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Top Enterprise Email Security Risks in 2024

Top Enterprise Email Security Risks in 2024

Every year, email security risks for businesses continue to rise. The reliance on email and email risk has grown with the changing work culture and the shift to work-from-home being the norm. Although multiple methods of cybercrime can affect businesses, email remains one of the most easily exploitable.

These are some of the biggest email security risks you’ll need to be aware of to protect your business in 2024 and into the future. In this article, we will cover this year’s biggest email security risks and provide you with vital information on how to stay safe and secure online.

We will cover email security issues like email phishing and spoof attacks, malicious email attachments, ransomware attacks on businesses, subscription bombing, mobile device phishing, misconfigured email server attacks, and zero-day malware attacks.

Protect your business, yourself, and your team by staying up-to-date on email security trends and avoiding potential risks. Protect yourself and your business with 24/7 spam filtering and customized rules from MX Guardian today.

Email Phishing and Spoofing Attacks

Email phishing and spoofing attacks have been a top email threat for years, and there are no signs of it slowing down this year.

There are multiple types of phishing attacks, including wide net, spear phishing, business email spoofing, and more.

For business owners and employees, one type of phishing attack to be especially concerned about is the Business Email Compromise (BEC), also known as the CEO spoofing attack. This is when a hacker will impersonate the CEO or another company executive and send an email asking for employees to make a bank transfer or reveal other sensitive information.

It can even include emails from major companies, trusted vendors, colleagues, etc. Although these types of attacks will be easy to spot, cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated with these types of attacks.

Although it seems these types of attacks will be easy to spot, cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated with these types of attacks. 

However, phishing attacks aren’t impossible to stop. Your first line of defense is employee education since these emails will have inconsistencies like grammar, graphics, email from name, formatting, and more. 

You can also set up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to prevent spoofing, by only allowing whitelisted IP addresses to send email from the company domain. 

Malicious Email Attachment Attacks

Email attachment attacks are often combined with phishing to get users to download infected Microsoft Excel or Word macros, PDFs, and even image files onto their computers. This gives hackers remote access to the computer and all its sensitive information.

This has been an ongoing email security issue for years, and even though many users are aware of it, it remains one of the preferred tools of cybercriminals.

Many email tools will automatically filter out known threats, but everyday hackers are figuring out new ways to create malicious attachments that get around email filters.

Ransomware Attacks on Businesses

Ransomware is a form of malware that uses malicious software to infect a computer and will restrict access to certain files or even a full computer until the ransom is paid.

These email security issues can be very costly to recover from since you’ll need to deal with potential ransom payments, data loss and recovery, increased insurance premiums, and more.

Another reason ransomware continues to grow is the new industry of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) industry. With this, ransomware kits are sold and can be deployed by non-tech users.

Subscription Bombing

Subscription bombing is a diversion tactic where attackers will inundate your email to distract you from a malicious email they do not want you to see.

Generally, when this happens, an attacker uses automated tools to submit an email address to as many contact and signup forms as possible, flooding your inbox.

Subscription bombing is very difficult to block because you’ll have to opt out of each email or newsletter manually, and while you can set an email filter to block all newsletters and subscriptions, you may block the ones you want. Also, subscription bombing attackers use country code blocking.

Instead of a mass-delete of your entire inbox, carefully read through each email. Check your financial accounts for fraudulent transactions, change your passwords immediately, remove one-click payments and saved credit card information, and activate two-factor or multi-factor authentication on all accounts. Contact your email hosting provider to inquire about available email security risk solutions.

Misconfigured Email Server Attacks

Email servers that aren’t properly configured can leave holes in your email system that hackers can exploit.

When your email servers are misconfigured, malicious emails can make it through your security checks and reach your inbox, exposing you to various email security risks.

This leads to data leaks and can cause email deliverability issues and even mail bombing when messages are sent from misconfigured servers.

For this reason, you’ll want to conduct regular security checks to look for any configuration issues.

Zero-Day Malware Attacks

Zero-day attacks occur when hackers find a flaw in a software system and exploit it before the developers can issue a patch. When this happens, it’s usually sold to other cybercriminals so they can also take advantage of the vulnerability.

Although zero-day attacks are more challenging, they can result in greater rewards for cybercriminals. A single flaw in a system can put thousands or even millions of business owners at email security risk since they rely upon the same system.

This is why large-scale email servers like the Microsoft Exchange server are vulnerable; additional steps must be taken to secure your email server and system.

Avoiding These Top Email Security Risks

No email security system will be perfect, but there are steps you can take to greatly mitigate your risk and reduce the negative fallout if an email security issue occurs.

The following are a few best practices to help improve your email security this year:

Go Beyond a Single Layer of Security

If you have a remote team, you must take additional steps to protect common entry points like email login.

Beyond enforcing strong passwords on all user accounts, you should also employ measures like two-factor authentication to guarantee only the right users are logging into the network.

Employ Strong Inbound and Outbound Email Filtering

Strong email filtering can significantly reduce email security risk by preventing malicious emails and spam from ever reaching your inbox.

Beyond inbound filtering, you’ll also want to use outbound email filtering, which scans emails leaving your server to detect a potential security breach. 

Use Email Firewalls to Block Known Threats

An email firewall can block IP addresses from known spam and malicious IP addresses. 

You can also use an email protection tool only to accept mail that gets routed through their IP addresses, which automatically prevents spammers from bypassing the firewall.

Educate Employees About New Email Security Risks

Even with effective email security tools and processes in place, your employees will always be your first line of defense. If a malicious email makes it to their inbox, they need to know the right actions.

When educating your employees and users, ensure they know the latest email security risks, are trained to avoid social engineering and phishing emails, and have secure login credentials when accessing the network. 

How MX Guardian Can Help You Avoid These Email Security Risks

Threats to your email inbox don’t show any signs of slowing down. With many people working from home and entire companies going fully remote, there’s a need for improved protocols and tighter security measures.

Luckily, MX Guardian offers customized spam filtering and rules, protection against zero-day attacks, phishing, and ransomware blocking, and more to keep you and your business safe 24/7.

Sign up today for a full-featured 30-day free trial and help protect your business against the top email security risks.

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