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Implementing an Extra Level of Security for Emails

Emails are important in any organisation. Be it for communicating or marketing, almost all employees are assigned to a company email the moment they join an organisation. While larger enterprises would often have their own private email server for company emails, smaller organisations still rely on public email providers like Outlook or Gmail, just to name a few.

According to Statista, there were more than 293 billion emails sent per day in 2019. This figure includes both personal and work emails. Also, it is predicted that by 2023, more than 347 billion emails will be sent out each day. The increasing number of emails sent out inevitably means that the number of email-borne threats is also increasing. Emails are the top threat vector for malware, ransomware and other advanced threats.

What makes them very effective is that attackers tend to make use of phishing and other social engineering methods to trick their victims – often bypassing traditional security tools an organisation may put in place.

For company emails, Business Email Compromise (BEC), a form of phishing attack, is becoming one of the fastest-growing concerns for organisations. BEC is where a cybercriminal obtains access to a business email account and leverages it to imitate the identity of the owner to commit fraud.

To drive up the effectiveness and get the most out of their attacks, attackers would thoroughly investigate the targeted organisation and aim for staff who are authorised to carry out transactions on behalf of the business or have access to sensitive company information. 

BEC has proven to be a common method in cybercrime as reported by the FBI. In 2018, US companies faced a whopping US$ 1.4 billion in losses due to BEC. And the situation is similar in this part of the world as well.

It is impossible to replace emails as a method of communication for work. Businesses using SaaS applications like Office 365 face ask much risk of being compromised as those who use their own private email servers.

But what organisations can do is to increase the security and protection of their emails and services. While your email providers would provide you with the basic security measures, companies still need to have the extra layer of security just to be sure.

Spam email can usually be detected and blocked easily with the tools available today. But the problem with targeted, sophisticated threats such as spear phishing and BEC, careful thought and planning goes into making them seem as legitimate as possible – meaning employees would find it harder to distinguish such emails from genuine ones.

Once your emails are compromised, not only can you lose funds, but you are also at risk of downtime or losing valuable business data from advanced threats such as ransomware and BEC.

Email-borne threats continue to evolve, and today, they are able to go beyond standard email protection – which is why organisations are beginning to understand the importance of having the added level of security. Yes, you may have backup data, but why would you want to risk being compromised? Imagine the amount of time you would lose for email recovery and such. The sensible solution would be to protect and secure your emails from these threats.

For Office 365 users, Barracuda offers two cloud-based services that can protect your business emails without any impact on email performance. Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 is a comprehensive email security suite that filters all your emails, inbound and outbound, to stop spam, viruses, data leaks and malware. For more protection, Barracuda Sentinel uses an AI engine that inspects all emails to block any impersonation-based fraud such as phishing.

To find out more about the industry’s best and most cost-effective protection for Office 365, click here.

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