Email Security for SMBs: How Safe is Your Email?
Email is (and has been) a prime method of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Even San Antonio small businesses that only do business locally are at risk of these issues. Personal email accounts are equally at risk. Employing proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is very important to prevent the risk of security compromises, monetary loss, and even legality issues.
Stop Spam from Flooding Inbox
If you've been using email for a while either professionally or personally you have almost certainly gotten email from people you don't know. Most of these emails are blatantly unwanted while others can look 'almost' legit, as if a real person is trying to contact you. Often (and unfortunately) spammers can get your email address when you put it online or use it to register for accounts on sites on the internet. The good news is standard spam protection is getting better these days, and more advanced spam protection is cost effective for businesses that need the extra layer of protection.
Spam can cause a lot of harm for a business network if it isn't kept under control - spam can bog down email servers and eat up network bandwidth and plus it drastically slows down employee productivity because they need to sift through it all just to find their real email. If you and your staff are getting more than a few spam emails a day, deploying Employee Security Awareness Training with anti-spam solutions can help. For example, here at Centre Technologies, part of our Employee Security Awareness Training includes a Phish Alert button where Managed Services consultants are made aware of spam and can actively block future emails.
Don't Open Attachments from Unsolicited Emails
This has been a golden rule for general email usage for a very long time. If you received an email from a stranger and there is an attachment, don't touch it. If you receive an email from a contact and there is an attachment, but anything is suspicious, don't touch it. This goes the same for links. If the email was unexpected and just seems fishy, it is possible your contact's email may have been compromised. Use your judgment on this, but remember it isn't your contact trying to trick you, they are merely the victim of a similar hoax from one of their contacts. If you have any doubt, simply reply or pick up the phone and ask them about it before continuing.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) already supercedes traditional antivirus software with additional security tools like firewall, whitelisting tools, monitoring tools and more. Adding NextGen Anti-Virus creates an unbeatable solution that is proactive about defense, especially concerning spam emails. Once activated, it is continuously monitoring and not only blocks malicious attachments but prevents them in the future.
Email Virus Protection
Be sure to keep antivirus definitions up to date, and run scans regularly. Running adware and spyware removal software at regular intervals is important too. Be sure your Windows Updates are up to date as well. For businesses, you'll want to invest in network protection to keep external threats from leaking in. Even for small San Antonio businesses, security and threat management is important to keep operations running smoothly and to prevent expensive downtime and data theft.
One incredible tool for email virus protecion is Microsoft 365's Exchange. It comes loaded with Exchange Online Protection (EOP) features that protect against spam and malware whilst maintaining access to email both during and after emergencies.
Don't Rely on Email for Storage
Everyone has done this at least once; you are working on a report or document on one computer and you email it to yourself in order to pull it up on another computer. That's fine as long as you mind your inbox capacity, but you shouldn't rely on email for storing files, not even as a reliable backup. Imagine having to painstakingly pick through all of your email to restore your most important files. It doesn't sound like a good idea now, does it?
On top of that, email isn't any less prone to data corruption or loss than any typical storage solution, and unless the server hosting your email is backed up with a reliable solution, it could be here today and gone the next. The benefit of using services like Outlook, is the ability to perform cloud backups. Not only do cloud backups provide an increased level of data retention but an added layer of email data security.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
If you send sensitive data to other recipients, you will want to consider email encryption. Some industries require this. Email encryption simply scrambles the message while it is being sent, and depending on what type of encryption, will descramble itself or allow your recipient to log in to a secure location to view the data. Although email encryption services vary, most of them are very cost effective, especially when put beside the risks of sensitive data getting leaked and stolen.
Being a leading Microsoft CSP, here at Centre Technologies we specialize in Microsoft 365, cloud backups and cybersecurity. All of which are solutions that collectively provide ample defense against email related cyber attacks. If you're ready to enact email security that limits pheaux email confusion and enhances productivity, contact us today!
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