Emails are an amazing way for organisations to interact quickly and effectively with colleagues, clients, potentials customers, suppliers etc. Email systems are used by billions worldwide. So, why is it that cyber criminals use email as a primary source of attack when trying to breach company data and gain confidential information? Emails are the easiest way in for cyber criminals and the reasons below explore why.
1) Always Something Going On That Grabs The Attention Of People
The media world is constantly filled with informative and interesting news stories that cyber criminals can use to their advantage. By exploiting certain situations, the email receiver is captivated by an ‘Alert’ or ‘Update’ that may appear in their inbox relating to a current world event that could potentially affect them. This results in the receiver having a weak moment and believing the email is legitimate, therefore they click on the link and company data can be breached as they have been hacked. This is a quick and easy way for cyber criminals to gain an ‘easy in’ into an organisation so contemporary email security that is constantly getting updated is needed to prevent unusual email domains from entering inboxes.
2) Billions Of People Globally Use Emails
Emails are used by billions around the world. Because the number of users is so high, cyber criminals know that there is a high chance that at least some of these billions of users will fall for their phishing emails and scams. This makes emails a primary target for cyber criminals because not everyone is up to scratch on what emails are legitimate and secure, and what ones may not be. Furthermore, some of these billions of users may not have email security protection.
3) The Internet Is A Factor
With the internet being a widely used global phenomenon, everyone seems to put everything online. This makes it easy for cyber criminals to copy email domain addresses and forge ‘legitimate’ emails making it increasingly likely that whoever receives these illegitimate emails (that are designed to look like the real deal) will be likely to open them and click on the links attached. DMARC scours the web for potential addresses that are exploiting your brand and prevents them from entering your inbox.
4) Migration to Microsoft 365
The migration to Microsoft 365 can cause security disruption because even though many companies believe that because Microsoft 365 has built in anti-phishing and anti-virus systems in place that come with the platform, this means that they are completely protected from any potential attacks. However, this is not the case. Many cyber criminals have found a way to break down the Microsoft 365 anti-phishing and anti-virus systems and know how to get phishing emails to enter your inbox. This is why it is beneficial to have additional email security measures in place- so no dodgy emails will ever enter your inbox.
5) Old Email Security Methods
Many organisations believe that the email security they have been with for years is enough protection against all of the threats out there- even the most advanced, most contemporary ones. This is not the case. Unless your email security is constantly using artificial intelligence to actively search and detect even the most advanced threats, and is continuing to do this at all times, then your email security system needs updating. Sophos Email security is a great constantly evolving email security platform that is the most advanced system yet, it constantly works to keep your inbox safe.
6) Weak Email-Security Awareness
It is extremely important that each member of staff within an organisation is aware of the threats that are out there when it comes to email security. Staff members need to be kept informed of what dodgy emails are currently circulating inboxes and how to best deal with anything dodgy that might get past your email security and enter your inbox. This is why it is important to update staff and provide them with cyber awareness training – so that if the crunch comes down to the crunch they can recognise a illegitimate email and block the sender.
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