Could an email scam destroy your company or steal your identity?

 2017-01-25 11:50 AM by
Could an email scam destroy your company or steal your identity?

Is your corporate email security policy sufficient or is your company network and confidential data exposed to cyber-attacks?


Recently I've been contemplating the pros and cons of the world of instant gratification and immediate communication channels. It's an interesting debate: has technology enhanced our lives by hugely increasing productivity and efficiency or has the world of instant gratification robbed us of 'downtime' , family time and quality relaxation in our personal lives?

I'll leave you to debate this issue yourself, but what's indisputable is that our ability to communicate instantly (predominantly via email in the business world) exposes us to cyber criminals and demands an effective email security policy.

What are the potential consequences of an ineffective or nonexistent email security policy?

Email security threats can be deadly and may destroy your company or they might merely be a cause of inconvenience. My point is that with the availability of highly effective, cloud-based email security solutions, why would one even risk not having an email security solution in place?

We're all aware of the scores of junk and spam emails that we receive on a daily or weekly basis. Most of us manage to instantly recognize inappropriate, worthless and general spam email and instantly delete these messages. What about the employees in your company who do not recognize the danger of opening potentially damaging emails? How does this happen? How exactly can ineffective email security cause havoc?

Employees accidentally open harmful attachments.

An email message with an attachment is received by an employee in your company. The email offers a prize, entry into an exciting online game or a free music or video download and seems too good to ignore. When the attachment is opened, an executable file launches and, unbeknown to the user, installs various forms of malware on the network. For an example, have a look at this. In this example, a company's bank details and access credentials were compromised; clearly this can cause extreme financial hardship.

'Ransomware' holds you to ransom for your own data.

Without proper email security, email attachments may not enable cyber criminals to access data as in the above example, but a recent form of attack falls into the category of ransomware. With ransomware, opening the relevant attachment results in all of your data files being encrypted and thus inaccessible until you agree to pay the untraceable perpetrator a ransom. Here's how it works.

Spam emails tempt employees to spend hours on productivity-killing websites.

An email message with a harmless attachment or a link to a website is received by an employee. The attachment or link directs the user to a website that contains content that, whilst harmless as it doesn't actually infect the network, becomes extremely compelling to the employee and as a result, he or she spends a few work hours every day browsing the website. The resultant loss of productivity takes the form of actual hours lost as well as resultant poor customer service - which is probably more damaging.'

In some extreme cases, a lack of effective email security can lead to identity theft.

Identity theft is an extremely tedious and difficult problem to resolve - for more about identity theft, read this.

Does it sound as if your current email security policy - if you have one - is sufficiently protecting your company against these kinds of threats?

Here's why cloud-based email security solutions are the most effective:

    • They're easy to deploy and manage remotely.
    • They continually access and check against the most up-to-date online database of known threats, thus 'closing the gap' between the last update on your traditional email security application and the release of a new threat.
    • They provide effective protection no matter where your corporate device is, i.e. even if the device is not logged onto the corporate network.
    • They include other great functionality such as anti-virus, website filtering and device control. This means that, even if an employee tries to either open an attachment or click on a link to a website, the email security solution will not allow this to happen. Read more about these benefits here.
    • They're often offered on a monthly subscription basis with no long-term contracts, thus enabling the spam filter solution to be flexible and scalable.

To find out more, download the white paper (change or renew your antivirus solution) here.