In light of the recent cyber-attack on Parliament, there is no better time to provide some top tips for email security.
On Friday, hackers hit parliamentary user accounts in an attempt to identify weak passwords and thus gain access to highly sensitive information.
The attack was contained very quickly, suggesting plans we’re in place to mitigate the effects should a situation like this occur. However, procedures to stop such attacks happening in the first place, clearly need to be improved.
It is important that you do everything possible to protect your business and maintain the highest possible levels of cyber security.
Here are some top tips for email security:
Stronger passwords – Always the most obvious one but often the most over looked. Despite a multitude of advice trying to persuade us otherwise, we all choose passwords that are easy to remember. We may add the odd number or capital letter here or there, but there is so much more that needs to be done to ensure a strong password. Firstly, choose a selection of letters which do not spell out a recognisable word or phrase. Then add some numbers, capital letters, punctuation and symbols whenever possible, and make sure you don’t use the same password for everything. A strong password won’t always be able to protect you, but it is still the first line of defence.
Beware of phishing scams – A shocking 91%% of cyber-attacks still start with a phishing email according to a recent study by PhishMe. For the phishing attack to be successful, human action is required to respond to the email, allowing the hackers access to the information they are targeting. There is an easy solution to this and its education, education, education! Knowing what to look out for is the best way to avoid falling victim to this type of attack.
Tougher security questions - Sometimes you’ll be able to choose your own security questions and sometimes you’ll have to choose from a pre-selected list. If you’re able to create your own, go for something that would be very difficult to guess the answer to. If you do have to choose from a pre-selected list, use fake answers to the questions (however, you’ll need to keep track of these somewhere!)
Avoid public wi-fi - I've said this before and I'll say it again, and then I'll keep saying it! We have mentioned in previous blog posts that fake networks can be designed to look real. The problem is they’re actually operated by cyber criminals, and by connecting to these networks and checking your emails, you are giving attackers the ability to intercept.
Ensure your network is secure - Install anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware and have a good firewall in place. These all work together to protect your systems by preventing, detecting and removing malicious programs. FitzProtect Ransomware Protection can also be installed as an additional layer to your IT security solutions that works to enhance and mitigate potential cyberattacks. We are offering this solution completely FREE, so for more information Click Here or call our team on 0203 727 6021.
Ultimately, common sense and careful decision making are the easiest routes to better email security. Anyone can be targeted and anyone can fall victim to an email security breach, so arm yourself with the right tools to ensure you minimise the risks faced by you and your business.
If you would like help with anything mentioned in this blog, you can call us on 0203 727 6021 or visit the Contact page on our website for more details on how to get in touch. We like nothing better than working with you to make sure your systems are secure!