As a small business owner, it’s important to have a secure e-mail system in place to protect sensitive information, such as client data and financial information. A secure e-mail system also helps to prevent spam and phishing attempts, which can compromise the security of your business.
Why is E-Mail Security Important for Small Businesses?
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to e-mail security threats due to the lack of resources and budget for security measures. Hackers and cyber criminals are always on the lookout for small businesses that are easy targets, and e-mails are often the first line of attack.
Types of E-Mail Security Threats
There are many types of e-mail security threats that small businesses face, including phishing, malware, and spam. Phishing attacks use fake e-mails to trick users into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials and financial information. Malware, on the other hand, is a type of software that is designed to harm or damage computer systems. Spam e-mails can be annoying, but they can also contain malicious links or attachments that can infect a computer with malware.
How to Secure Your E-Mail System
To secure your e-mail system, it’s important to take the following steps:
1. Use a Reliable E-Mail Provider
Choose an e-mail provider that has a proven track record of security and reliability. Make sure that the provider offers secure e-mail protocols, such as SSL and TLS, and has data encryption in place to protect your sensitive information. Using the standard O365 by Microsoft meets these requirements and ensures you use a trusted and reliable vendor.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your e-mail account by requiring a second factor, such as a a push notification sent to your phone, to log in. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to your e-mail account. To learn more about the importance of multiple authentication factors, check out our other article.
3. Keep Your E-Mail System Up to Date
Make sure to keep your e-mail system, including the software and hardware, up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This helps to prevent vulnerabilities and exploits that can be used by cyber criminals. If you use O365, as we mentioned above, you don’t have to worry about this, as Microsoft takes care of this for you. However, if you use an older Exchange server or other mail server, then this becomes more of a concern and a higher risk.
4. Use Strong Passwords
Use strong, unique passwords for your e-mail accounts and make sure to double up with 2FA. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as this makes it easier for hackers to access your sensitive information. Using a password manager will also help facilitate your management of all of your passwords.
5. Be Careful with E-Mail Attachments and Links
Be cautious when opening e-mail attachments and links, especially if they are from unknown or suspicious sources. Even if you do know the sender it’s always good to double check attachments and links in the case they might’ve been compromised.
6. Add an Additional Layer with a Secure Email Gateway
Add a secure email gateway to allow e-mail messages to undergo additional security scanning that will look for malware, malicious links, and other e-mail threats. By including this with your standard e-mail system, you can potentially stop threats from ever reaching you and harming your organization.
In conclusion, securing your e-mail system is crucial for small businesses to protect sensitive information and prevent security threats. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your e-mail system is secure and protect your business from potential threats.