Your inbox is full of valuable information and data whether you realize it or not. Email security plays an important role for any business or individual. Hackers are becoming smarter and using various tactics to gain access to personal/company emails. This can lead to stolen, leaked, or captured data, which can cause severe damage internally. Whether a hacker holds your data for ransom or initiates a wire transfer from your business, email security proves important as it can prevent companies from spending thousands of dollars to recover data. Be aware of the following five cyber security threats.
Phishing: An attack where the sender impersonates an individual or company is considered a phishing attack. These attacks can seem authentic but there are some red flags that indicate they are not from a legitimate source. The sender may appear to be someone you know, such as your boss or co-worker, or even a reputable company, such as Apple or Amazon. Be aware of the key indicators that make an email suspicious.
Social Engineering: This attack is becoming more common than technical hacks. Social engineering is a process that involves building trust with human interaction. The hacker manipulates the victim in order to gain access to valuable information. The strategy behind this attack focuses on weaknesses of individuals rather than weaknesses of technology.
Email Spoofing: Hackers are able to manipulate emails so that they appear to be from a reputable source or person. Tactics for this method include using a domain that is similar to one you are familiar with, yet slightly different. For example, using the domain: "www.bankofarnerica.com" can easily be confused with the correctly spelled domain: "www.bankofamerica.com", simply by changing a single letter.
Ransomware: When a hacker gains access to your data and holds it for ransom, companies often find themselves paying out large sums of money. This cyber security threat occurs when the targeted victim opens a link, downloads an attachment, or installs malicious software. The cost of ransomware in 2016 totaled one billion dollars.
Typosquatting: When you incorrectly enter a URL and are directed to a site that looks similar to your intended source, this is a form of cybersquatting. Hackers create websites that mirror reputable companies, but with a typo in the URL. This is also known as URL hijacking and can lead to a visitor entering important information, such as username and password.
To prevent against these attacks, make sure you and your employees understand the severity of these cyber security threats and implement methods to recognize them. Don’t be part of the 60% of businesses that suffer a cyber-attack each year. Training your employees is the key to mitigating risk along with proper firewalls, spam filters, and a multi-layer security system. For more information on protecting against cyber-risk, contact us.