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June 13th, 2011

Preventing Email Vulnerabilities In The Business World

In the business world today, email has become one of the most heavily means of communication. It is quick and easy, files and ideas can be simply transferred between people in other parts of the world and it is relatively inexpensive. The downside is that it can be extremely vulnerable and important personal and company information can be easily compromised if the security standards are not up to par. There are a few areas of concerns that every business person should know about.

Malicious attacks come from outside and unknown sources very easily through email. To combat this, there needs to be several layers of protection in place. If an attack is successful, data can be corrupted or lost, information can be stolen and time and money can be spent in trying to remedy the problem.

Having a robust virus scanning program and firewall system will help to limit attacks and potential viruses. With any program, the most important aspect would be that virus definitions are up to date and updates are installed as soon as they are released. Malicious programs are constantly evolving in an effort to stay ahead of the virus protection programs.
Secure Socket Layer or SSL is another level of defense. This is simply a method of encrypting data when email is sent between two parties. Basically, the outgoing mail is encrypted. Once it reaches the destination, the receiving email program is able to open and read the data. If it gets misdirected and goes into the wrong hands, it would not be able to be read since the encryption cannot be determined. Many businesses run their email accounts without this layer of protection, but this is not recommended.

The use of secure messaging software can prevent almost 100% of vulnerabilities out there today. This type of solution works by allowing the sender to send a message with data encryption. This solution is also hosted in the cloud, providing security that does not exist on the user’s machine.

Something as simple as having company policies in place coupled with the right software and procedures can prevent virtually all forms of email vulnerabilities. Secure email is a must in today’s business environment.

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