Email safety practices for small businesses - an overview

Email safety practices for small businesses - an overview

January 25, 2024

The digital age of today may be smooth, convenient, and sleek, but is also a tricky one. Emails have become the lifeblood of communication for numerous businesses, brands, and companies alike. It also presents a monumental security challenge.

Cyber threats are evolving and have become more complex. They are a security challenge that has become sophisticated and is also dodging advanced malware protection measures and practices. It is key protecting sensitive data and information from falling in the wrong hands. Ensuring email correspondence is confidential is now more crucial than ever.

How bad have cyberattacks become nowadays?

Cyberattacks have worsened. They are now also being conducted through email servers of businesses. They have also risen in numbers. Should this come as a surprise? Especially when remote jobs are becoming common across the world. Some are surprised while some aren’t.

Remote working isn’t going anywhere. It will stay but something else surprises cybersecurity specialists. Many companies plus small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have still not implemented stringent safety practices.

Many SMBs fail to protect themselves from Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other traditional email-oriented cyberattacks. BEC is unfortunately a serious kind of digital fraud and extortion that takes advantage of the daily flow of email communications between business entities and their customers/clients.

Cybercriminals can either impersonate employees, trusted business associates/clients, top executives, managers, or other key roles via a complicated social engineering process. Their end objective is the transfer of sensitive information, money, or other things to a hidden account.

Are these attacks of the same nature?


These kinds of attacks are not the same in terms of both nature and severity. However, they are quite costly to the business targeted. That is why we will be learning more about it in this article as the practices mentioned here apply to all kinds of business entities.

Top-notch practices for email security for all businesses

Here are some of the best practices for email security for all sorts of business entities. They are used for large organizations. There are three main kinds of email cyberattacks namely:

  • Phishing scams.
    Spear phishing attacks.
    Fraudulent invoices.

Here are some essential security measures that should not be overlooked at any costs:

  • Malware Defense.
    Business email accounts are solely for business purposes only.
    No need to use business email on public WiFi networks.
    Using strong passphrases and passwords.
    Training sessions and awareness sessions on Phishing scams and suspicious attachment awareness.
    Enabling Two Factor (2FA) and Multi Factor (MFA) authentication.
    Always log out after using email services.
    Using email scanning and protection systems.
  • Using top-notch email security protocols and standards

 

An important way that businesses can protect their business email systems is through the implementation of the best email security protocols. This is usually known to be the first line of defense against email-related cyber attacks. Email protocols are created to keep communications safe as they pass through webmail services.

In all honesty, email servers deliver email messages between mail clients of recipients using email protocols. These protocols tell servers how to process and deliver messages. These protocols verify and authenticate the email transfer process. Various protocols to secure business email services are listed as under:

  • S/MIME.
    DKIM.
    SMTPS.
    STARTTLS.
    DMARC.
    SPF.
    SSL/TLS.
    OpenPGP.
    Digital Certificates.

Popular and trusted email service providers use DKIM, DMARC, and SPF protocols. They configure them via DNS records to protect users’ privacy.

Policies, Compliance, and Guidelines required for email security

Email security compliance rules, guidelines, and policies lay down the basis for the rules and regulations related to the use of business email accounts in workplaces. The points listed earlier should be a part of a company’s email security policies.

Additionally, these guidelines should also have rules on the following things:

  • Users’ accounts access.
    Device usage.
    Management and storage of data.
    Data access.
    Rules about email forwarding, deletion, and retention.
    The breadth of the scope of policies especially network and system usage.
    Ethical conduct in emails.
    Using appropriate behavior in digital communications.
    Password encryption.
    Using security tools geared for email clients.
    Cybersecurity learning and training materials on email malware and spotting wrongful, fraudulent, and fake email attachments, links, messages, etc.
    Email monitoring.


Recording employee behavior and movement as part of surveillance and security.

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