Internal Email Threats

Email is a critical business tool. But it is one of the most popular entry points for cybercriminals. Occurrences and damage from these security attacks continue to grow each year. As a result, many businesses implement traditional security measures. These measures protect the business from common external email threats such as phishing and ransomware.

After organizations cover their data from outside threats, they overlook internal email security strategies. This is a considerable risk because employees can intentionally or unintentionally cause a massive security breach. Because of this, business owners and their IT teams need to ensure a strategy to protect themselves from an internal threat if they want to avoid an email security breach.

The Rise of Internal Threats

The definition of internal or insider threats is a security risk to an organization’s data from an attacker originating directly from the organization. According to the 2019 Insider Threat Report, 70% of respondents agree that insider attacks are becoming more frequent.

Carelessness and lack of awareness is a common cause of insider email security breaches. An example of this would be an email that is confidential getting sent by mistake. Or, an employee may accidentally click on an incorrect link or attach the wrong file. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to put an organization’s data at risk.

An employee with malicious intent may already have regular access to sensitive information. Therefore, it’s easier for them to steal and distribute the information without evidence of an intrusion.

The Consequences of an Internal Email Hack

These attacks are difficult to detect and can be intentional or unintentional, putting businesses at high risk of financial loss. 

These attacks can be very damaging. For example, an email hack can leak data, compromising sensitive vendor and client information. In addition, this attack can result in substantial financial and productivity costs.

Compromised vendor and client data can cause potential lawsuits. Certain types of malware can even pause business operations entirely. Companies may also need to hire someone to determine the source of the hack. This would add additional expenses.

Solutions to Prevent Insider Attacks

Business tools like Office 365 offer built-in security features, but those aren’t enough for every organization. They are great for identifying fundamental threats but not suitable for advanced attacks.

Here are some ways to combat insider email security threats:

Monitor Employee IT Behavior: Install software programs to track employee access and activities related to access and send alerts in case of unusual IT behavior. This behavior may include logging into email at unexpected times or days and sending multiple attachments to outside email addresses.

Automated Email Encryption: Outcoming messages containing sensitive information can be automatically encrypted, which means hackers cannot access the information.

Email Scanning Services – Monitor emails leaving the organization – there are programs to search URLs and attachments to flag and pull messages with suspicious activity or attachments.

Invest in Security Devices: Companies may purchase video surveillance cameras and employ biometric access to company hardware, such as fingerprint scanning or facial recognition.

Email portal: Use a secure email portal for sending sensitive content.

Implement a Top-Down Approach to IT Security: Change your organization’s mindset to get every employee involved in IT security.

Comprehensive Employee Training: Provide regular email security training sessions for employees, covering internal and external threats.

Software Updates: Keep all security software updated regularly.

By taking a more detailed look at your organization’s internal threats, you can define the ideal email security solution for your business.


Make Email Security A Top Priority

Whether coming intentionally or from negligence, insider threats continue to be a challenge that many companies face daily. Unfortunately, the damage from a security attack is, most often, noticed too late.

There are a variety of ways to prevent a security breach. Organizations need an established, multi-layer approach to email security to protect from internal and external attacks.

Keep your email data secure. Partner with Wahaya IT to find the email security solution tools that are right for your organization. To help implementation, our team will provide an IT policy and conduct employee training to instruct employees on how to avoid email attacks.

Contact Wahaya IT today to get started on an insider threat plan for email attacks.