Stop phishing scams cold: Ways to protect your business email from cyberattacks

Stop phishing scams cold: Ways to protect your business email from cyberattacks

While they are one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, phishing attacks are widely used by cybercriminals -- and they're also becoming increasingly sophisticated. This is why it's essential for businesses like yours to implement robust measures to protect your business email accounts. Email remains a heavily used communication channel for businesses, so a compromise from a phishing attack here can have dire effects on your data security and public reputation.

Let’s take a look at some effective strategies to safeguard your business email from phishing scams and minimize the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

Employee education and awareness

Regardless of their sophistication, phishing scams still need a hapless victim to trick into providing access to vital data and systems. To ensure your employees do not become victims, you must educate and raise awareness among your staff about the dangers of phishing and how to recognize suspicious emails.

Conduct regular training sessions or workshops to educate employees on common phishing tactics, such as impersonation, urgent requests, and unsolicited tech support. Also, ensure your training includes identifying the most common red flags such as:

  • Spelling errors
  • Unfamiliar senders
  • Requests for sensitive information
  • Odd syntax and word choice
  • Long, unfamiliar links to unknown sites
  • Downloadable .exe or data archive (.zip, .rar, etc.) attachments

Your people are your first line of defense against phishing scams, so investment here provides the best ROI.

Implement email filtering and spam detection

Educated employees are great, but it’s ideal if they never have to worry about coming across the emails in the first place. Utilize email filtering and spam detection tools to automatically identify and block suspicious or malicious emails before they reach your employees' inboxes. Configure your email server or use third-party email security solutions to filter out spam, phishing attempts, and malware-laden messages.

Having IT professionals to monitor these solutions is a useful and cost-effective way to clean up your inboxes. Just don’t forget to regularly update and fine-tune your email filtering rules and policies to adapt to evolving phishing tactics and emerging threats effectively.

Enable multifactor authentication (MFA)

One of the primary goals of phishing scams is to steal login credentials such as passwords to access private data. You can prevent this from occurring even if the cybercriminals manage to get their hands on your passwords by implementing MFA. This feature requires employees to provide additional verification factors to sign in to email accounts, such as

  • A one-time passcode sent to their mobile device
  • Biometric authentication such as a face or fingerprint scan
  • Answers to security questions
  • Number codes generated by an authenticator app on a personal mobile device

Even if attackers manage to obtain login credentials through phishing scams or other means, your data and emails are secure because the attackers will still lack the other required credentials.

Deploy email encryption technologies

Deploy email encryption technologies to protect sensitive information transmitted via email from interception and unauthorized access. Additionally, consider using end-to-end email encryption solutions that encrypt email contents and attachments from sender to recipient, ensuring that only authorized parties can access and decrypt the information. This way, should a phishing scam be successful and they are sent sensitive information, the cybercriminals won’t be able to decrypt the data and make use of it.

Conduct regular security audits and assessments

Scammers are constantly updating their technology and tactics to find more success, so you also have to keep up. Regularly conduct security audits and assessments of your business email systems to identify vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and potential areas of weakness. Perform penetration testing to simulate phishing attacks and assess your employees' susceptibility to phishing scams.

With the data you get from these tests, you can address any security gaps or vulnerabilities and implement remediation measures to strengthen your email security posture before the scammers can take advantage.

Bring in the experts

If you don’t have up-to-date knowledge on the latest cyberattacks, phishing scams, or cybersecurity solutions, it is difficult to stay protected. However, the good news is that reliable managed IT services providers like outsourceIT can fill your knowledge gaps cost-effectively.

We’ve got over 20 years of experience keeping small- and medium-sized businesses in the DC Metro Area safe from all manner of cyberattack, and our cybersecurity team will use its extensive expertise to tailor an email security plan that keeps your data safe without compromising productivity. Contact us today.

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