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Jan 3, 2017

Industry insights,

Future-proofing for 2017 - Email Security

Keeping email secure

Cybercrime is becoming a prolific issue that regularly attracts swarms of media attention; especially when high profile, multinational businesses such as Yahoo, Microsoft, and Sony (to name a few) are affected. However, it’s not just limited to large, international brands; smaller, independent companies are also falling victim to the relentless scammers.

There are many ways cybercrime can manifest itself. 9 times out of 10, the media headlines will be highlighting the threat or incidents involving a hacking. These higher profile businesses will have valuable data, in the form of personal details, often in the millions, that can include everything from contact numbers and personal details to usernames and passwords. This can be far more wide-reaching than simply affecting the location that was hacked too; as frequently people use the same usernames and passwords for multiple online services.

A prevalent way that cyber-criminals are opting to infiltrate businesses’ IT systems is by using email viruses. Emails can be sent out easily and can cause irreparable damage through stealing or corrupting your data.

Most of the virus emails will be a variant of the Crypto ransomware virus, which encrypts your important documents and holds them to ransom. It can cost thousands to recover them. Be warned; even if you pay up, the encryption key can often be another virus, demanding even more of your hard-earned cash.

Aside from the more robust firewalls, one of the most effective protection methods is educating your employees and end users by developing clear ‘best practices’ of what to do if you receive a suspicious email.

 

  1. Don’t click on attachments
    Don’t open any attachments from an untrusted source or that you weren’t expecting, even if they come from someone you know and trust.

  2. Don’t trust the display name
    Cyber-criminals are incredibly good at making their emails look genuine. Don’t assume anything and check with the sender to confirm the validity if it asks for important confidential details.

  3. Look but don’t click
    Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email. If the link address looks weird or contains an email domain you are not familiar with, don’t click on it.

  4. Don’t give up personal information
    Legitimate banks and most other companies will never ask for personal credentials via email; don’t give them up.
     
  5. Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line
    “Your account has been suspended” or “your account had an unauthorised login attempt” are often techniques for “impulsing”, or using fear and urgency to force you to react rashly.
     
  6. Don’t believe everything you see
    It’s easy to create convincing brand logos and a seemingly valid email address, this doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

Even with the best practices implemented internally, human error can still occur. To remain one step ahead of cybercrime, off-site backups are a great way to provide you with the peace of mind, that should the worst happen, one of your business’s most valuable assets; your data, will be safe and secure.  

Here at RockIT, we have a variety of products and services to protect a business from cybercrime.  These are tailored to the specific needs of your business. For a free no-obligation review of your current protection provisions, please email sales@rockit.com