Keeping emails safe
One of the most successful forms of malicious attack is phishing scams and predatory emails, a tried and true method for hackers since the earliest days of the internet. Ever since emails were possible, there have been attempts to circumvent cybersecurity with a malicious message, ranging from account alerts to claims of distant, wealthy ancestors. If you’ve used the internet at all with email (and we’re guessing you have), you’ve seen them.
Unfortunately, phishing emails are still incredibly dangerous and can cause havoc if implemented successfully. Even with the most advanced and expensive cybersecurity installations, phishing emails act as an Achilles Heel. Why? Primarily, they seek login information to accounts. Imagine if the administrator to a network, by accident, gave out their credentials. A third party would, in theory, take what they wanted and do as desired. Not a pretty scenario.
How they occur
The reasons for this are various. However, the primary one is lack of awareness. While there are obvious phishing emails with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and very obvious intent, a majority utilized advanced methods for success. Say, for instance, you receive an email from your bank or PayPal, alerting you to an account charge or “unusual activity.” Within said message contains a link, along with instructions to follow said link as it allows you to address the problem.
Naturally, account problems are a serious concern, and when hackers are growing in prevalence with numerous ways to bypass account security, one likely thinks they’ve been compromised. Not to mention, there’s an emphasis on acting quickly to stop hackers, so, the recipient of a theoretical malicious email clicks the link, no doubt hoping to resolve the problem quickly.
Unfortunately, this causes the problem we mentioned. This link either hijacks information from the user, or the info they put is instead sent to a third party, versus the legitimate website. This is like handing your keys to a robber willfully and realizing the problem too late. It’s a scenario that can happen to anyone, because if the person or staff don’t recognize phishing emails (or can’t recognize the signs), there’s nothing that can be done except rely on backup recovery options.
What can you do?
Think back to the Anthrax scare, or the Unibomber, when dangerous mail was sent to people. Not a fun thought, and quite dangerous too. But imagine something else – imagine if a secure, knowledgeable individual checked mail for the dangers of Anthrax or similar frightening problems.
That’s the idea behind email protection. Wouldn’t it be nice if a complex, powerful client sorted through messages and tested them for malware, dangerous hyperlinks, or phishing attempts? Sounds great, right? But isn’t it possible for an experienced set of IT professionals to do that themselves?
Not quite. IT teams typically have other responsibilities, and checking malicious emails is more than just sifting through messages which look dangerous.
Email protection starts by placing malicious messages in a sandbox environment, a separate cloud area which isolates itself from the rest of a business network. Here, various tests are conducted to analyze the authenticity of the email.
Typically they accomplish several things:
- Analyze bulk email (graymail) that usually bypass spam filters
- Filter and catch junk mail
- Parse and analyze for dangerous links and malware
- Message tracing to locate the address associated with dangerous email
- Granular reports giving overviews of entire malware intrusion attempt/events
From data like this, a company can develop policies and guidelines to thwart future attempts, using the information to educate staff about phishing emails, their details, and how they operate. In doing so, email protection provides greater understanding into malicious email behavior while granting management more control over what they receive and send over a business network.
If you’d like to learn more about what email protection can do for you, contact Bytagig for additional information.