There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- by Brittany Day
Regardless of the size of your company or the industry that it services, you rely heavily on email for business in 2021 - and can reap tremendous benefits by investing in your email security strategy.
This article will explore what you stand to gain by prioritizing email security - namely, improved brand image, stronger client loyalty, lower operational costs, superior productivity and promotion of your brand among potential job candidates. Then, we’ll direct you to a free, interactive tool that will unlock the magnitude of your company’s email risk, and provide expert advice on how you can reduce it with quality security defenses. But first, let’s briefly examine the modern email threat landscape and the risks associated with a weak email security strategy.
A Quick Look at the Modern Email Threat Landscape
Email risk is greater than ever in this new remote work environment. Almost a year into this unprecedented pandemic, businesses are scrambling to modernize their infrastructure, and many companies have migrated to popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace to fulfill remote workers’ communication needs. Cyber thieves are exploiting businesses’ increased reliance on cloud email and the inherent vulnerability of cloud platforms without additional security defenses to target users with sophisticated attacks designed to compromise systems and steal sensitive data that can be used to initiate fraudulent wire transfers.
There has been a 600% rise in phishing attacks due to COVID-19, and users are now three times more likely to click on a malicious link embedded in a phishing email and disclose their account credentials than they were pre-COVID. Even after we emerge from this crisis, this heightened digital threat environment will persist, as cyber criminals now have mechanisms in place to exploit the latest trends, and techniques such as spear phishing and fileless malware that enable them to evade the detection of traditional security defenses.
The Dangers of an Ineffective Email Security Strategy are Great
Now more than ever, businesses cannot afford a subpar email security strategy - both literally and figuratively. Companies could once get away with a somewhat weak email security posture, but those days have come to an end, as cyberattacks are rapidly evolving, becoming more sophisticated, targeted and evasive by the day. Although phishing has dominated the digital threat landscape for decades, it is still the predominant digital threat businesses face, accounting for over 90% of all cyberattacks on corporate networks. A cyberattack or breach can have severe, lasting consequences for any business in any industry, including:
- Data theft
- Financial loss
- Serious reputational harm
- Recovery costs
- Negative impact on employee morale
- Significant, costly downtime or worse - permanent closure
It is no secret that 2020 was a tumultuous year for most businesses - and security has suffered as a result, leaving companies of any size at heightened risk of suffering the devastating repercussions listed above. Ponemon Institute reports that now only 44% of businesses feel they are effectively positioned against cyberattacks - down from 71% in the beginning of 2020. Regardless of the challenges your company is facing, it is crucial to keep in mind that taking preventative email defense measures is a far more reasonable approach than dealing with the consequences of a successful cyberattack or a data breach.
Email Security: An Investment that Continues to Pay Off
Not only will investing in email security help mitigate the digital risk your company faces, it could also play a significant role in your business’s success by improving your brand image, decreasing operational costs, optimizing productivity and solidifying client loyalty.
AT&T Cybersecurity researchers have identified a “relationship between business success and a commitment to strong security”, citing that 91% of companies that lag in cybersecurity miss revenue goals, while 57% of companies that lead in this area exceed revenue goals by over seven percent. By bolstering its email security defenses, your company can reap the following benefits:
Improvement in Brand Image & Stronger Client Loyalty
Openly communicating your company’s email security practices and strategy for protecting against outsider threats contributes to a strong corporate reputation. Current and prospective clients and partners respect and have confidence in organizations that prioritize security and demonstrate that they are capable of protecting sensitive client data. In the event of a breach, implementing a solid crisis communications plan will protect your reputation and maintain client loyalty. Ultimately, clients remain loyal to companies they are confident in.
Enhanced Productivity & Decreased Operational Costs
Effective risk mitigation reduces or eliminates potential downtime and disruptions due to security incidents, allowing companies to operate more effectively and efficiently. By eliminating exposure to financial risks, avoiding production shutdown and even maintaining business activity, a solid email security strategy pays off by decreasing a company’s operational costs and delivering a rapid return on investment (ROI). This helps boost employee morale which, in turn, further enhances productivity.
Promotion of the Employer Brand
Job seekers are attracted to companies that prioritize security and demonstrate responsibility. Thus, having a strong email security strategy in place and communicating the measures you are taking to secure company and client data will help incite interest from conscientious job candidates.
In this modern threat environment, CEOs and CFOs have a greater responsibility than ever to protect users and critical data by implementing a robust, multi-layered email security strategy. This can be accomplished through a combination of prioritizing risk management, choosing the right security technology, investing in properly configured and managed cloud services and educating employees on the threats they face online daily.
Securing email in 2021 and beyond requires an adaptive, multi-layered email defense strategy, fully-managed around-the-clock by a team of experts. Does your current email protection have what it takes to safeguard your most critical assets in this time of unprecedented risk? Evaluate your current email security strategy and get expert advice on ways in which you can improve it using our free Email Risk Assessment Tool.
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