You have several options to protect your organization from malicious email attacks. Keep data secured through alternatives like cloud-based client portals.
As more and more businesses are using email as their primary form of communication, it is of utmost important to keep networks safe. You may be relying on email to share confidential information with clients such as necessary documents they need to download and sign. Email security involves a range of issues, and there are different strategies employed to keep communications secure as well as private.
Viruses and Email
One of the most common issues regarding email security is the possibility of exposing your network to dangerous viruses. A virus can act as a small annoyance or can bring down an entire mail server. In many cases, the viruses are downloaded onto a network via email attachments. Besides viruses, other dangers lurk when users download attachments. For instance, ransomware often makes its way onto computer systems through attachment downloads. Ransomware has seen a rise in popularity because the attack has a proven successful track record. Hackers ask for a nominal fee and businesses often pay the price because getting their data back is crucial to resuming operations.
One wrong assumption business owners often have is the idea email viruses are only delivered to inboxes via spam. Many viruses pop up in seemingly innocuous communications. The more significant issue with spam is the way these emails overload servers. Spam decreases workplace productivity while clogging up servers.
Phishing is the cyber form of identity theft. Through email communications, criminals pose as legitimate institutions and ask recipients to share private financial information. Phishing scams look to lure individuals to websites where they are tricked into providing credit card details, passwords, social security numbers, bank routing details, and more. Phishing scams can also entice recipients to download infected attachments to their computers.
Email spoofing is a common scam among hackers. The hacker poses as another sender, sometimes using a legitimate sounding return address, to convince the recipient to send sensitive data. You may be asked to click on a link bringing you to an URL with a cloned website.
What Can You Do?
Email security doesn’t have to be a headache any longer for your company. Client portals are becoming an increasingly popular way to avoid the many problems associated with email exchanges. Within a customer portal, vital documents can be uploaded and shared with clients and colleagues. You can still use email to communicate, but instead of uploading documents or images, a link to the portal can be sent instead of an attachment. Client portals allow all communications to exist securely in the cloud and be accessible anywhere an online connection is available. Client portals are also time savers since you won’t have to encrypt attachments or set up individual passwords. Authentication through client portals are generated automatically and can be shared confidentially.
A Full System Security Plan
All areas of an email system need to have some form of security in place. Mail servers must have security patches updated and upgrades applied on a regular basis. An email security system can be implemented to scan incoming correspondence and flag any emails that could have malware attached. If your business consistently sends confidential information via email, an encryption program may need to be implemented. Firewalls may also help protect your mail servers from malware attacks.
At the very least, you’ll want to perform regular testing on your email system to check for vulnerabilities. In the meantime, you should also back up any data found within your email servers to a cloud-based program.
Email is an important communication tool but can expose a company to significant IT risks. Mitigate many of these risks by relying on a client portal to share and view relevant attachments. Client portals are cost-effective and are managed through cloud-based servers.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
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