How to Protect Your Business From Malicious Emails

Jun 10, 2022

If your organization is new to malicious emails, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to prevent this type of cyberattack. Better known as phishing, these attacks happen when a cybercriminal sends an email that may look inconspicuous, enticing a user to click a malicious link, download a malicious file, or provide sensitive information. Attackers disguise themselves as trusted contacts, leading the user to let their guard down.

 

Common examples include emails from your company urging you to update your password or even an email from your bank alerting you to an attack on your account. These time-sensitive emails encourage users to take action immediately. 

 

Unfortunately, malicious emails have only continued to grow over the past few years. On top of this growth, phishing has also become an even more prevalent threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

COVID-related phishing campaigns have added a new element to these attacks. For example, hackers will send COVID-19-related information to users under the guise of a trusted organization, leading employees to click on unsafe links and give cybercriminals access to their network.

 

Taking measures to protect yourself and your business from phishing attacks is a smart move to make. Keep these things in mind and ensure your IT service provider has these measures in your cyber security plan.

 

Train Your Team

 

Researchers from IBM found human error to be the leading cause of 95% of security breaches. Whether they like it or not, all of your team members have the power to keep your organization’s data and information safe. Their hard work sets you apart, but unfortunately, their small mistakes can lose your company a vast amount of both time and money.

 

Fortunately, each member of your organization can understand the common traits of malicious emails and how to avoid them through regular cyber security training. We detail how you can ensure all employees are trained in cybersecurity here. And, if you’re looking for more, be sure to talk to your IT service provider about the tips they have to share when it comes to avoiding phishing scams. 

 

Enable Spam Filters

 

You can enable various spam filters on your company email addresses to ensure all dangerous emails are flagged and sent to the user’s spam folder. Though this sounds like a simple fix, it can be incredibly effective, as your employees won’t be mindlessly scrolling through their inbox, accidentally clicking on a malicious email. Instead, they’ll be able to clear out their spam filter of any harmful emails sent their way. 

 

Backup Your Data

 

If it’s too little too late and you’re unable to stop a malicious email from stealing your information, backing up your data beforehand will help save you time when trying to access your accounts after they’ve been hacked. Your IT service provider should give you peace of mind knowing your data is safe regardless of what happens. Should an attack take you by surprise, you at least have a way to gain back most (if not all) of what you lost. 

 

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 

 

Multi-factor authentication is an authentication method that requires users to prove their identity through multiple credentials before they can access an account.

 

Typically, a user must provide two or more pieces of evidence when it comes to MFA:

 

  1. Something they know, such as a PIN number or the answer to a question
  2. Something they possess, such as a verification code sent to their device
  3. Something they are, such as their fingerprints or facial recognition

 

If your organization is prioritizing cybersecurity, MFA is a must-have when it comes to protecting data. With an added layer of protection, your organization is less likely to fall victim to malicious emails. Learn more about the top benefits of MFA here

 

Utilize Antivirus Software

 

Though there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to antivirus software, your IT service provider will be able to point you in the right direction. They should be able to help you find an option that will keep you well-protected from common phishing scams and additional cyber threats. You want all of your devices, from phones to tablets to laptops, to have this antivirus software, protecting you regardless of what you’re working on. 

 

Run Continuous Updates

 

If you had top-of-the-line software five years ago, chances are, it’s fallen from its once high ranking. That’s why continuously updating your software is so important – you want to make sure your devices are taking advantage of the latest security measures. By doing so, you’ll avoid additional phishing scams and rest easy knowing you’re up-to-date on the latest changes. 

 

Turn On Website Alerts

 

Malicious websites will often enable pop-up blocks asking for your email address. Though these can be harmless, it’s best to turn on website alerts just in case. This way, you’ll be notified should your computer detect anything out of the ordinary when you’re online. Again, small measures can have a massive impact on your organization’s safety and bottom line. 

 

Conduct Regular Check-Ins

 

Similar to cybersecurity training, you’ll want to conduct regular email check-ins to ensure all team members follow your cybersecurity plan’s protocols. In addition, employees should stay on top of their inboxes, alerting your IT service provider to any suspicious activity. By doing so, your provider can help ensure these threats don’t pop up again. 

 

Be Selective About Sharing

 

To keep your company safe from malicious emails, you need to limit the amount of information shared with each of your team members. Ask yourself who truly needs the information to do their job correctly and efficiently before sharing. The less you share, the less information is likely to be targeted in a phishing scam, and fewer employees are susceptible to putting this data at risk. 

 

Change Passwords Regularly

 

All email passwords should be changed regularly. This makes it more challenging for hackers to access your accounts. These passwords should all be different, and if you struggle to create new passwords, try using a password randomization tool. Then, use a password manager such as LastPass to keep track of these passwords for you.

 

If you’re worried that malicious emails will negatively impact your business, know that we’re here to help. Send us a message today so our experts can walk you through these protections and ensure you’re prepared should a phishing scam hit your inbox!

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