What is email security?
Email security provides protection against threats like business email compromise and phishing. Learn how to secure your email and environment.
Types of email threats
Organizations face a number of complex email threats from account takeover and business email compromise to spear phishing and vishing. Generally, email threats fall into these group types:
Data exfiltration is the unauthorized transfer of data from an organization either manually or through malicious programming. Email gateways help make sure businesses avoid sending sensitive data without authorization, which could lead to a costly data breach.
Spam is an unsolicited message sent in bulk and without the recipient’s consent. Businesses use spam email for commercial purposes. Scammers use spam to spread malware, trick recipients into divulging sensitive information, or extort money.
Impersonation occurs when cyber criminals pretend to be a trusted person or organization to secure money or data via email. Business email compromise is one example in which a scammer impersonates an employee to steal from the company or its customers and partners.
Phishing is the practice of pretending to be a trusted person or organization to trick victims into disclosing valuable information such login credentials and other types of sensitive data. Different types of phishing include spear phishing, vishing, and whaling.
Learn more about email security
Discover how to protect your entire organization against modern attacks.
Defend against advanced threats like business email compromise and phishing attacks.
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Frequently asked questions
Anyone who uses email needs email security. Individuals, organizations, and businesses who use email are all potential targets for cyberattacks. Without an email security plan and system in place, email users are vulnerable to threats such as data exfiltration, malware, phishing, and spam.
Email attacks cost companies billions of dollars a year. The most serious email threats include data exfiltration, impersonation, malware, phishing, and spam because they can have a significant impact on an organization depending on their scope and severity.
When an email is sent, it travels through a series of servers before arriving at its destination. A server is a computer system with mail server software and protocols that allow computers to connect to networks and browse the internet.
Secure emails servers are a necessity for businesses because email-based threats are constantly evolving. Here are a few ways to strengthen the security of your email server:
- Configure the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) protocol which lets recipients verify if an authorized domain owner sent an email.
- Set the mail relay option so it’s not an open relay, which lets in spam and other threats. Configure the mail relay so that it only allows users to send to certain addresses and domains.
- Set the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to define which IP address can send emails from your domain.
- Use Domain Name System Blacklists (DNSBL or DNS Blacklists) to block malicious email and domains.
- Implement Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) to monitor your domain.
Email encryption is the process of protecting sensitive data in an email by converting it from plain text that is easily read to text that is scrambled with ciphers and readable only to recipients with a key.
Here are 5 questions to help test your email security:
1. Do you use a strong email password that combines uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters?
2. Do you use encryption to send sensitive information?
3. Have you enabled two-factor authentication which requires entering two separate authentication factors (a password or mobile-generated code)?
4. Have you installed antivirus software on your devices?
5. Do you pause and scan attachments and links before opening or clicking on them?