According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, one quarter of all data breaches studied by them over the previous year were caused by email phishing attacks. Furthermore, the global average cost of a data breach was calculated at $3.92 million by the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report. Taken together, these two numbers mean enormous losses for businesses, all caused by holes in email security. This is why securing email is so crucial for businesses and organizations. It closes a gaping door to fraud, theft and network hijacking.
Why Cybercriminals Love Email Attacks
Nearly every company uses email for both internal and external communications. According to 2019 figures, an average staffer receives roughly 126 emails per day. Not all of these get read but the sheer flow of messages from different addresses is large enough to easily make one of your employees slip up on verifying sender authenticity. There simply isn’t enough time to devote security-minded attention to all of them.
Cybercriminals know this and take advantage of such inevitable lapses in attention. They send meticulously disguised emails pretending to be from legitimate senders asking an employee to click on malicious links or official looking download attachments that are really malware. These infect the receiver’s computer and the business network it’s connected to.
What a Malicious Email Can Cause
The email attack described above is called email phishing, and it’s how attackers breach your organization through email. Here is a sampling of some of the trouble hackers can cause:
Steal login credentials: A hacker can use their data access to steal usernames and passwords from employees. These can be used to steal customer data, payment data or remotely hijack your company’s cloud and other services for other attacks.
Spyware and Trojan installation: Once one of your staff downloads a malicious attachment or clicks a malicious links, it can download spyware and Trojans into your network. These can then vacuum up information, steal processing power or download even worse programs like ransomware software.
Payment fraud: Phishing emails commonly impersonate invoice payment requests from a company executive or third party vendor. Employees and executive staff that fall for them can end up sending company funds to fraudsters.
Ransomware Installation: Ransomware that holds your entire corporate data structure hostage under encryption can be installed. Attackers then ask you to pay a large fee to decrypt it.
How to Improve Email Security
The importance of robust email security is obvious, but this is where specific external measures come into play. You need to have a system in place that dramatically improves your organization’s email fortification, but doesn’t rely on your employees to be more careful. Some could argue that hosting high-quality employee security training could get the job done. But humans can become forgetful, software cannot.
What your business needs is remotely-managed systems that independently block phishing attacks, crush malware, and step in with takeover prevention–even if a cybercriminal has tricked one of your employees. Digital security providers that offer protective software and intelligent, AI-powered email communications monitoring solutions for business emails are ideal security partners for keeping your company secure against the gaping door that email weakness usually means.
Email Security Study Download
Great Lakes Computer Corporation can be your provider. We have a partnership with Mimecast to offer powerful cloud security and email tracking solutions that can stop malware downloads and other typical phishing attack vectors cold. In fact, Mimecast conducted a study interviewing numerous business decision-makers. They saw clear benefits from their experience with Mimecast that went above and beyond typical email security. For more information, here is a detailed report on exactly how our solutions work to keep your organization’s email safe.