What are the Common Email Security Threats? 

What are the Common Email Security Threats? 

Emails are a huge part of communication, especially for businesses. With so much data being shared over emails, securing them is essential. 

Email security threats are increasing by the day as attackers are developing new methods to exploit email for breaching security.  

To effectively counter both current and emerging email threats, it is essential for organizations to identify them and implement an approach for email security. 

Here’s more information to help you learn about the common email security threats. 

What are email security threats?  

Email security threats are activities that are carried out by cybercriminals who use email as their primary method to carry out malicious activities. These activities can include breaking into, altering, or stealing sensitive information from individuals, companies, or organizations. The main goals of these attacks are often to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, steal valuable data, or facilitate additional illegal activities in the digital realm. 

What are the types of email security threats?  

The first step to against email security threats is to identify and understand them. Here are some common email security threats: 

1. Malware: 

Short for malicious software, malware is a term used to describe various harmful software programs, including viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware. These malicious entities can be delivered via email attachments or links to compromised websites.  

Once executed, malware can wreak havoc by damaging systems, stealing sensitive data, or allowing unauthorized access to infected devices. In the case of email-based malware, attackers often disguise the harmful files or links as legitimate content to trick users into interacting with them. 

2. Phishing:  

Phishing is a type of cybercrime where attackers send fake emails that look like they’re from trusted sources, such as banks or popular websites. The goal is to trick people into giving away sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. These emails usually have links or attachments that, when clicked, take you to a fake website that looks real but is designed to steal your information. Phishing works well because it plays on people’s trust and can be hard to spot. 

3. Ransomware:  

This is a kind of harmful software that locks a victim’s files by encrypting them, making them unusable, and then demands payment (ransom) to unlock them. Ransomware attacks often begin with an email that has dangerous attachments or links. When these are opened or clicked, the ransomware activates and encrypts the data on the victim’s computer or device. This can cause major problems, like losing important data and costing a lot of money to fix.  

4. Email Spoofing:  

Have you ever received an email that seemed to be from a familiar sender, only to discover it was actually from someone else? This is known as email spoofing, where the email header is altered to make it look like the message is coming from a different source. 

This trick is often used in phishing attacks and spam campaigns to make the recipient trust the email and open it. Emails that are spoofed can lead to money being stolen, personal information being taken, or harmful software being spread.  

5. Spamming:  

Spamming is when someone sends a lot of unwanted emails, usually to advertise something. However, spamming can also be more dangerous. Sometimes, these unwanted emails might contain harmful software (malware) or links that try to trick you into giving away personal information (phishing). Spam can fill up inboxes, waste time and resources, and be a security risk if it contains dangerous content. 

How to stop email threats?  

These are some of the known ways to protect against email security threats. 

1. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)  

MFA enhances security during the login process by requiring users to provide at least two forms of identification before accessing an account. This added layer of security can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access, even if a user’s password is compromised. 

Common Multi-Factor Authentication methods include one-time codes sent via SMS or email, authentication apps, biometric verification (such as fingerprint or facial recognition), and physical security tokens. 

2. Use a Spam Filter  

Spam filters are tools designed to prevent unwanted email messages, commonly known as spam, from reaching users’ inboxes. They work by automatically scanning incoming emails and filtering out those identified as spam based on certain criteria. This helps organizations reduce the amount of irrelevant or potentially harmful emails that employees receive, minimizing the risk of them accidentally opening emails that contain malware or phishing links. 

READ: 10 Tips to Stop Your Emails from Being Marked as Spam 

3. Train Employees  

Educating employees is a crucial aspect of email security. Regular security awareness training can equip employees with the knowledge to recognize and handle different email-based threats.  

Training topics should include: 

Phishing Awareness: Train employees to spot phishing emails by examining the sender’s address, checking for errors, and verifying links. 

Safe Email Practices: Advise employees to refrain from clicking suspicious links or opening unexpected attachments, and to verify the sender’s identity through known channels. 

Incident Reporting: Set clear guidelines for reporting suspected phishing, malware, or other email threats. Prompt reporting can reduce attack impact. 

Software Updates: Ensure employees regularly update their email clients, browsers, and operating systems with the latest security patches. 

 4. Opt for a Secure Email Hosting Service 

By choosing a secure hosting service, businesses can significantly enhance protection against email security threats and reduce the risk of falling victim to email-based threats. 

These services typically include features like encryption, spam and malware filtering, and phishing protection. As a result, the risk of sensitive information being accessed or stolen through email is significantly reduced. 

BigRock provides secure Email Hosting solutions with built-in virus protection to keep your business email safe. Our advanced anti-virus technology protects your inbox from viruses and malware. We use thorough security solutions to ensure real-time protection for your emails. 

We hope this has offered you clarity on what mail security threats are. Remember, email security threats pose significant risks to individuals and organizations. To effectively combat these challenges, it is essential to implement robust security measures such as multi-factor authentication, spam filters, regular employee training, and choose a renowned and secure email hosting service.  


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