By Rudra Srinivas
Most companies rely on e-mail correspondence as a primary means of communication even when it comes to sharing classified information like customer account numbers, employee credentials, and confidential negotiations. But the companies must remember that all communications made via emails may not be as private as they think. A single negligent employee’s action might break the safety and security of the organization.
To prevent this, organizations must ensure that their workforce is sufficiently vigilant about email security and safety etiquettes. The practices below will tell you how to shore up your company’s email security:
1. Use Strong Passwords
We can’t underrate the importance of a strong email password while talking about email security tips. Implement robust password policy to ensure that all the employees are using strong passwords and changing them on a regular basis. Using a passphrase over a password will give you maximum security for your email account. You may also use a mix of alphabets in lower and upper case, numbers, and special characters. And if you find it difficult to memorize passwords then use a password manager, but never write down passwords or store them in files. Implement a password management system like two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security. Organizations have started using SMS codes for employee logins as a secondary authentication to passwords.
2. Security Awareness Training
According to the UK’s 2015 information security breaches survey, 75 percent of large organizations suffered staff-related security breaches in 2015, with half of them caused by human error.
Organizations must invest in security training sessions that make employees prepared to manage information security risks. An employer needs to be more certain that their staff is aware of how to handle the sensitive data on their devices and the risks that are associated with information security. The critical information might fall into the hackers’ hands if the organization fails to provide its staff with effective cybersecurity awareness and capabilities.
3. Use Encryption
Unencrypted emails remain vulnerable to phishing attacks and can lead to serious data breaches. Instruct employees to use an encrypted ZIP file and share the password with the recipient separately whenever they send any sensitive information via emails. This gives an additional layer of protection to email correspondence and stops online intruders from unauthorized access to email content. Remember, effective encryption practice starts again by choosing a complex password for decryption.
4. Use updated Email systems and Antivirus software
Hackers use sophisticated methods to obtain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Keep your email systems patched and use updated anti-virus software that scans both incoming and outgoing emails to prevent viruses, malware, trojans, and any other potential threats. Make sure it’s updated continuously with the latest virus definitions to defend against newly discovered vulnerabilities.
5. Enforce an Email Policy
Organizations should create and maintain a documented policy for email usage and instruct employees to adhere to that policy. Employees must be aware of emailing procedures that satisfy data safety requirements such as, what kind of data can and can’t be sent via emails, who are authorized to send company sensitive information, and what kind of files should not be downloaded.