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Email Security Essentials for Small Businesses

Email security should always be top of mind since cyberattacks through email are one of the most common types of attacks. Emails contain sensitive information like full names, nicknames, spouse’s names, private conversations, etc. It’s easy to jump in mid-conversation and mimic the verbiage used by one’s peers. 

Emails don’t travel directly to the recipient’s computer. They travel between servers and networks first, passing through some that are unsecured. So even if your computer is completely secure, there is still a chance of someone getting through.

Top 10 Types of Malicious Emails:

These malicious attacks are delivered to your email through links, attachments, or enticements.

  1. Ransomware - Typically delivered via email, will encrypt your data and demand you pay a ransom to return it.
  2. Phishing - Manipulates victims into believing the email is coming from someone they know and trust, and will oftentimes ask for repayment or login information.
  3. Spear Phishing - Type of phishing that goes more in-depth by researching your colleagues, departments, etc. to make the email even more personalized.
  4. Spoofing - Change one letter of an email address to make it look like the real one (“[email protected]” vs. “[email protected]”...notice the missing “c”?). 
  5. Man-In-The-Middle Attacks - Criminal impersonates the victim by using services the victim uses and acting on their behalf to steal personal info and even make transactions.
  6. Whaling/Business Email Compromise - Send an email to a decision-maker, usually from the “CEO” asking for an immediate decision or payment.
  7. Spam - While there are ways to filter these in your email, spam is an effective way to deliver malware.
  8. Key Loggers - Use stolen user credentials obtained from malicious email links, to log in to other sites like banking (since most people use the same password for most of their accounts).
  9. Zero-Day Exploits - Hackers find wholes in security systems and create attacks before the developer is able to patch it up.
  10. Social Engineering - Cybercriminal builds trust by posing as a reliable individual and carries on a conversation until the victim divulges anything they can use.

Software that helps:

There are three types of software you can install on your computer to help filter emails.

  1. Anti-virus software
  2. Installing a firewall
  3. Anti-phishing toolbar

Other things that help:

  • Think before you click
  • Verify a site’s security
  • Check your online accounts regularly
  • Keep your browser up to date
  • Be wary of pop-ups
  • Never give out personal information
  • Take training once a month
  • Hire an IT team to help monitor

Why small businesses should be cautious: 

Small businesses are the number one industry most vulnerable to a cyberattack. Oftentimes, they think they are small enough to slip through the cracks. Cybercriminals don’t discriminate based on size and use software that scans for emails instead of individually seeking you out. Systemverse can integrate any firewall, anti-spam, or anti-virus software into the email system you are already using so the transition will be seamless. We are always on-call to answer any questions you have about suspicious emails you may receive. Protect yourself today and reach out to us at [email protected] to get started!

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