Email Security Guide for Waste Management Companies

Small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the waste management industry understand firsthand the importance of streamlining operations and maximizing resources to meet business goals and objectives. As a result, cybersecurity may not be a top priority due to limited IT security resources and expertise.

But have you considered the potential impacts of a cyberattack or data breach on the sensitive data your clients have entrusted you with, your operational efficiency, and your hard-earned brand image? For companies in the waste management industry, data breach can compromise employee records, payroll information, and payments to vendors.

Over 90% of modern cyberattacks begin with phishing emails, and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in any industry face a higher level of risk due to the lack of cybersecurity expertise and resources common among these businesses. 

As an executive or employee in the waste management industry, do you: 

  • Maintain a database of clients online?
  • Use cloud services to store your clients' financial information and other sensitive data?
  • Communicate with clients via email or phone?
  • Process fees and payments electronically?
  • Allow employees to access systems and client data from their own devices?

If so, you face a heightened risk of falling victim to an attack threatening the security of your job and your company. This risk can be mitigated by implementing additional email security protection from a trusted third-party provider to safeguard your business and its clients.  

Understanding the threats to your email and how you can defend against them is crucial in fostering security, productivity, and long-term success as an SMB in the waste management industry. Let's examine the importance of robust email security in safeguarding your critical data and hard-earned reputation. We’ll then provide measures you can take to improve your email security posture now.

Waste Management Companies Face Significant Risks Using Email

Email is an effective tool for attacks on small businesses in any industry, and Waste Management is no exception. Cybercriminals can easily obtain sensitive information in this modern digital era, often using phishing emails that pretend to be sent by a trusted or known sender.

Waste management companies utilizing unsecured email may face disastrous repercussions: 

  • Permanent reputational damage
  • Severe financial losses
  • System-wide malware that completely disrupts productivity
  • Sender fraud being used to defraud clients and other employees
  • Data breaches compromise employee records, payroll information, and vendor payments.

Email is an integral part of waste management businesses’ daily operations, serving as the primary channel for employee communications. Companies must prioritize robust email security to avoid falling victim to cybercrime.

What Are Common Types of Email Attacks on Waste Management Companies?

Email is a vital communication tool for waste management businesses and a source of significant risk if inadequately secured. Cybercriminals use email to steal data and infect computers with malware. FBI statistics show that an email cybercrime occurs every 39 seconds in America and only increases with time. Cybercrime has increased by 300% since the pandemic.

Cybercriminals are known to use a variety of malicious methods to try to obtain sensitive information, including:

  • Phishing: The most common form of email-based security threat is phishing, which involves obtaining sensitive or personal information from individuals or businesses. Attackers pose to be trustworthy entities to get recipients to reveal sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card numbers.
  • Spear Phishing: Spear phishing refers to a targeted phishing attack in which the cybercriminal sends personalized emails to target individuals to obtain sensitive information. This is usually done by gaining access through social media profiles, business directories, or other sources. These cybercriminals may use information gathered from these sources in their messages to appear more legitimate and collect sensitive data from the victims.
  • Spam: Spam is unsolicited emails sent in large numbers without the recipient's consent. Modern spam filters usually catch and block most spam. However, some may sneak through to deliver malicious content straight into an inbox.
  • Malware: Malware is a type of software that can be used to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Hackers can embed malware into email attachments and links that lead to websites compromising recipients' devices and networks.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is malware that prevents access to a computer system until the attacker pays monetary compensation. The attackers of Ransomware malware encrypt files until payment, which is usually made in an untraceable format.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks: An attacker intercepts communications between two parties to steal or modify their data. MITM attacks on email accounts occur when an unauthorized party accesses the email server. They can then read, delete, or modify emails before their recipients see them.

Why Is Robust Email Security Essential for Waste Management Companies?

As previously mentioned, email security is a critical component of mitigating digital risk. Cybercriminals and malicious hackers can easily target your waste management business if you don't have reliable email protection in place.

Why should email security be a top priority for all waste management companies? It's simple: it is essential in protecting sensitive data and safeguarding your brand image. Losing confidential information is a serious risk because most companies send sensitive material via email. Cybercriminals and malicious actors can use this data to cause financial loss and more serious issues like data breaches and severe, lasting reputational harm for victim organizations. 

Sadly, owners of small- and medium-sized waste management companies still underestimate the importance of email security. These businesses need more resources or time to deal with the technical aspects of securing email to protect their data. They are often forced to accept the risk and do not take the basic security measures required to prevent attacks.

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security: Fully-Managed Email Protection for Waste Management Companies 

There are many ways you can make your email account safer today, even if you are short on resources. Outsourcing email security to a trusted third-party provider can be an excellent way to enhance security cost-efficiently. Investing in a vCISO cloud-based email security solution like Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security can help secure your network, bolster limited IT resources, prevent downtime and data loss due to an attack, and deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI).

Notable benefits of securing your business email with Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security include:

  • Rapid Return on Investment (ROI): By preventing security breaches, minimizing downtime, increasing productivity, and safeguarding your operations, businesses can expect a positive impact on their bottom line.
  • Better threat protection through an inherently secure design: By applying the collaborative, transparent, open-source development model to email security, businesses receive enhanced threat protection, increased trust in the information they receive, real-time updates, and more secure, resilient technology.
  • Extended IT resources: The ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support that Guardian Digital provides reduces the strain on businesses’ overworked IT departments, enabling them to focus on tasks unrelated to email security more productively. These fully-managed services provide the around-the-clock email vigilance required for the early detection and elimination of threats.
  • Better Planning & Policy Enforcement: Complete visibility into your email security and the threats targeting your organization via the EnGarde Cloud Email Security Dashboard reduces risk exposure and enables improved cybersecurity business planning and better enforcement of company policies.
  • Enhanced Microsoft 365 Email Security: EnGarde’s supplementary defenses bolster inadequate built-in cloud email protection to fortify Microsoft 365 email against credential phishing and account takeovers.

In addition to implementing a comprehensive cloud-based email security solution, employees and organizations must use email security best practices to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack or data breach.

Waste Management Resources Data Breach Exposes Employees’ Healthcare Details

A data breach at US waste management company Waste Management Resources exposed the healthcare of current and previous employees and dependents. An unknown hacker accessed the health information of staff members who had submitted claims for its self-insured healthcare plan. Files accessed may have included names, Social Security Numbers, Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and government and state ID numbers. Driver's License numbers, dates, birthdates, bank account numbers, and debit and credit card numbers. The information exposed included the medical histories and treatment of staff and dependents, their health insurance details, usernames and email addresses, and passwords to financial accounts.

A spokesperson for the company stated, "Waste Management takes security and privacy very seriously… …There has been no interruption in business as we worked to resolve this issue. We have added additional safeguards to protect data and apologize for any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.”

However, the sheer volume and sensitive nature of the information exposed has caused some eyebrows to be raised. Software consultant Allen Holub pointed out on Twitter, "Why does the HR system require passport numbers or your password to a bank account?" I can't think of a situation where such information would be stored in an HRIS.” Troy Hunt, a security expert, said: "It's time to start over when so much data is exposed."

Continue Learning About the Importance of Email Security in the Waste Management Industry

Many small and medium-sized waste management businesses need to take steps to secure their email. This is a critical issue for any business, but smaller companies, particularly, have fewer resources and limited budgets to protect their IT system. Inadequate email security can have severe consequences, including data loss, financial loss, and reputational damage. It is essential to continue learning about how to improve email security to keep pace with attackers’ evolving techniques.

  • Learn about SMB email security mistakes and how to overcome them.
  • Learn why over 90% of modern cyberattacks begin with a phishing email and how to safeguard your users and critical assets.
  • Learn how to implement best practices to protect your business against attacks.
  • Sign up for our weekly Behind the Shield newsletter to stay informed about the latest threats and how to address them.

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