Posted Tuesday April 23rd, 2013, 12:00 am by Dr Monica Seeley
Email security – where is the weakest link in your business? Cyber crime continues to dominate the press. A recent report from GCHQ says that 80% of cyber attacks could have been prevented through basic computer hygiene measures such as creating strong passwords. Meanwhile a report from Quocirca suggests that targeted cyber attacks are far more common than the average business executive might imagine. The latest National Audit Office report on cyber crime suggest that one problem is the shortage of IT and cyber security professional. But is this the only
area of skills shortage to leave businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks?
One of the easiest ways to open the door to cyber criminals is through poor email security processes. For example, opening suspicious attachments, sending confidential emails to a personal email account, including highly sensitive information in an email, setting an insecure Out Of Office message. Even, simply sending the email to the wrong Jack Jones.
Many senior executives still have their emails monitored by their PA/EA. There is nothing wrong in this practice so long as proper email governance is in place. For instance, how are confidential emails handled, what measures are in place to reduce the risk of exposing the PA/EA to information which they neither want to see nor should see (no matter how trusted they are). A survey Mesmo Consultancy conducted on email security revealed that in fact senior executives were indeed high risk takers when it comes to emailing sensitive and confidential information.
When was the last time you educated yourself and your employees in basic email security? Our surveys indicate that less than 40% of employees have ever received any email security training. Yet most organisations now spend millions on email and internet security technology. So where is the weakest link?
April’s e-briefing focused on email security and contains some top tips to reduce the risk of a cyber attack (random or targeted) through careless use of email. It is no good waiting until after a cyber attack to train your employees. That is simply bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is not just the IT profession that has a skills shortage. Business users urgently need educating about how to manage the risk of cyber crime from careless use of email.
Email security is just one part of our Smart Email Management workshops and masterclasses. If you are concerned about how vulnerable you and your business is to a cyber attack through email, please contact us for a short free telephone consultation.