Businesses report an increase in email compromises
Email has become an integral part of modern business communication. While email communication is convenient, fast, and efficient, it also poses a risk of compromise. As email attacks become increasingly sophisticated, businesses are reporting an increase in email compromises.
Email compromise refers to any unauthorised access to an individual's or a business's email account. It can include unauthorised access by a hacker or an insider threat, such as an employee who misuses the email account for their personal gain.
An email compromise can have a severe impact on a business. It can result in the theft of sensitive information, such as intellectual property, financial information, and personal information, which can be used to commit identity theft or fraud. Moreover, an email compromise can also result in any damage to reputation, loss of customer trust, and financial loss due to legal action, fines, and penalties.
Businesses are reporting an increase in email compromises due to various reasons. Some of the key reasons include:
Sophisticated phishing attacks: Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult for businesses to detect and prevent them. Hackers are using social engineering tactics to lure individuals into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, which can result in the compromise of the email account.
Lack of security awareness: Many individuals are not aware of the risks associated with email communication, and they may not know how to identify a phishing attack. This lack of awareness can make it easier for hackers to compromise an email account.
Insider threats: Employees who have access to a business's email account may misuse it for their personal gain. They may use the account to steal sensitive information or to commit fraud.
Remote work: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in remote work. Remote work can pose a security risk, as employees may use unsecured networks or devices to access their email accounts, making it easier for hackers to compromise the account.
How businesses can prevent email compromises
Businesses can take various steps to prevent email compromises. Some of the key steps include:
Employee education: Educating employees about the risks associated with email communication can help prevent email compromises. Employees should be trained on how to identify phishing attacks and how to report suspicious emails.
Use of email security solutions: Email security solutions, such as spam filters and antivirus software, can help detect and prevent email compromises.
Multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication can add an extra layer of security to an email account, making it more difficult for hackers to gain unauthorised access.
Regular software updates: Regular software updates can help prevent email compromises by patching vulnerabilities in software that could be exploited by hackers.
Strong password policies: Strong password policies, such as requiring employees to use complex passwords and to change them regularly, can help prevent unauthorised access to an email account.
Email compromises pose a significant risk to businesses. As email attacks become increasingly sophisticated, it is essential for businesses to take steps to prevent them. Educating employees about the risks associated with email communication, using email security solutions, implementing multi-factor authentication, regular software updates, and strong password policies are some of the key steps that businesses can take to prevent email compromises. By taking these steps, businesses can protect themselves from the potentially severe consequences of an email compromise.