Email is one of the most used mediums today. In fact, half the globe uses email.
In businesses, email is totally universal. This has become an even more ingrained reality since the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person meetings are downright antiquated, and email is used not just to collaborate but to document important conversations.
However, this also means that email has remained a popular channel for attackers to infiltrate. With every professional practically living inside their email accounts these days, hackers and phishers are even more prolific in trying to gain access to sensitive information.

1. Provide training for staff

The cost of business information breaches caused by simple human error averages $3.3 million a year. Even if your staff knows the basics about phishing or other email scams, a simple “mis-click” can end up costing your business dearly.

The goal is to have tools in place that stop those emails from ever hitting inboxes, but some will always get through. Employees become the only thing standing between your business data and a hacker. Ensure that barrier of defense is just as strong as every other part of your email security with regular training.

2. Use stronger passwords

Using predictable passwords is the number-one way hackers gain entry to accounts. According to the 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) by Verizon, 80% of hacking-related breaches are connected to weak passwords.

Learn how to store your passwords, make them stronger, and update them regularly—and ensure everyone at your business does the same.

3. Never, ever open unexpected or unknown email attachments

If you don’t know the sender, don’t open the attachment. Educate your staff to vet attachments, too, by asking themselves: Am I expecting this email? Does the format type look like one I know?

When in doubt, do not open an attachment. You can confirm the nature of the content with the sender before making a final decision.

4. Do not allow anyone to use company email for personal reasons

Personal emails are the best opportunity for cybercriminals to hack business systems. Ensure that no one at your business uses email for personal reasons. No one should even check their personal emails when on your wireless or business server; this, too, opens up the possibilities for a hacker to infiltrate.

5. Periodically review your settings

Just like technology is constantly evolving, so is cybercrime. Periodically review your security and privacy settings and discuss “best practices” with your proactive IT services provider. Turn your own settings into a standard business practice and instruct the rest of the staff to update their settings to the same configuration, too.

It’s business-critical to keep your information secure, and email is the front door that both legitimate and criminal contact comes through. For help implementing these and other best practices, contact us.