It is no surprise that the last two years have been challenging. Security teams in the field have been required to design systems to allow remote work and prevent interruptions to business. However, cybercriminals took advantage of a weak economy and increased their attacks, typically via email and social engineering.
According to the Guardian Digital researchers, phishing attacks have grown by 600% thanks to the virus, and users tend to be three times more likely to click with a malicious website than before COVID.
The biggest hurdles to security, particularly for small-sized businesses, are:
- Security gaps within Microsoft 365 deposit.
- The issues with hybrid and remote working.
- An absence of multi-layered security methods.
Email Threats Create Increased Risk for Small Businesses
Smaller businesses are at a greater chance of being victims of cyberattacks, like the compromise of business email (BEC). Cybercriminals typically target small companies and disguise themselves as CEOs or executive to trick users into sharing information or even allowing massive financial transactions.
Remote employees are more likely to engage in suspicious emails than those who perform in-person work. This is not surprising since phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and more complex to discern from legitimate emails. The unfortunate thing is that smaller businesses that are hit by cyberattacks usually end up closing within six months after the incident because the financial impact is too heavy to overcome. The amount of damage can be anywhere between $35,000 and $200,000, not comprising legal fees and compliance penalties, the loss of brand reputation, and loss of business.
The Flaw in Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online Protection
Attackers can exploit human errors, and since smaller enterprises are less familiar with ransomware, they usually only rely on Microsoft365’s built-in security. However, this one-layered strategy cannot anticipate an imminent attack or defend against human errors. It also fails to prepare for zero-day attacks and malicious URLs and attachments that aren’t included as static records. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based program protecting email. However, it’s not customizable, which can adapt to fit small-sized businesses’ unique security needs.
Email Security Requirements Businesses Should Follow
Encryption is the key to the success of a security strategy for email. To improve the security of emails, businesses of all sizes, mainly small-scale businesses, would do better to concentrate on encrypting their emails. However, the email content is still susceptible to attack when moving through. To prevent this, use the transport layer security (TLS), the protocol that provides an end-to-end encryption service from one secured email server.
Sender fraud protection is an essential element that protects against email spoofing. This is a kind of fraud in which an intruder sends an email with a false “From” address. The technique is typically used in phishing attacks, where the goal is to steal information or initiate wire transfer transactions. It can cause significant and long-lasting damage to your name and reputation. Security protocols for emails, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, can protect you in establishing the identity of the person who is the email source.
Adequate email security requires a multi-layered defense to ensure more safety. Layered approaches will eliminate viruses and spam, stop threats in real-time, and build upon each to provide better, more secure security. For instance, Office 365 has an integrated spam filter. However, it’s not as effective against more sophisticated attacks, and spammers can experiment with their strategies until they overcome Microsoft’s filtering. With multi-layered security for emails, each layer concentrates on a specific region in which malware could get into.
Recommendations for Small Businesses
Beware of the risks associated with the increased use of cloud email is essential. Some tips to safeguard your company from such threats include:
- Learn to recognize ransomware, phishing, and other attacks based on email.
- Do not rely on security at the endpoint by itself – it’s the final security line.
- It is essential to inform remote workers to be the only person to connect to their home network. They must use a secure password for their account should, if they share a report on a computer, ensure every user is registered with a statement with their own.
- Use a VPN.
- Avoid networks that aren’t secure.
- Keep your operating system up-to-date Your operating system and software are only as secure as the most recent security patches.
- Be cautious about emails sent from email accounts belonging to personal people.
- Use authentication protocols to verify the emails you receive are authentic. Sender authentication protocols can prevent the spoofing of emails, business email compromise (BEC) along other potentially dangerous vulnerabilities.
- Install proactive, multi-layered cloud-based email protection. The concept of defense-in-depth is vital to protecting email from today’s threats.
Prepare Your Business for Battle
In cybersecurity, we can no longer afford to turn off our eyes to the issue in more ways than one. The damage that could result from an attack can be costly and could lead to the complete closure of your company. Cybercriminals won’t be disappearing anytime shortly, and security threats to your systems are constantly becoming more sophisticated. AT&T researchers found that more than 90% of companies with an insufficient security level are likely to miss revenue targets, and 57% of businesses with more robust security measures beat their targets by 7 percent. If a company is well-prepared for the possibility of a cyberattack, the chances are higher to achieve more success. Secure your email will be an investment in the future that pays back by reducing the risks to your business and also improving your image, and reducing the expense of operation. The best time to consider stepping away from the standard security measures and take further security measures is now.