Alternative ways to improve business email security

From email encryption software to multi-factor authentication, there are many proven ways to beef up email security. Enterprises concerned with enhancing cyber security while using business email accounts may wish to consider alternative and lesser-known options.

From raising user awareness to bespoke end-point security, read on as we explore other cyber security tools companies can select from to ramp up their defences.

Practical user awareness training

Firms creating a cybersecurity culture is key to mitigating security risks via email. Part of this process involves educating employees. They must be able to recognise the latest email-based threats and understand what action to take. Typically, this includes learning not to click on links or download suspicious attachments, as well as informing them how to report email attacks like phishing.

Practical user awareness training software like Barracuda Phishline is available to prepare employees for potential attacks. Such solutions can simulate real-world email threats using authentic content that perfectly mimics the most up-to-date tactics.

Training can be tailored to suit company needs and helps employees to sidestep the pitfalls of phishing emails. This can help stop them from downloading malware onto enterprise devices or being fooled into revealing their company credentials.

Analyse which employees are the most risk

Technology using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is available, like Barracuda Sentinel, that can provide powerful protective filters and analyse employees most at risk within an organisation. Conventional email filters will typically only filter and scan incoming mail. However, built-for-purpose solutions can integrate directly into Office 365. They can then block threats even after they have bypassed filters and made it to company inboxes.

AI systems can learn the way a company communicates. This helps businesses identify areas of risk and detect personalised fraud. This protects business email accounts from compromise and takeover. Solutions can analyse attacks with in-depth forensics and offer fresh insights on threats through automatic reporting.

Use email filtering based on sender reputation

Filtering emails using a sender reputation service can add another layer of protection to company accounts, stopping potential threats from circumnavigating standard security measures.

Sender reputation filtering provides the first line of defence against unwanted spam. It gives Chief Information Officers (CIOs) the ability to control which messages are allowed through a company’s email gateway based on the trustworthiness of their senders. These services can ensure that emails from reputable senders like partners and customers are accepted. They then deliver messages directly to end-user inboxes without scanning to streamline workflow.

However, incoming messages from less reputable or entirely unknown senders are subject to intense content scans designed to be anti-spam and anti-virus. Sender reputation filter service users can also limit the number of emails they wish to accept from any given sender. Known email senders that have the worst reputation can automatically have connections rejected. Their emails can also be bounced back depending on the preferences set.

These systems ensure that personnel receive emails from trusted sources swiftly, so no disruption is caused. They also ensure that spam and malicious mail is identified and kept out of company inboxes where they present a nuisance or threat.

Why is tailored end-point protection important?

Endpoint security encompasses technologies and strategies that prevent, contain, mitigate, and remediate threats aimed at end-points where staff access emails like desktops and mobile phones. An endpoint that is compromised can give a threat operator a foothold within a company’s infrastructure. Moving laterally across the system, they can compromise additional endpoints and access or steal confidential data.

Every business will have unique security challenges and requirements, so the end-point protection chosen by a firm must be personalised to answer these needs and provide an effective solution.

For example, the larger an organisation is, the more endpoints will require protecting, making capacity a key consideration. Firms operating in different sectors will need to meet specific regulatory requirements. Sectors like finance and healthcare have particular regulations to adhere to. How a company operates must also be factored in. If an enterprise has employees working remotely, an endpoint security product that can deliver secure remote access is a must.

All of these options listed can help companies take a layered approach to cyber security, increasing protection levels for business email accounts and the wealth of sensitive content they often contain.

About the Author

Nathan Hill-Haimes s an Investor & Co-Founder at Amvia, a serial telecoms entrepreneur, and inbound marketing expert. From his home in coastal North Devon, Nath works with a portfolio of technology, property & sports investments through his fund Croyde Bay Ventures. When he’s not working, Nath can usually be found surfing, mountain biking, or walking the North Devon Coast with Wilf his Working Cocker.