Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- by Brittany Day
Email risk is big for small- and medium-sized businesses. Luckily, by understanding the threats you face and the measures you can take to defend yourself, you can make this risk significantly smaller.
The email threat landscape has been heightened due to COVID-19. Malicious actors are exploiting businesses’ “new reality” - increased dependence on cloud email, lack of IT staffing and funding and rushed deployments of vulnerable cloud platforms. This environment has provided cyber criminals with the ideal opportunity to up their attack game - and sophisticated campaigns designed to steal confidential business information and large amounts of money from victims have proliferated.
Small businesses are at a significant disadvantage: they lack the resources and the staff needed to keep pace with emerging threats, and email risk disproportionately large for these companies as a result.
Awareness is the first step in mitigating cyber risk. To help you and your business stay safe and successful in this difficult time, we’ve put together an overview of some of the most persistent and dangerous email exploits targeting SMBs - namely, phishing, ransomware and business email compromise (BEC), along with tips and advice for securing business email against them.
Threat #1: Phishing
A phishing campaign begins with a cyber criminal spoofing or compromising an email account, and then sending fraudulent emails from that account. In a successful attack, the recipient is tricked into either sharing sensitive information with the attacker or installing malware on his or her system.
Phishing can do serious damage in the form of data theft, financial loss and stalled business operations.
91% of successful cyber attacks begin with a phishing email.
How Can I Protect My Business?
- Think before you click!
- Be cautious with links and attachments.
- Beware of urgent requests and requests for personal information.
- Most importantly: Safeguard your inbox with a threat-ready cloud email security solution.
Threat #2: Ransomware
Ransomware is a costly type of malware designed to block access to a computer system until a specified ransom demanded by attackers is paid. The average ransomware demand is $84,000, with one-third of victims paying the ransom.
In a ransomware attack, a user receives a malicious attachment in a phishing email. When he or she downloads the attachment, ransomware is installed on his or her system and encrypts files - rendering them inaccessible to the user. The victim then receives a note from the attacker, demanding a ransom payment in untraceable bitcoin in exchange for the restoration of the locked files.
Ransomware can shake any business to the core with the loss of critical business information and documents, significant downtime, large recovery costs and serious reputation damage.
60% of small- and medium-sized companies that are hit with ransomware go out of business within six months of the attack.
How Can I Protect My Business?
- Stay on top of security updates.
- Approach unknown emails, websites or downloads with caution.
- Most importantly: Implement a reputable, multi-layered cloud email security solution.
Download this infographic to learn more about ransomware.
Threat #3: Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Business email compromise (BEC) is a sophisticated and highly targeted email scam in which an attacker compromises or impersonates an executive’s email account with the aim of obtaining access to sensitive business information or other key assets.
In a BEC attack, a malicious actor compromises or spoofs an executive email account and then sends fraudulent transfer instructions to a finance employee from this account. In a successful scam, the recipient is fooled into transferring funds to an account controlled by the attacker - and the attacker gets paid.
BEC can have severe consequences for organizations including financial loss, obliterated client trust and the compromise of sensitive data and critical business accounts.
High-speed trading firm Virtu Financial just recently revealed that it paid out $6.9 million as a result of a BEC attack that the firm suffered in May. In this malicious attack campaign, a cyber criminal quietly sat on the company's network for weeks - listening, watching and waiting. The threat actor then surreptitiously tampered with account settings and sent fraudulent emails, resulting in a transfer of funds to a Chinese bank.
Between 2016 and 2019, BEC resulted in $26 billion in reported losses for companies worldwide.
How Can I Protect My Business?
- Educate employees.
- Verify wire transfers.
- Protect corporate email accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Most importantly: Implement a threat-ready, multi-layered cloud email security solution.
Download this infographic to learn more about BEC.
Email-borne attacks are more problematic for businesses than ever, and SMBs are a favorite target among cyber criminals due to the fact that these organizations often lack adequate resources and expertise devoted to cyber security.
Luckily, with a comprehensive, fully-managed cloud email security solution in place, you can rest easy knowing that your business is protected around the clock with threat-ready email vigilance - even in the absence of a full-time IT department.
Ready to partner with an industry leader in safeguarding your users and your key assets? Speak with a security expert today.
- Thinking Strategically about Email Security in 2021 and Beyond
- Behind the Shield: EnGarde Cloud Email Security Explained
- Open Source: A Powerful, Yet Underutilized Weapon against Phishing & Zero-Day Attacks
- Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- Buyer's Guide to Office 365 & Workspace Email Security
- EnGarde Cloud Email Security: The Logical Solution to Cyber Risk in Office 365
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Top Email Security Risks in 2021 - How To Set Your Business Up for Safety & Success
- Ransomware By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- SMB Ransomware Warnings & How To Prevent an Attack
- Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs
- Top Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online in a Work-from-Home World
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Why Ransomware is a Threat to Business
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Why Office 365 Users Are Moving Away from Relying on Default Email Protection Alone
- What You Need to Know to Shield Your Business from Ransomware
- Why You Need DMARC to Secure Email against Spoofing Attacks & Sender Fraud
- Biden's Cybersecurity Efforts Highlight the Power of this Key Technology
- Shortcomings of Endpoint Security in Securing Business Email
- Open Source Utilization in Email Security Demystified
- Limitations of Microsoft 365 Email Security & How To Close These Dangerous Gaps
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2021
- Complete Guide to Email Viruses & Best Practices to Avoid Infections
- Security Expert Dave Wreski Discusses Guardian Digital’s Use of Open Source for Email Security
- Are Employees the Weakest Link in Your Email Security Strategy?
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack in 2021
- There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- How To Keep Email Private with TLS
- DMARC Quarantine vs. Reject: Which Should You Implement to Secure Business Email against Sender Fraud?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: A Passionate Engineer Brings the Power of Open Source to Business Email Security
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- Why Your Business Needs Superior Email Protection
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How to maintain security when employees work remotely: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright - Beware of These Sneaky Seasonal Phishing Scams
- Migrating Business Email: The Hidden Complexities You Need To Know
- SPF, DKIM & DMARC: Definition & How They Secure Email Against Sender Fraud?
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Complete Guide on Email Security & Threats Faced by Organizations
- What Are Zero-Day Attacks & How Can I Prevent Them?
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail