Email is a trusted form of communication in which personal information is shared. Attackers and interceptors see email as a prime target when trying to hack banks, social media accounts, governments, and other critical institutions like hospitals, colleges, and universities as well as security agencies. For these institutions, finding out what is legitimate email and separating this from spam emails might become challenging. In this article, I feature important email security tips you need to know. We shall talk about lurking spam emails in your inbox and also talk about the vulnerability of emails when sending files. Let us start by looking at some of the threats that email faces. Before we get started, it is important that we categorize email security appropriately. Email security deals with protecting against attacks and protecting also against interception. So what are the email threats?
The first type of email threats targets the inbox. These are not specific to email and an attacker can also use alternative channels. However, email is still the largest target for phishing schemes, fraudsters and many more. Email service providers like Gmail have implemented the necessary prerequisites in providing a cover against these threats. This is through the provision of the spam folder where the email user defines the rules for categorizing email as spam or not. The phishing emails make up the largest portion of the emails that go into the spam folder.
2. The Transit threats
A good example of this kind of email threat is the man in the middle attack. Also abbreviated (MitM) this is usually a form of eavesdropping where the third party spies on the information that is passing between the communicating parties. Just as the name explains, there is someone who sits in the middle to listen to the conversation and steal the details. An attacker might spy on communication and use a fake account pretending to be the targeted user. The MitM attacks fall into different categories.
Traditional Man in the Middle Email Attack
The first one is the traditional “Man in the Middle” attack where the attacker sets their machine as a proxy between the connection. Thus, if you are sending an email to someone, it goes through the attacker’s machine first. This attack requires proximity to the victim.
Man in the Browser Email Attack
The second one is the Man in the Browser form of email attack that uses malware that is located on the user computer hence compromising the account or the financial information.
To protect your email, you might want to use the encryption approach. This is based on the email provider you are using. For instance, most browser-based clients like Gmail use the transport layer encryption which is enough for an individual. However, for a business, end-to-end encryption is necessary. Contact Belnis for the best email protection solutions.