Cyberattacks have been on the rise in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may have heard of criminals posing as CDC representatives and leading people to click a link to learn about cases in their areas. Did you know? Large corporations aren’t the only entities who have cybersecurity threats; small businesses might be at an even greater risk because they don’t have the necessary resources to protect themselves. 

 

According to North Dakota State University, 92% of malware is delivered by email. As a business owner, you and your employees rely on email to communicate with partners, vendors, customers, and each other, but it could also be putting you at risk. 

Email scams and viruses can put your entire company, your employees, and customers at risk of identity theft and fraud. It can also leave you without access to important business information, which can be detrimental to your operations and reputation.

There are many different types of email viruses, with the most common being phishing and ransomware. The good news is there are a few ways anyone can detect a virus, including:

  • Missing files
  • System crashes
  • Pop-ups
  • Autonomously sent emails
  • Browser redirects
  • Malfunctioning antivirus programs

Luckily, implementing security will fend off cyberattacks so your business, its people, and its operations aren’t affected. You should also consider supplementary protection to further protect yourself. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of email threats you should be aware of, what to do when you’ve been attacked, and how you can protect yourself going forward. Make sure to share all of this information with your employees so you can ensure complete security for all of your business operations. 

Threats To Look Out For

As mentioned, there are many different types of email threats you should be aware of, including:

Boot Sector and Direct Action Viruses

Boot sector viruses, while commonly found on floppy disks, can still appear on computers on the Master Boot Record. However, most computers have evolved past floppy disks, making boot sector viruses less common. 

Direct action viruses work by attaching themselves to a .com or .exe file when installed, spreading to other files and making them inaccessible. 

Resident and Multipartite Viruses

Resident viruses function similarly to direct action viruses since they’re both file infector viruses, but a resident virus can install itself on the computer, making it much more dangerous. 

Multipartite viruses can infect software using various methods, making them difficult to target. It can attack many different files simultaneously. 

Keyloggers and Polymorphic Viruses.

Keylogging viruses allow cybercriminals to see everything a user types into the keyboard of an infected device, which can be used to steal valuable information and login credentials

Polymorphic viruses are some of the most difficult to detect with regular ant-virus software since they can change their code. 

Phishing

Email phishing scams are a cyberattack using malicious emails designed to trick people into a scam. Phishing is one of the most common types of attacks to make people reveal financial information or other sensitive data. 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer until the user pays untraceable money to the hacker. Phishing is one common method for delivering ransomware. With this threat, a user’s files are encrypted until payment has been made. 

Tools and Resources That Combat Cyber Attacks

Luckily, there are ways for you to protect yourself from malicious cyberattacks, including:

Signature-based Detection and Heuristics

Signature-based detection addresses software threats and involves your antivirus having a repository of signatures that represent known threats. 

On the other hand, heuristics uses algorithms to scan and detect commands that can indicate viruses. 

Real-time Protection and Sandbox Detection

Real-time virus protection scans your computer in real-time to uncover viruses and blocks files that contain malware. Sandbox testing works similarly to real-time protection, but it proactively detects malware. 

Data Mining Techniques

Data mining techniques to prevent viruses are a relatively new approach. By mining data and finding anomalies, professionals can find malicious threats. Typically, data mining is used for malware detection. 

Safeguards and Security Protocols to Implement

The best way to combat cyberattacks is to prevent them. Here are some safeguards and security protocols to put in place. 

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

TLS is a common protocol that facilitates data security over the web by encrypting communication between applications and servers. It can also be used to encrypt emails. You already see TLS in your daily life. For example, HTTPS you see in website URLs is a type of TLS encryption. 

Assess the Risk of Your Email

Email risk assessment validates emails and email addresses against information about the sender online. The assessment will validate identities and reputations to ensure you can trust the emails you’re receiving. 

Endpoint Security as a Last Form of Defense

Endpoint security secures your devices, including laptops, desktops, cellphones, and tablets so they can’t be exploited by threats. There are many different types of endpoint security, but you should use this security method without a supplementary security system in place.  

AI-powered Email Security Services

AI-powered email security services help defend you from phishing, ransomware, and other email attacks in real-time using artificial intelligence to offer complete visibility into the security of your email and potential threats. 

The Bottom Line

As software to prevent cyber attacks becomes more robust, cyber-attacks become increasingly more subtle. Luckily, there are ways for a business to protect themselves with integrated cybersecurity. By learning about the types of viruses that might be lurking in your email, you can develop the right habits to avoid them and think before you click the next unknown link. 

Make sure you have a meeting with your employees so they can learn the types of emails they need to avoid or report to the IT team. Taking steps to ensure your private information, as well as the durability of hardware, isn’t compromised, it is an achievable goal; all it takes is to implement these safeguards.

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