CLICK WITH CAUTION – CYBER SECURITY SAYS THE PROPOSAL

There are many things you can do with caution, but a link in an email is difficult to click carefully. Either you click or you don't. The weakest element in cybersecurity is human - but it does matter whether that one is a user or an IT administrator.
WHAT IS THE BLOG ABOUT?

Email security, cyber resilience, Microsoft Defender for Office 365

Such a slogan like “be careful” is quite exiguous and windy in IT security. For example, it is very difficult for a user to determine if a link is harmful. And let’s face it, it’s not his/her business at company level either. The user is not expected to verify the authenticity of URLs one by one, as it is his job to “produce”. The tasks and their responsibility belong to IT management, as not to let emails containing camouflage, phishing, or other threats to enter the system. Or if it has happened yet, they have to launch threat hunting and to manage remediation on the whole system as soon as possible, and last, but not least to block the connection to the URL used to steal the data.

OF COURSE, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT IS ALSO NEEDED

Competency development is extremely important and it is easily acceptable for a corporate employee to be aware of cyber threats. One of the cornerstones of cyberresilience is regular security education. However, no one can be expected to perform basic IT security functions when reading emails. Recently it is not necessary, because email security or a secure web gateway is the adequate tool to test URLs, attachments, codes in a cloudy environment where they can be “unleased.” Also, there are services in advanced security systems that even learn from external sources about threats which have already been identified and classified elsewhere, thus not allowing them into the system.

WELL, WE DON'T JUST GET EMAILS

And the story doesn’t end here, because what if someone from the company’s domain wants to send out sensitive data? Or maybe malicious codes? And even it may happen that sending emails out is not even be conscious. Where spam comes and goes freely in the mail system, there may be plenty of potential other security issues to be exploited, that cybercriminals, no doubt take advantege.

Let's see what you can do to keep your email safe!

In today’s evolving threat environment, business email is the primary attack vector for cybercrime, therefore the effective email protection is a key element of any security strategy.

Email security describes various procedures and techniques for protecting email accounts, content, and communications from unauthorized access, loss, or compromise. The reason of applying email protection in the bussines is that email is more often used to spread malware, spam, and phishing attacks.

Email security

Email protection practices include a comprehensive security setup that includes a number of preventative measures, including the integration of security intelligence evolving through machine learning across the entire architecture, the possibility of automatic remediation, and encryption to prevent data leakage.

Microsoft has become the standard office platform for small and large organizations around the world. It is a cost-effective solution and provides a basic level of cloud-based email protection through Microsoft Exchange Online Protection. But with the increase in global usage, Office 365 has also become an attractive attack surface for cybercriminals, causing many customers to seek additional cloud-based email protection.

An in-house solution, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 helps organizations protect against advanced threats such as phishing and hacking of business email. The solution offers a wide range of options including protection against impersonation, spoofing and holistic attack campaigns, and using machine learning and other heuristic methods.

In the first quarter of 2022, Microsoft participated in an evaluation of e-mail security solutions conducted by SE Labs, a test lab focused on assessing the effectiveness of security solutions. In their latest Enterprise Email Security Services test, email security vendors were evaluated based on a series of real-time email attack scenarios. Microsoft has received an AAA Protection Award for Microsoft Defender for Office 365, the highest award vendors can achieve in this test. In a report by SE Labs, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 blocked 97 percent of emails that contained a threat. The SE lab report confirms that Microsoft Defender for Office 365 used by companies worldwide, which is part of Microsoft Defender 365, is a good choice for protecting email.

An email protection solution alone will not yet provide complete protection. Here, too, it is worth providing multi-layered, multi-spectrum protection and control with reaction capability for higher level system security.

Provide quarantine and remediation

The quarantine feature can be useful for security scanning of messages when the file attachment is analyzed by artificial intelligence before the message is released into the recipient's account. If necessary, it removes the malicious attachment, or in the worst case, removes the message completely. Email remediation also helps if a file is detected as malicious after being delivered to a recipient. This feature lets the system to retrive the message with the malicious attachment from every mailbox and quarantine it.

Deploy external threat intelligence

Structured Threat Information Expression (STIX) external email threat feeds are now widely used in email security solutions, which is useful if an organization wants to deploy a vertical-focused, external threat feed in addition to the native threat intelligence in its mailing system.

Defend your domain with DMARC

DMARC domain protection can be activated to protect company’s reputation by preventing attackers from using a legitimate corporate domain in phishing campaigns.

Use multi-factor authentication

In the event that the credentials of a corporate email account are successfully stolen, multi-factor authentication can prevent an attacker from accessing the account and cause destruction.

Consider to apply integrated cyber security solution

Integrating the mail system with a wider range of security solutions further enhances system security. It greatly influences transferability of advanced malicious code to users or mailboxes.

But it is also worth spending a lot of time on competence development. Improving skills of employees helps a lot, and you don’t have to think about deepening technology here! The point is not for someone to know how to start a brute force attack, or what a man-in-the-middle is when logging in to an evil twin hotspot, but rather how to behave in situations that raise various trust issues.

And here comes the most important part of today’s blog: if human is the weakest element of safety, strengthen it and let it be the strongest! There is no simpler and cheaper solution.

Run regular phishing exercises

Employees can be the most useful protection against phishing, especially the most personalized phishing attempts. Employees who are able to learn to recognize phishing attempts can stop the number one source of endpoint compromise.

SUMMARY

Email protection uses such technologies to control malicious threats to incoming e-mail and to encrypt or secure outgoing e-mail traffic, that protect mailboxes, data, users, and organizations from cyber security attacks and schemas, and from compromising business.

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