What Is Email Security?
Email continues to be the most used channel for cyberattacks and a lucrative access point for sensitive data. The continuing reliance on email by organizations is why it’s important to have a robust solution for email security – one that is integrated and adaptive for a wide range of email-based threats.
Email security – an essential security need for any organization – comprises all the technology and policies that are designed to protect email content and communications against cyberattacks.
Email security should protect an email inbox from everyday hackers, malware, and phishing. It should protect a brand from imposters posing as trusted colleagues, vendors, and partners intent on defrauding the brand. Last but not certainly least, it should protect an organization’s data.
What Is Anti-Phishing?
Phishing is one of the most prevalent forms of social engineering attack used to steal sensitive personal information, or to gain a foothold inside a company’s network. In a phishing attempt, malicious messages are crafted with the goal of the recipient clicking on a link or email attachment that contains malware, or in the case of Business Email Compromise (BEC), a bad actor will impersonate someone within a company to deceive the recipient into believing they're interacting with a trusted sender.
In the ever-evolving age of sophisticated schemes and scams, a proactive anti-phishing posture is requisite when it comes to maintaining a secure email ecosystem. Anti-phishing solutions prevent potential threats from reaching employee inboxes by monitoring every message flowing into and within an organization to defend against highly targeted, identity deception-based attacks.
Threats to Email Security
Email remains a popular and convenient communication tool. For this reason, it’s also a popular access point for cyberattacks. There are many different threats to email security. Some of the most common include:
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Scams such as executive spoofing deceive people into believing they’re interacting with a trusted sender – no malware or malicious links required.
Emails disguised as trusted communications, designed to fool people into taking action such as giving up their user credentials or opening an attachment.
Attacks that rely on human interaction using personal and business context to establish trust and convince the recipient to take action.
While there are many different types of spam, this email-specific type of spam comes in the form of spyware and ransomware.
Email Security Best Practices
How to Secure Email Inboxes
To keep inbound and outbound emails protected from security threats including phishing and data loss, a robust policy must be determined. For email security best practices, follow these six simple steps:
Determine what data needs protection: Compliance regulations dictate that sensitive data such as Personal Identifiable Information (PII), payment card details, or patient medical data is safeguarded from unauthorized disclosure. A solution that can detect and remove unauthorized sensitive data from incoming and outgoing emails, and automatically encrypt any authorized data, will protect employees and the organization if sensitive data is incorrectly sent or received.
Identify cyber threats: The right email security solution needs to prevent malware, spyware, ransomware, BEC (phishing) emails, unwanted data acquisition, and unnecessary file types from reaching inboxes.
Establish a robust and sustainable email security policy: An email security solution that’s easy to deploy, monitor, and manage will help support and enforce a policy in a way that doesn’t overburden the IT department, email administrators, or messaging teams. Features such as the ability to handle all threats from a single interface and have employees manage their own quarantine list will help increase the efficiency of the solution and ultimately free up time for IT teams to spend on other projects.
Close the zero-hour window: Anti-malware solutions are great for defending against known dangers. But what happens if a brand-new virus tries to enter a network before security loopholes have been identified? Email security solutions that can filter and analyze the content of messages and attachments and sanitize these evasive threats will help close this vulnerability.
Encrypt sensitive data: To aid compliance, email security solutions need a range of easy-to-use policy-based encryption options including TLS, PKI technologies such as S/MIME or PGP, Web-portal, or password protected messages.
Monitor traffic behavior and performance: Visibility of emails and comprehensive reporting is important when determining and enforcing policy. Email security solutions that provide detailed audit trails help IT teams investigate potential breaches. Those that export data to SIEM systems allow organizations to get a 360-degree view of the data flowing in and out of the organization.
For more information about protection from advanced threats, review these resources.
Blog: How to Protect Your Organization from Advanced Persistent Threats >
Guide: Protecting Your Organization From Advanced Threats >
Protecting Your Brand
Part of email security is protecting the organization’s brand. Implementing an email security solution that accelerates email authentication and enforcement can help accomplish this. DMARC Email Authentication automates phishing prevention and protects an organization’s customers, partners, and brand from outbound email sending abuse. It also automatically identifies, tracks, and manages senders - giving organizations one centralized place to discover, align, and authorize sender domains and IP addresses.
Email Security & Anti-Phishing Solutions from Fortra
Keep emails, brands, and data safe from sophisticated phishing attacks, insider threats, and accidental data loss with minimal business disruption. Learn how solutions from Fortra for Email Security and Anti-Phishing can protect your business better.
A robust DMARC authentication & monitoring solution stops phishing by automating the process of DMARC email authentication and enforcement to protect customers from cyberattacks. In doing so, it can help preserve brand identity and improve digital engagement, even post-deployment.
Business Email Compromise
Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams deceive people into believing they're interacting with a trusted sender. The right solution must detect and prevent these BEC tactics by learning sender-receiver behavior to identify suspicious emails by continuously scanning for indicators of compromise.
Secure Email Gateway
A Secure Email Gateway is an email security solution that monitors emails coming into and out of an organization before they reach an email inbox to protect from malicious content including spam, viruses, phishing, and malware.