Cyber Readiness Part 1– Three practical ways to ensure your email security can handle an attack

 Three practical ways to ensure your email security can handle an attack

In the world of cyber attack readiness, the trending topics have centered on real-time threat intelligence and detection, the next generation of firewalls and endpoint security, and well, basically everything that helps secure mobile, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).  

While these topics are grabbing most of the headlines, organizations often overlook some of the most practical and cost-effective ways to make giant risk reduction leaps toward preventing a cyber attack and the resulting havoc that they cause. 

Bigger Cyber Security Bang for the Buck!

In part one of this Cyber Readiness series, we will focus on how simply hardening your email security with a minor upgrade to your existing environment can provide you the deeper level of inspection, sanitization and automatic data security now required to protect against the more advanced cyber threats - that are not usually caught with standard email spam and hygiene technologies and basic security offered with cloud hosted email (i.e. Office 365, Google Apps, etc.).

Layered Security (Multiple AV Engines)- Because one technology can’t catch it all. A simple and common best practice is to upgrade your gateway by layering a second bi-directional anti-virus/malware engine. Improve your effectiveness and rate of preventing attacks at the point of entry and before they enter your employee’s inbox. 

Adaptive Redaction (Deep-Content Inspection, Redaction and Sanitization) – Deploy a much deeper level of inspection that completely disassembles all the messages and attachments moving through your network to protect against the malicious APTs that bypass basic email scanning and prevent the loss of critical information. Rather than simply detecting active code (macro’s, scripts and ActiveX) and sensitive data, email communications can be redacted and sanitized real-time to have their content dynamically modified to make the content safe rather than having to stop / block and force remediation. 

Encryption – Automatically inspect, detect and encrypt emails, securing any and all information that is sent outside the organization. Email encryption can often be configured to encrypt by mail policy routes (who the message is sent from or the recipient), or based on intelligent content rules where the detection of certain content being present in the message (e.g. confidential data, a particular file type, etc.).

The Practical Approach to Reducing Risk
The sheer volume and diversity of email communications flowing in and out of your environment will make it one of the most exposed areas for cyber attacks for the foreseeable future, especially with more organizations considering a migration to hosted email with the likes of Office 365. A responsible and practical approach to reducing your risk to cyber attacks is simply to cover your bases and bolster your email security with a more cost-effective and comprehensive layer of protection first - prior to entertaining the trends. 

Next up in the Cyber Readiness series we will look at one of the next most exposed and high potential areas for cyber security threats:  web, cloud storage (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.) and social media. 

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