The attack vectors, targets, and technology used in ransomware attacks vary year over year. However, one constant throughout the history of these types of cyberattacks has been the use of email as a way to infiltrate networks. Email security is an essential first step in patching vulnerabilities and protecting your business from malware and ransomware threats.
Although the methods of ransomware attacks vary over time, there is one tactic the attackers consistently use to infiltrate victim networks: malicious emails. For example, if a user simply downloads a malicious attachment within a phishing email that contains ransomware, all of the user’s files can become encrypted and made inaccessible until a ransom is paid.
Therefore, email security is an essential first step in patching vulnerabilities and protecting your business from malware and ransomware threats. This article covers three important aspects of strengthening email security:
Because email inboxes are exposed to the outside world, important network security controls should be in place to form the outermost layer of protection. For example, these controls do their best to automatically block malicious attachments and links, so the attacker’s payload can never actually reach its target.
On the bright side, this removes some of the guesswork from the email account user – such as whether they should click on a message or not. However, the success of this method relies heavily upon how well the enterprise’s cloud email security identifies and contains ransomware.
More specifically, the best cloud email security controls should include advanced threat defense capabilities that quickly detect, block, and remediate threats in incoming email. Cloud-based implementations of email security are widely used because they unify multiple security functions in a single service that covers the breadth of a company’s network.
But the bottom line is that no cloud security solution is 100% perfect. Threats will inevitably make it through the perimeter and put individual email users to the test. That’s where the additional aspects of email security come into play.
Users who do not “think before they click” are more likely to fall victim to malicious email attacks including ransomware. For example, attackers often deploy tempting tactics to lure people to click on web links or banner advertisements. In reality, those users could be clicking on a “malvertisement,” which means the outcome of that click likely includes a malicious attack. Even legitimate looking content or sender email addresses could be all for show, just tempting you to innocently click on it.
Attackers also try to distract a victim’s critical thinking by using methods that tend to invoke an emotional reaction, such as:
Again, it’s important to think before you click – so you can give yourself a chance to spot the fraud before it’s too late.
Because it’s inevitable that threats will penetrate the outer layers of protection and land in our inboxes, we need to learn how to mitigate the risk to the best of our ability. Recognizing the threats discussed above (and many more like them) is a skill all of us can develop through effective training programs.
Such training programs often cover important topics such as:
These topics help foster a safe environment by promoting a culture of security and individual accountability. The consequences of not training employees or fostering a security-focused culture may one day result in a security incident that not only could have been prevented, but also may do lasting damage to a company’s operations and business reputation.
As cases of ransomware attacks across many industry sectors continue to proliferate, TorchLight is illuminating the way for businesses to implement a multi-front strategy to defend against the various ways that ransomware can enter an organization – especially email.
This new service called Ransomware Defense Architecture (RDA) provides an integrated approach across a breadth of critical control points. A key difference with TorchLight’s RDA is how it offers clients flexible integration options that range from a turnkey Cisco-backed platform to a range of “Bring Your Own Tech” solutions that leverage security technology investments that a client has already made. Either way, RDA provides a layered defense against ransomware.
In conclusion, email security is an essential first line of defense against malware and ransomware threats. Cloud email security technologies – such as the TorchLight RDA platform – implemented in tandem with effective personnel training programs can help you and your business take a stand against these threats before it’s too late.
Contact us to learn more.