Email compromise is a serious issue that can have disastrous consequences for both individuals and businesses. But what exactly is email compromise? And why is it such a big deal?
It occurs when an attacker gains unauthorized access to an email account and uses it to send malicious or fraudulent emails. These emails can be used to steal sensitive information, spread malware, or even launch attacks on other systems.
Because everyone in your organization uses email, it’s one of the easiest ways for hackers to breach your system. Experts report that within the last year, the surge of cyberattacks has been highly organized and more advanced than any attacks previously seen. This combination of mass quantity and heightened strategy can be devastating for a company’s cybersecurity.
We’ll discuss what signs to look for to prevent following malicious links and ways to strengthen your company’s email security.
The Dangers of Email Compromise
A common way for cybercriminals to facilitate phishing and ransomware attacks is through email compromise. Phishing is a type of attack in which the hacker sends fraudulent emails to steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all the data on a user’s computer until a ransom is paid. So what happens if your employee falls for a sketchy email that seems legitimate and it includes one of these attack types?
If the link in the email contains malware, the malware can encrypt all the data on the computer and could potentially lead to lost data and files. You also run the risk of having all of your personal and sensitive company information stolen, including passwords and credit card information.
Becoming aware of new tactics and sophisticated processes that cybercriminals are adopting is vital to the email security of your business moving forward.
Red Flags to Look for in an Email
Malicious email links can look very similar to legitimate ones and often contain malevolent payloads that can infect your computer or steal your data if you click on them. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that an email might be fraudulent so that you avoid clicking on any links within it.
Some of the most common red flags include:
- An unfamiliar sender
- An email address that looks like it’s from a legitimate company but is misspelled
- Urgent request for personal information
- Request for money
- Requests to download an attachment or visit a website
- Grammatical errors and poor sentence structure
Some of these signs appear more obvious as spam than others, but with increasingly advanced techniques from cybercriminals, attention to detail is critical. If a hacker gains access to an email account within your organization and poses as a trusted executive or team member, it’s crucial that your employees have a trained eye so they don’t fall into a trap.
How to Avoid Email Compromise
There are a few ways to avoid email compromise in your business, most of them involving user instruction. Conducting security awareness training for employees is one of the most effective ways to prevent security issues.
With human error being the leading cause of data breaches 95% of the time, ensuring your staff is properly trained on security protocols is absolutely essential. This training should include directives about employees looking carefully at emails they receive and not clicking on links from unverified or suspicious contacts.
Hiring an IT company that specializes in email security is another available resource that can enhance your business’s safety and prevent these cyberattacks from happening in the first place.
The Benefits of Partnering with ITS Group to Protect Your Email Security
Email security compromise can have devastating effects on your company. By falling for a malicious email, an employee can allow ransomware to encrypt all the data on their computer or allow a hacker to steal sensitive information. Being aware of the signs that an email might be fraudulent is key.
ITS Group is a leading cybersecurity and managed services provider that can help protect your email from hackers. We have the expertise and infrastructure to safeguard your email against the latest threats and provide you with the peace of mind that your data is safe, so contact us today!