Email is the backbone of communication for modern businesses, but with increased reliance and popularity comes the heightened risk of email-based attacks. Email security is now more crucial than ever, as the consequences of a data breach can be astronomical. The average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.44 million, making it easy to see how inadequate email security can result in devastating financial and reputational consequences for businesses.
Statistics show that data breaches frequently occur, with 45% of them happening in the Cloud. Shockingly, more than 422 million individuals were affected by data breaches in 2022 alone. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of email security and provide our expert insights on the benefits, threats and best practices to ensure your organization is secure.
What Is Email Security?
Email security refers to the protection of email systems, servers and communications from unauthorized access and malicious activities. In today’s digital world — where businesses rely heavily on email for communication and collaboration — email security has become a critical aspect of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy.
Email security works by safeguarding sensitive information and preventing data breaches. It ensures that only authorized individuals have access to email systems and communications. Email security measures include the following:
- Encryption — Converts plain text into a coded message to prevent unauthorized access.
- Authentication — Involves verifying the identity of the sender and receiver to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the email system.
- Spam filters — Helps prevent unwanted and potentially dangerous emails from entering the system.
Benefits of Having a Secure Email Server
Email security is a critical consideration for businesses of all sizes, and partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) like Secur-Serv can offer a range of benefits.
Small businesses can benefit from working with an MSP by gaining access to enterprise-level email security solutions at a fraction of the cost. MSPs can provide email filtering, anti-virus software and employee education services to help small businesses protect their systems against cyber threats.
Medium-sized businesses may have more resources to devote to email security but face greater complexity and scale. MSPs can offer customized solutions tailored to the specific needs of medium-sized businesses, including two-factor authentication, email encryption and regular security audits.
Enterprise corporations may have the most resources to devote to email security, but they may also face the most substantial risk due to their size and scope. MSPs can provide comprehensive security solutions, including advanced email filtering, employee education and regular security audits to ensure email systems are secure and protected against cyber threats.
No matter your organization’s size, the benefits of having a secure email server cannot be overstated. A secure email server provides all of the following advantages:
- Protects sensitive and confidential information. This is especially important for businesses that handle sensitive data, such as financial and health records. Additionally, a secure email server provides enhanced privacy and confidentiality of email communication, which can help protect against email-based attacks such as phishing scams.
- Increases credibility with customers, partners and stakeholders. Maintaining a secure email server demonstrates that you take data protection seriously and are committed to maintaining the privacy and security of their information. Additionally, a secure email server can help businesses to better comply with data protection regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA.
- Prevents financial loss due to fraud or cyber attacks. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s email system, and a secure email server can help prevent these attacks from happening.
- Improves productivity and efficiency by reducing downtime and fixing security breaches. This can save businesses time and money and help maintain business continuity.
- Protects a company’s reputation and brand image. With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, a security breach can quickly damage a company’s reputation and erode customer trust.
- Provides a cost-effective solution compared to the potential losses from security breaches. The cost of implementing proper email security measures is minimal compared to the potential financial and reputational losses that can occur from a data breach.
In short, a secure email server is not only a best practice but also an essential component of modern businesses.
Common Threats to Email Security
Businesses face a range of common threats to email security that can compromise their systems and expose sensitive data.
- Phishing attacks use social engineering to trick users into providing sensitive information or downloading malicious software.
- Malware and ransomware can be spread through email attachments or links.
- Spoofing, spear phishing and insider threats are other types of email-based attacks that can result in data breaches and loss of confidential information.
- Weak or compromised passwords can also pose a significant risk to email security, particularly if reused across multiple accounts.
- Outdated software and systems are another potential vulnerability that can expose businesses to email interception and other cyber attacks.
- Using personal or mobile devices to check work email can create new security challenges that require careful management and monitoring.
To protect against these common threats, businesses need to implement a range of security measures, including user education, email filtering, anti-virus software, strong password policies and regular software updates. By taking proactive steps to safeguard their email systems, businesses can reduce their risk of data breaches and better protect sensitive information.
Email Security Best Practices
To minimize the risk of email breaches, businesses need to implement a range of email security best practices, including the following.
- Use secure email servers that meet industry standards for data protection. This includes using encryption to protect sensitive data and ensuring email protocols are properly configured to prevent unauthorized access.
- Strong passwords and authentication are also critical components of email security best practices. Businesses should implement password policies that require complex, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to email accounts.
- Education is another critical aspect of email security, so that employees can identify and avoid email-based threats — such as phishing attacks — and report suspicious emails to IT staff.
- Keeping software and systems up to date is also essential for maintaining email security. This includes regularly updating software and operating systems to patch known vulnerabilities and ensure email systems are secure against the latest threats.
- Encryption and email filtering are additional best practices. Encryption protects sensitive information during transmission, while email filtering helps identify and block malicious emails before they reach users.
- Regularly back up email data to ensure that critical information is not lost in the event of a security breach or system failure.
By implementing these best practices, businesses can minimize their risk of data breaches and better protect sensitive information.
Secure Your Email Processes with Secur-Serv
To ensure email systems are secure and protected against cyber attacks, businesses can turn to Secur-Serv for comprehensive email security services. Secur-Serv offers a range of solutions to help businesses prevent, detect and respond to email-based threats.
One of the ways that Secur-Serv helps customers is by offering email filtering and encryption services to prevent phishing attacks and protect sensitive information. Secur-Serv also provides email archiving services to help businesses maintain compliance with data protection regulations and retrieve emails for legal or regulatory purposes.
Secur-Serv has helped numerous companies avoid or address email breaches through comprehensive email security solutions. For example, a healthcare provider prevented a potential data breach by using Secur-Serv’s email encryption services to protect patient data. In another case, Secur-Serv helped a law firm recover from a ransomware attack by restoring email data from backups. Read our case study on Cherokee State Bank to see how our experts were able to identify and address vulnerabilities within the community bank’s email systems.
Overall, Secur-Serv provides businesses with the tools and expertise needed to secure their email systems and protect against email-based attacks. By partnering with Secur-Serv, businesses can benefit from our extensive experience in email security to ensure that their critical data is safe and secure.
Protecting Your Digital Communications: Final Thoughts
MSPs can provide the expertise and resources needed to secure email systems, free up internal IT resources and deliver peace of mind that systems are monitored and maintained around the clock.
Email security is a critical aspect of modern business operations. Secur-Serv offers a comprehensive suite of email security solutions to help businesses minimize their risk of data breaches and protect their sensitive information.
Protect your business by choosing Secur-Serv as your partner in email security. Check out our managed security services and secure your email system with the latest technology. Contact Secur-Serv today to learn more.