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3 Ways to Protect Your Staff from Spoofed Email

As emailing continues to become a predominate part of our everyday business activities, cyber security is more crucial than ever. The wonders of technology and the Internet provide businesses with a platform to coordinate internally, connect with clients, manage inventory, and much more. At the same time, this instant access to a number of sensitive materials such as credit card information, client data, and confidential business data becomes a point of vulnerability.

 

From viruses and hackers to phishing scams and spoofed emails, it is imperative that every business employs certain measures to guard against cyber attacks and patch vulnerabilities wherever possible. Here are three ways to protect your staff from spoofed emails.

 

Education

 

The Internet is ever-present and it is tightly woven through every business operation these days, from the executive level to the administrative support staff. Unless you have rigorous access policies in place, it is likely every employee and perhaps even contractors, interns, and other related partners have access to sensitive data. With this in mind, it’s alarming how little education or training there is regarding cyber security for most organizations. According to PWC, nearly half of all businesses (47%) have no security awareness or training programs in place. Basic concepts such as password security may be discussed, but considering the highly sensitive nature of data and the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals, it is simply not enough.

 

The best way to prevent and avoid hackers accessing your server and data is by educating your staff on what to look out for and avoid, and having a detailed, written security plan set in place that they can follow.

 

What to Avoid

 

When informing your staff about what to look for, the domain name of the sender should be the first clue. For any emails requesting any sort of sensitive data, it is always smart to check who the sender is. And since hackers these days have become much more advanced than they used to be, they can easily mimic graphics and logos of various companies. So the best way to determine whether an email is spoofed or not, is by checking their domain name. If it appears to have additional words in it that wouldn’t make sense, or that you simply know doesn’t belong in the domain name – don’t open it.

 

Remember, you are unlikely to receive an unsolicited request for highly sensitive information. When in doubt, there is no harm in picking up the phone to speak with the would-be sender and ensure that they really did send the email.

 

Use DMARC

 

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance or DMARC, is a security measure that can help to prevent hackers from accessing internal methods for sending emails. Spoofed emails are generally the most dangerous since they can appear to have been sent directly from within your business from you or other employees. With this system in place, it requires any email sent by your domain to come directly from your server, so any hackers attempting to send emails from your domain simply won’t be able to.

 

Cyber security is more important than ever. With more businesses relying on technology, sufficient education, and security systems must be utilized to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. From the CEO to the receptionist, educating your staff on what to steer clear of is essential. And for those moments when they don’t, systems like DMARC will have you covered.

 

Is your network secure? Contact us for a free assessment of your policies and network to ensure your business data stays safe.

 

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