malware, spam, and phishing attacks, using deceptive messages to entice recipients to divulge sensitive information, open attachments or click on hyperlinks that install malware on the victim’s device. It is also a common entry vector for attackers looking to gain a foothold in an enterprise network and breach valuable company data.
According to the experts the main types of techniques for email attacks include identity theft, phishing, virus and spam emails.
Microsoft Office 365, G Suite, Zoho or similar services are being used to manage email systems by most of the organizations today. Other than hosting emails, they also offer a suite of useful business tools to manage information in one place and hence users do not need a separate set of login credentials to access them as they are all a part of the same suite as the email service.So when the attacker gets hold of the email account all the data stored in the suite can be compromised.
Phishing is one of the fastest growing and successful vector and employs varied techniques depending on target audience ad purpose. Change of IP address associated with a particular website, posing as a legitimate website and making the user handover their personal data are few forms of phishing.
Virus attacks include creation and implementation of viruses to compromise the email system. One single virus upon spreading has the ability to completely shut down the entire system very quickly. Downloading a malicious attachment can either take control over the host or even lead to the consequence mentioned above.
Spam is the most common form of email attack. Whilst most of the emails can be thought as merely harmless emails and can be deleted without even bothering to open it, however with the right kind of planned attack this could prove fatal for companies if not for the individual users themselves. For instance if a hacker gains control of an organization’s email, unsolicited emails can be sent to large number of people. Since the mails are sent through legitimate email addresses, hackers can take advantage and send emails with a phishing attack or with viruses attached.
Attacks through emails which generally target end points and users are the most widely used attack mechanisms by hackers with different intentions ( ransom, data leak, gaining access to internal systems through end-point). Even with all the existing security solutions in place these attacks always seem to be on the rise. It is extremely important to spread awareness within organizations and individuals on this form of hacking. Workshops, discussions and mandates on different parameters to be looked at before a corporate user or individual user clicks a link or downloads an attachment would go a long way in reducing the number of these attacks.
Mindfire Technologies as a pioneer in cyber-security in UAE has been offering these consulting services coupled with niche and disruptive email security solutions to help customers secure their business data more efficiently and effectively.