05 November 2019

Apply a layered approach to email security for ironclad protection

Security of any kind is most effective with multiple supporting layers, and this is especially true of cybersecurity in a business.

Your company’s data is best protected behind successive levels of security measures that provide redundancy and solid fail-safes. It’s the only approach to tackle the increasingly sophisticated modern threats which target the human links in the security chain via their email inboxes. Every network has weak points which can be exploited by criminals trying to gain access to your data and systems. These can be mitigated by security measures that work across different protocols and applications so that every level is supported by another.

Defence in depth

This means that your network security functions as a whole instead of relying solely on a single security measure to protect the business from the potentially devastating consequences of a breach.

This tactic is also known as “defence in depth”, a term that stems from the realm of defensive warfare. Think about your network as a medieval castle. There should be outer walls and multiple inner walls, each with gates and drawbridges that can be locked and secured. A breach of the outer walls need not be disastrous – it slows the attackers so they can be repelled from the parapets of the inner walls without causing significant harm. Even if a Trojan horse was to enter the fortress, it should never reach the inner sanctum, the servers where your core data is housed.

The outer walls

It’s vital that your business incorporates new technologies in its arsenal. A robust solution will cover a wide variety of potential threat vectors to form the outer layer of your network security, holding the wilderness of the public Internet at bay.

SYNAQ Securemail is just such a solution. It incorporates an array of anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing and content control technologies. Securemail uses numerous virus scanners that run concurrently, and the information is kept up to date with regular automatic updates about the latest malware and virus signatures. By using sophisticated methods, including advanced heuristics, Securemail stops 99.95% of spam at the server level. This also reduces the company’s bandwidth usage.

The inner defences

Security inside your network relies greatly on adequate staff training. Everyone in the organisation must become security-conscious and should be informed about current email phishing tactics. They should know how to look for clues that indicate a phishing attempt such as spelling errors or an unprofessional appearance in the mail’s design. They should also be wary of opening links and attachments in emails, especially from outside the business. And crucially, they should appreciate the necessity of using strong and unique passwords.

Next, you need to secure the internal processes in your business. Increasingly, cybercriminals have been employing a phishing tactic known as “whaling” in which they pose as senior people in the organisation and instruct subordinate staff to perform actions such as making a payment or providing sensitive information. Staff should be required to seek secondary authorisation before performing any such action, using a different communication channel such as a phone call.

A multi-pronged approach is necessary to make any business more secure. It requires ongoing staff training and a “zero trust” attitude to email security. These measures serve to augment and support security software which, of course, no business should be without.

Find out more about how SYNAQ can improve your email server security with a world-class product offering.

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