Whether you conduct the majority of your business online or in person, email is a vital communication tool, greatly increasing the speed and efficiency with which you can send written messages.
Unfortunately it’s not without drawbacks. Email exploitation is a preferred method of hackers seeking to access restricted information. After all, it’s not uncommon for sensitive information such as system log in credentials to be sent back and forth via email, particularly in office environments.
And this is not something which only afflicts the very large or very small businesses; all businesses are under threat from opportunistic hackers, ourselves included. For example, at webhostgb.com we work daily to stave off potential threats, and its something we always need to pay attention to in order to ensure we’re among Britain’s premier, reliably fast and secure hosts.
However, wannabe hackers needn’t interfere with your day to day business operations and the greater work place efficiency afforded by email, instead all that’s required is a proactive approach to email security.
There are a myriad of methods for increasing the security of your email system, some will be more relevant than others depending on the type of business your run. Before implementing any of the following methods it could be valuable to analyse your current system to see if you can detect any specific areas of vulnerability or weak links, so to speak.
Password length, complexity and the diversity of characters in large part determines the strength of a password, one which is not easily guessed or obtained through brute force measures.
Longer passwords, utilising a mixture of characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and with no inherent meaning or subject matter will make it harder for hackers to infiltrate your system.
Wherever possible passwords shouldn’t be written down or sent via email as should this information be intercepted then it will likely propagate further security leaks.
Email encryption ensures that messages can only be read by the desired recipient, essentially negating interception based hacking strategies. Very simply, it works using a key system whereby the sender encrypts the message using a public key and the recipient decrypts the message with a private key. In reality, the process is more complex however this should give you at least some idea of how it works.
There are a lot of email security and encryption products on the market, many of which are compatible with multiple platforms including desktop, mobile and tablet, and cloud, for example. HPSecureMail is held in particularly high regard so this is something you may want to look at.
Keep in mind that security measures must be equally applicable on all devices and locations from which business emails are sent. For example, its of no use to implement an email security strategy which applies to desktop computers if work emails are being sent and accessed on unsecured mobile devices etc.
Fortunately, the majority of email encryption/security software supports multiple devices so this needn’t be a problem, however the point is a hacker will only require a singly point of vulnerability to break into a system, hence there is a need to assess and identify weak areas so that they can be strengthened.
This post was designed to provide a brief insight into email security and a couple of measures you can implement to safeguard your email communications. It is by no means a comprehensive security plan and shouldn’t be used as such.