How To Reduce The Risks of Business Email Compromise Attacks in 5 Ways
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the occurrence of business email compromise attacks. You should consider that any email you send or receive could be a component of a successful breach because, according to SCMedia, over 77% of all firms worldwide experienced business email compromise at a point in time just last year.
Businesses must secure their networks and data, but this does not make them impervious to attacks. Since there are tons of people that maliciously wish to access your network, the best approach to defend yourself is to be aware of the hazards.
In this article, you will find out about the strategies hackers employ, from how they utilize social engineering techniques to enter systems to how they attack email client weaknesses, and how you can defend yourself from such attacks. Continue reading to learn our top five suggestions for reducing the risks of business email compromise (BEC) attacks.
1. Use Security Awareness Training To Reduce The Risk Of A Successful BEC Attack
The greatest method to reduce the danger of a successful business email compromise assault is through security awareness training.
You might wonder what security awareness training is; It’s a program that makes sure your staff are informed of the dangers in their line of work, the many types of attacks they can experience, and how to react effectively.
Employees that are part of a security awareness program are also able to identify when they are the target of an attack.
The first step is by creating a plan for putting a security awareness program into action. There are numerous ways to accomplish this: you can choose an online course or an in-person seminar; a video-based method or something more interactive (like role-playing); and there are numerous types of training materials available, from handouts and posters to videos and guides. The important thing is to figure out which option works best for your company.
It’s time to begin using your methodology after deciding. For instance, if you choose an online course, configure notifications so that staff members are informed when new content is made available. Make sure everyone is invited to seminars or workshops if you’re hosting them.
Use your company’s intranet website or internal social network (if it has one) to promote new training. Consistency in a message and ensuring that everyone is aware of what is going on are crucial.
2. Protect Your Email Accounts Using Multi-Factor Authentication
If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard that attacks involving business email compromises are increasing. In these assaults, hackers pretend to be a firm’s employee to access private data, such as usernames and passwords.
On the company’s network, they can also conduct ransomware operations that encrypt files and keep them captive until a ransom is paid.
The good news is that there are various techniques to reduce the dangers of these attacks, and most of them only need a minimal amount of work to be put into practice. Adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your email accounts is one such method.
You might wonder what multi-factor authentication is. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring more than just a login and password to sign in. Before you can access your account, you typically need to either input a secondary code that was provided by text message or provide answers to security questions.
This additional layer of security stops hackers from obtaining access if they manage to get their hands on your login information or phish them using social engineering techniques like phone calls or emails.
3. Separate The Critical Resources On Your Network From General Email Access
You must make sure that the crucial network resources are not accessible via general email access to reduce the dangers of a corporate email compromise attack.
This entails having distinct accounts for professional and personal use, each with a unique password. Make sure you don’t use the same password for different accounts.
Even after taking all of these precautions, if you still feel vulnerable, it might be time to look at two-factor authentication options for the most crucial accounts on your network. Or Utilizing an email security gateway that can prevent phishing emails from getting to your users’ inboxes for an additional layer of security.
Using a web application firewall (WAF) that removes harmful content before it gets to your users’ devices can also give you additional safety.
The simple line is that you must actively guard your network against cybercriminals who are always seeking methods to steal private information or gain unauthorized access to your systems.
4. Always Check All Email Addresses Across Your Entire Organization For Account Sharing Permission And Unauthorized Forwarding
It’s a good idea to frequently check all of your company’s email accounts to ensure that no unwanted sharing permissions or forwarding are allowed if you’re worried about the hazards of corporate email compromise attacks.
You might be surprised by the number of persons who have been allowed access to other people’s accounts. As a result, they might also send private information to someone else if they have been given the authority to forward messages on their own.
This is especially risky if your company makes use of the same password or authentication method across numerous systems. One unscrupulous person might quickly gain access to the entire network.
Additionally, because many users use passwords across numerous systems, it is even simpler for hackers to obtain entry and wreak havoc on data belonging to your business. Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce this risk:
- You should use multi-factor authentication for any accounts that demand it
- Inform users of the value of using secure passwords and good password practices.
- Employees should be taught how to recognize phishing attempts and what to do if they encounter one.
- Use an identity and access management (IAM) system to handle the accounts, passwords, and other sensitive information of your users.
- For each account, make sure to use a strong, one-time password by using a password manager.
5. Use DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)
DMARC is an email authentication standard that assists enterprises in reducing the dangers of phishing attempts and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. By confirming that incoming emails are real, they can be used as a DNS record to help stop spoofing and phishing.
If you use DMARC, the domain of your business will publish a DMARC policy in the DNS network. Receiving parties will be instructed by this policy on what to do with emails that don’t pass SPF or DKIM tests. Four options are available: accept, reject, hold, and quarantine. Receiving parties are instructed by these actions on how to handle emails that are not authenticated.
The most frequent response to unsuccessful DMARC checks is “reject,” which results in the bounce of the email and the rejection of its intended recipient. DMARC is a potent tool for safeguarding your company from spoofing and phishing attacks.
However, It takes some effort to set up and maintain. It’s worth investigating how DMARC could help in defending your domain against email spoofing attacks if your firm doesn’t currently have a policy in place.
How crucial email security is cannot be an exaggeration. Many organizations rely heavily on email, and if that system is compromised, major problems may result.
With this article, You should have a better grasp of the various email security options available as well as how they may help safeguard your company. Please feel free to ask any questions or express any worries in the comments section below.