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4 key types of email threats and how to avoid them

With advances in business technology, there also comes advances in hacking and cyber criminal techniques.

Particularly for businesses, email correspondence is a key way to communicate with colleagues, customers, and suppliers. However, this also means that it’s an ideal method for cybercriminals to try and hack their way into your business.

It’s essential for both employers and employees to know the different types of email threats, and how to avoid them, as this will help keep valuable business data safe.

1. Malware

Malware is one of the most common threats and one that is often delivered through spam emails. With malware threats, the sender is likely to be impersonating an employee, customer, partner, supplier or someone else with ties to the business. This is in the hope that the targeted victim will be tricked into downloading rogue files that contain malware.

Due to its slyness, malware intrusions aren’t often picked up straight away. It’s designed to take control of a victim’s computer without being detected and then spread onto nearby systems until the entire IT infrastructure becomes infected. Because malware is so challenging to detect, encrypted servers and data leaks generally lead to the realisation there’s been a cyber attack on the business.

2. Credential theft

Phishing emails are a common method used to target victims and encourage them to send sensitive information directly.  By pretending to be a trustworthy entity, cyber criminals will use phishing emails to get individuals to click links. These links will require them to fill out bank details of either the individual or company they work for.

As well as tricking victims into giving out back details, these kinds of email threats can also be used to get login information, sensitive data, and other information that could damage the business.

3. Business email compromise

Through targeting the senior employees at a business, business email compromise is a more sophisticated type of email phishing. Cybercriminals will spend huge amounts of time tracking their victims’ habits and behaviours, predominantly through their victims’ social media activities. After gathering the information they need, criminals will then send a highly realistic email to the victim regarding projects/partnerships/other work that has been publicised over social media, impersonating someone linked to that project.

4. DDoS attacks

It’s essential to have an audit of your current IT systems to identify key gaps and vulnerabilities. By evaluating areas including information systems, cyber security, and IT management, your organisation can prioritise which areas to focus on first. This will help your business define the technological capabilities needed to effectively support and improve your processes.

Conducting staff surveys to understand the issues they find most common from your business’s IT infrastructure can also help identify areas of improvement, that might not have initially been thought about.

How to avoid these threats

There are several ways in which these email threats can be avoided, none of which will be more effective than implementing email security software. Whilst educating employees about the different email threats out there will help them stay alert to these types of business attacks, there are chances that some sophisticated security breach attempts can still get through.

Email security software has been specifically designed to protect businesses against cyber threats, and this technology has advanced exponentially in recent years. Having this software in place will lift a weight off employees’ shoulders, so they can focus on replying to legitimate emails rather than examining each incoming email to make sure it’s authentic.

If your business isn’t quite sure where to start when it comes to email protection, our friendly and knowledgeable team at Techsol Group will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. With over 20 years of experience protecting businesses from all sorts of IT threats, we can help you get started securing your business emails, or even help you update your existing software to a more robust system.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 03300 245447 or emailing info@techsolgroup.co.uk.

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