Why Businesses Need Email Security, MFA and Security Awareness Training
Cybersecurity threats are growing at astounding rates, and as a result, it’s no surprise that executives and boardrooms are discussing cybersecurity more seriously and frequently than ever. Even though organizations can invest infinite amounts of money and do so much to strengthen their cybersecurity, they cannot spend enough to be completely bulletproof. Therefore, it’s important for organizations to prioritize and implement effective cybersecurity measures to mitigate potential risks. In addition to the most basic and obvious security solutions, such as firewalls, VPNs, and Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware, Framework highly recommends all organizations deploy email security solutions, multi-factor authentication, security awareness training, and mock phishing programs in their organization. Email security, MFA, and security awareness training are low-cost security solutions with a high-risk reduction relative to investment or excellent ROI. In this blog, we will explore in more detail why these solutions benefit businesses of all sizes and industries.
Email Security is a Must
Most modern employees live in their email, one of the most used vital business tools. Communication, collaboration, and information exchange all take place over email. Unfortunately, email has streamlined communications, but it has become an easy, preferred target for cybercriminals. Email is an ideal entry point for cybercriminals. With creativity and astonishingly simple, low-sophistication tactics, cybercriminals can phish their way into accessing critical systems and data. All organizations should invest in email security as part of their basic cybersecurity foundation. Here are some reasons businesses need an email security solution:
- Protection Against Email Phishing: Email security solutions provide advanced defense against various threats, such as phishing scams, spam, malware, and ransomware. Email security solutions typically include guards, like anti-virus scanning, URL filtering, and content analysis, to stop dangerous emails from making it to your inbox.
- Enhance Productivity: The amount of junk emails sent is incredible, and it can waste employees’ time and be a distraction. Email security solutions will drastically reduce the spam employees receive, saving them time and improving their ability to focus on productive work.
- Save Money: Cyberattacks and data breaches can cost an incredible amount of money, cause lost productivity, and harm a company’s reputation. Moreover, phishing emails are the number one source of successful data breaches. Therefore, investing a nominal amount of money in an email security solution can save an organization from these costly events.
- Data Security & Compliance: Email security solutions often include features to protect data privacy and help ensure compliance with regulations like HIPAA and GDPR and client or vendor compliance requirements. Organizations must protect sensitive information, such as PII, PCI, and PHI, from unauthorized access. Email security solutions typically include encryption capabilities to secure sensitive data and communications.
Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Almost every company’s sensitive information is stored in password-protected software and systems. However, even complex passwords are insufficient to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access. Poor password behaviors and numerous other factors make the password only the first step to protecting this information. MFA is a process that requires users to provide two or more types of identification before accessing a system (for example, username & password plus entry of a code sent to a registered phone number or email). MFA adds another more effective layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to these systems and sensitive data.
Here are some reasons all businesses should leverage MFA:
- Protect Access to Systems & Data: The number one reason businesses implement MFA is to secure access to information and critical business systems ranging from line of business applications to email and collaboration tools. MFA is a simple, low-cost method to make it drastically harder for cybercriminals to breach systems.
- Avoid Account Takeovers: MFA dramatically reduces the chances of experiencing account takeovers when nefarious actors use stolen or leaked credentials to access accounts. Account takeovers can be very detrimental as the criminals may directly access sensitive info and use that account as a starting place to breach other systems or phish your clients or vendors. Since employees often reuse passwords and credentials in business and their personal life, even a credential leak from one platform, say a personal LinkedIn account, could lead to nefarious actors being able to access a business system like your email. MFA helps prevent these account takeovers because it requires additional info, like a code sent to a phone, to verify identity and access. Therefore, credentials alone are not enough, and intercepting an MFA code requires more effort and a higher degree of sophistication, effectively shutting out many cybercriminals.
- Reduce Fraud Risk: As a result of points 1 and 2 above, MFA also helps reduce the likelihood of fraud, and substantial stress, wasted time, financial cost, and reputation damage that it can entail.
- Enhances Compliance: Many businesses must use MFA for certain systems or platforms that house certain types of data, either due to regulatory compliance or requirements from their clients, vendors, or insurance provider.
Security Awareness Training & Mock Phishing Sharpens Defenses
While it’s impossible to prevent all potential cyber threats, many effective security solutions are available for businesses of all sizes. Recognizing that no cybersecurity technology is foolproof is vital, so relying on your people is crucial as the first and last line of defense. While people can sometimes be weak in cybersecurity, the good news is that an educated and aware individual can be highly effective at recognizing and avoiding many threats. Investing in cybersecurity education and training for your team can significantly reduce your organization’s risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack.
Security Awareness Training
Security awareness training educates employees about the harm cyber-threats can cause, best practice behaviors to remain secure, the telltale signs to help spot potential threats, and how to respond or react as an individual to maintain security. These solutions tend to be ultra-low-cost and are therefore well worth the proactive investment if they reduce the chances of cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Mock Phishing Campaigns
Mock phishing campaigns are a valuable extension of cybersecurity awareness training. These campaigns serve as a test to ensure that employees absorb and retain the information and encourage them to remain vigilant. By simulating real-life phishing attempts, employees can gain practical experience without suffering the devastating consequences of a successful attack. Through these simulations, employees learn how phishing scams operate, familiarize themselves with common tactics, and develop the confidence to recognize and avoid such attacks. Additionally, these campaigns help identify employees who need additional training, reinforcement, and accountability, allowing leaders to take appropriate action. While security awareness training is mandatory for compliance with regulatory frameworks, some industries and businesses may also require this training to comply with specific client, vendor, or insurance provider requirements.
Cyber threats are a real existential threat to businesses; unfortunately, the threat is growing. The most basic cybersecurity measures are far from enough to sleep well at night. Like any business investment decision, leaders must look to deploy investments to maximize return on investment. Maximizing cybersecurity ROI means reducing risk as much as possible relative to dollars invested. Email security software, MFA, and security awareness training are all low-cost security solutions. They offer a very significant risk reduction compared to the investment required. They will strengthen defenses, reduce the likelihood of breaches, improve productivity, help protect your reputation, enhance compliance, and save money in the long term. Framework recommends that all clients employ these solutions as part of the foundation of cybersecurity strategy.
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