Your Email Could Be the Welcome Mat to Hackers [Infographic]

May 3, 2017

7:00 pm

Some of the biggest security breaches involved emails and with more companies keeping data in the cloud, your email could be the doormat to your company’s secrets if you don’t sharpen your security skills. Here are five things you need to be diligent about to protect your data in the cloud, starting with your email and then check out the timeline of the most famous email breaches.

Strong Password Protection

This is an obvious one but there is no point in investing so much money for guaranteeing a quality service if you neglect the first essential step for building up a strong network: the server’s password.

As a key point, all passwords should, at least, include three of the following elements and changed once every 180 days or less: uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numbers, dots or dashes and special characters (!@@#$).

Anti-Malware Protection

Since malicious software is the primary suspect when it comes to data loss in servers and computers overall, it is important to take all the necessary measures to keep such intromissions at bay. Something as common as plugging a USB into our laptop or downloading an attachment from an email can lead to disastrous consequences, thus the importance of having a reliable anti-malware protection for our system. In general, you can trust the services of security giants like AVG, Avast and Kaspersky but don’t simply rely on your basic operating system’s defense system to do it all.

Separate Work and Life Email

One common error that is mixing business and personal life in our email account. Why do I make emphasis at this point? Simple: You could be using the very same mail account you happen to use for business for all your social media networks.

This scenario is a huge mistake as malware’s first route for accessing your data is precisely through social media networks: friend requests from unknown people, viruses sent through Facebook Messenger services and so on. Spam also has an essential role and  not every link sent to your mailbox should be opened – hence the importance of taking preventive measures against email security breaches.

If your aim is to reduce your company’s liabilities, then avoid using the same account you use for your personal emails for setting up your cloud-based server. In the long term, you will be thankful for taking such route.

Read more on protecting your company’s data against threats

Data Encryption

The best way known to date to secure your information is to restrict access via encryption. How does this work? You can use the services of Cloud Protection Apps to generate passwords and key sequences for the files to be uploaded. That way, content can only be accessed through your account or your personal password.

On this behalf, cloud storage services like Mega have introduced such protection means by encrypting all data to be shared, and the reason why you can’t get your content back in case you lose your password: accounts only have one chance of setting a password, and once access is lost, no one can access the data stored on the server.

Setting Levels of Access

Another common practice applied for many fields and that can be easily introduced for Cloud storage is the restriction of access through a hierarchy. Since the nature of cloud storage allows people to log from anywhere to access your data, enforce the security of your files by requesting unique login credentials for accessing the content in question.

You can easily do this by setting different passwords for the content to be stored according to the sensibility of the data in question in regards to your company. Data that should be shared among working peers has to be stored with one password, whereas sensitive data whose leak could potentially damage your company has to be protected with another password. A master access password (or admin password if you like this term) also needs to be set for managing everything that’s going on with your data. To avoid a potential password mess, you can just create an interface that requires a login from users to access the data, setting different privileges for the accounts in question according to the user’s role in your company.

Here is a timeline of some famous email security breaches in this infographic courtesy of Avatier.

Read more on protecting your company from cyberthreats here at Tech.Co

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Loren Baker is the founder of Search Engine Journal and is a VP at Foundation Digital. A long time digital entrepreneur, Loren has been in digital marketing since 1998 and over the past decade he has built & executed innovative online strategies for leading companies in car insurance, retail shopping, professional sports and the movie & television industry.

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