Email security is vital because email facilitates the best opportunity for criminal activity. Phishing (manipulating someone into reacting to a request through fraudulent email) is the most common threat that we face. Take a look at our 'How to spot a phishing email checklist' if you are unsure if an email is a scam.
Cyber criminals know email is the primary communication method in business, whether it’s between colleagues, supply chain or customers. The more genuine an email appears to the recipient, the more likely the recipient is to click on a link or open an attachment.
When those links and attachments are compromised, systems become infected with malware or credentials, personal information and financial information is vulnerable.
Email domains (everything after @) can be spoofed to appear as though it is coming from your organisation, making the email incredibly convincing to the recipient. This can lead to reputational damage for your organisation because no one will trust the veracity of your communications.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) will verify an email is from someone authorised to send emails from your domain and, if it is not, instructs the recipients mailbox to take action. It is recommended for everyone in the supply chain to have DMARC, SPF and DKIM in place to be confident that the origin of communiqués are genuine. To check if you already have anti-spoofing configured and for help with implementation, check out the Global Cyber Alliance Toolkit.
Cyber criminals can also obtain information by eavesdropping on emails in transit. Encrypt emails so that only the sender and intended recipient can see the content. Take a look at the NCSC advice for email security and anti-spoofing.
For the public sector, be certain your email security and anti-spoofing configurations are set-up correctly with the NCSC Mail Check tool.
Whaling is a form of social engineering. It targets the “big fish” – board directors and senior executives who have access to the most secretive or commercially sensitive information within their organisations which enable the cyber criminals to target the biggest rewards. Learn more...