You've got mail: Avoiding email security threats

By:

Date: 28 January 2020

Hands type on a laptop while message icons fly from the screen - email concept.

Protecting business IT systems is non-negotiable in an age when even short periods of virus-related downtime cost the UK economy as much as £12 billion. Not to mention that, since GDPR compliance came into play back in 2018, the need for data protection has become pressing. Antivirus software is now an absolute business staple.

The trouble is that, as much as we try to evolve towards safer businesses processes, so too do hackers and malware develop to overcome our defences. Most notably in recent years, even our best efforts towards protection have failed to cover one significant gap - the risks inherent to business email. 

Keeping the doors of communication open is, of course, essential for any business. This is so fundamental, in fact, that a business-specific email account may be a priority for new employees. Yet, astoundingly few companies realise that email poses one of their largest security risks, opening them up to risks including:

  • phishing;
  • identity theft;
  • malware;
  • spoofing.

With this in mind, let's consider three easy ways to protect email accounts across your business, and create a risk-free environment.

1. Cover the security gap

Hackers often focus on business emails, for the sole reason that they understand these are a weak link in many company’s defences. As such, they may tailor their efforts here to guarantee success, despite your best antivirus efforts elsewhere.

Undeniably, then, your first step towards overcoming this issue should be to find solutions that are geared towards email risks. Seeking IT support is perhaps your best bet here, as professionals inherently understand the need to ensure email security.

Equally, investing in email providers with antivirus capabilities built-in can make a massive difference.

2. Improve your knowledge 

You may know plenty about computer virus risks, but how much do you really know about potential email threats? As with everything, you can’t defend against what you don’t know, so expanding your understanding here is the next crucial step.

We aren’t saying you need to spend hours scouring news outlets for every last email breach, but keeping an eye on general security updates is essential. By understanding the current risks to look out for, you’re in the best position to avoid the worst threats. 

3. Educate your team

Lastly, it’s vital that you pass knowledge onto your team. After all, they pose the most significant risk to you from this perspective, given that email malware depends on someone opening a file, or following instructions that they really shouldn’t follow.

Be clear, therefore, on email policies within your workplace, and let your team know about specific risks that they should look out for. This, along with your security implementations, should near enough eliminate the threat of their opening an email that they shouldn’t.

This should help you to stay on top with your business security and avoid email threats.

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.