Email is one of the main lines of communication in the workplace. Employees use it daily to update co-workers, disseminate information, liaise with suppliers, and so much more. For this reason, lots of cybercriminals also use it to deliver fraudulent emails. And because there’s a lot to gain from email-based scams, it would seem that cybercriminals won’t be getting rid of this strategy soon.
Learn the top 3 email security threats to look out for and how they work.
Phishing is a common type of cybersecurity threat that’s also widely performed through email. Social engineering methods are used to steal sensitive data from individuals and businesses alike. Unlike other types of fraud attempts, phishing attacks are sophisticated and well-designed that many people fall for them.
This type of email often looks legitimate, especially when the targets are the heads or the executives of the business. They contain either attachments or links that might contain malicious content that can harm the organization’s network. Once criminals enter your network, they can access data and steal information such as passwords, bank details, and others.
A few of the ways you can prevent data loss in your organization is to educate and boost awareness about phishing attacks. Train employees to recognize email threats and have them report them to the IT department.
Email spoofing is when a sender pretends to be someone the individual trusts, like a colleague or a supplier that the business has previously transacted. The sender could also pretend to be an entity such as a bank or agency and will try to get your bank account details or login information through a button or a link that will likely lead to a phishing website.
Spoofing is usually part of a phishing attack and this type of fraud typically goes undetected by filters. The sender information on the email header will show whether the email is actually from the organization it says. Always double-check the information on the email header before clicking on anything in the email.
This type of email scam is primarily used in sextortion scams, claiming that your devices have been hijacked with spyware and have recorded you watching adult films. In exchange for not leaking anything, the scammer will ask you for cryptocurrency or real money. Rest assured and most likely, this is a part of a scam and no one has actually installed spyware on your devices.
Malware attacks are also often distributed through emails. The email contains links to attachments that contain malware, which will be activated when the user clicks on a link or image, download a file, or interacts with it. Once the virus is opened or activated, it is likely to send another email to your contacts, possibly infecting your contact lists’ devices, too.
Viruses are often connected to phishing attacks, whose objective is to gather data or information from compromised accounts. Watch out for spam mail, ransomware, BEC or Business Email Compromise, whaling, and ransomware attacks as they are common email scams, as well.
To avoid this type of email scam, heighten email security measures and install anti-malware software is possible. Don’t forward random emails to your contacts especially if you don’t know the sender. Make sure you don’t click on any link, image, or button in the email, and report it if you suspect that it contains malware.