Trainual Homepage

Email Management: Security Best Practices Template

Use this template to teach employees how to employee good security practices for their email management.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Email Management: Security Best Practices Template

Use this template to teach employees how to employee good security practices for their email management.

Security Overview

Why Do People Target Email Accounts?

Company email accounts are often targeted for various reasons that go beyond just seeking sensitive information. These email accounts are valuable assets that can offer a multitude of exploitable opportunities for unauthorized users:

  • Access to Confidential Data: Company emails often contain privileged information, including financials, business plans, or employee records. Unauthorized access could lead to identity theft, fraud, or corporate espionage.
  • Bridging Point for Wider Network Access: An email account is often connected to other business systems. Once inside, an attacker could potentially gain access to more secure areas of the company’s network.
  • Social Engineering and Phishing: Hackers may use the compromised email account to send phishing emails to other employees, clients, or vendors to collect additional login credentials or to deliver malware.
  • Reputational Damage: The unauthorized use of a company email account can lead to misinformation being spread, which could tarnish the company’s reputation and client relationships.
  • Ransom and Extortion: Once an email account is compromised, the attacker could demand a ransom for the safe return of sensitive data or for restoring access to the account.

That’s why we have to do our best to protect our company email accounts from adversaries like this!

How Do People Get Into Business Email Accounts?

Here are four methods commonly used to compromise business email accounts:

  1. Phishing Attacks: In this technique, attackers send fraudulent emails that appear to be from trusted sources, like a company executive or a familiar service provider. These emails often contain a link or attachment designed to trick the recipient into revealing login credentials. Once obtained, these credentials can be used to gain unauthorized access to the email account.
  2. Credential Stuffing: In this method, attackers use previously breached usernames and passwords to try and gain access to multiple accounts, banking on the fact that people often reuse passwords. Automated bots can try thousands of combinations in minutes, and if successful, the attacker gains entry to the email account.
  3. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: Here, the attacker secretly intercepts and potentially alters the communication between two parties. They can capture login credentials as they are transmitted over the network or even modify data, like changing the recipient’s bank account number in an invoice, without either party realizing it until it's too late.
  4. Keylogging: In this approach, malware is installed on the user’s device to record keystrokes, capturing everything typed — including email usernames and passwords. This malware can be delivered via a malicious email attachment, website, or even physical hardware like a rigged keyboard.

Each of these methods presents its own set of challenges for security measures, underscoring the need for comprehensive cybersecurity protocols.

How To Protect Your Email Account

Password Guidelines

Here are some password guidelines to enhance the security of your email accounts:

  1. Use a Strong Password: Aim for at least 12-16 characters, incorporating a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special symbols.
  2. Avoid Personal Information: Never use easily obtainable information like your name, birthdate, or simple words that can be guessed through social engineering.
  3. Unique Passwords for Different Accounts: Never reuse passwords across multiple accounts. Each account should have its own unique password to limit potential exposure.
  4. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification beyond just the password.
  5. Regularly Update Passwords: Change your passwords every 3 to 6 months, but avoid using minor variations of the same password.
  6. Use a Password Manager: Utilize a reputable password manager to store and generate strong, unique passwords. This helps in maintaining multiple strong passwords without having to memorize them all.
  7. Check for Leaks: Periodically use trusted services to check if your email or other accounts have been part of a data breach. Change your passwords immediately if they have been compromised.
  8. Secure Password Recovery: Make sure to also secure your password recovery options. Use strong answers for security questions and keep the recovery email account equally secure.

By adhering to these guidelines, you significantly reduce the chances of your email accounts becoming compromised.

What To Do If Your Email Account Is Compromised

First of all, don’t panic! If you suspect that your email account has been compromised, taking swift action is crucial to mitigate the damage. Here are five steps you should follow immediately:

  1. Change Password: The first step is to regain control of your account by changing the password. Make sure to follow strong password guidelines. If you can't access the account, use the "Forgot Password" option or contact customer support.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): To add an extra layer of security, activate 2FA on your account. This will require a second form of identification, usually a text message or authentication app, in addition to your password.
  3. Review Account Activity: Look for any unauthorized actions made from your account, such as sent emails, altered settings, or deleted information. This can help you gauge the extent of the compromise.
  4. Notify Contacts: Inform your contacts that your account has been compromised and that they should be cautious of any unusual emails or requests coming from your account. This can prevent the attacker from exploiting your network for further attacks.
  5. Perform a Security Audit: Scan your computer for malware and update all security software. It's also advisable to change passwords for other important accounts (e.g., banking, social media) in case the same credentials were used elsewhere.

Taking these steps immediately can help you regain control and prevent further unauthorized activities from happening.

Similar Templates

No items found.