Secure Email Is Crucial for Small Business Cybersecurity—Here’s Why

As a business owner, email security is probably at the back of your mind – But with the increasing number of cyberattacks targeting emails, email security can no longer be an afterthought. Securing your emails can help protect your business from a range of potential cyber threats, including data theft, malicious software infection, and account hijacking.

In this article, we discuss why secure email is so crucial for small to mid-sized business owners and how they can ensure their emails are secure.

What Exactly Makes an Email “Secure”?

Secure emails are encrypted using secure protocols, meaning all data sent through the service is secure and can only be accessed by the intended recipient. It also allows email users to set up two-factor authentication, which further boosts email security and helps prevent hackers from accessing emails. With email security in place, even if someone were to gain access to your account, they would only be able to view encrypted data.

Secure emails also allow users to set expiration dates on messages and attachments, making it easier to manage secure communication with partners, vendors, and customers. Messages can be set to expire after a certain amount of time or after they’ve been read, ensuring that sensitive data doesn’t remain in circulation for longer than necessary.

Why Email Security Is Important?

With 52% of people reusing their passwords for different accounts, people make themselves easy targets waiting to be exploited by cybercriminals. In addition to reusing passwords, a recent study found that North Americans struggled the most in phishing simulations; and an astonishing 7 out of 10 clickers willingly disclosed their login information when prompted.

Not only do secure emails safeguard our data from malicious actors, but they can also serve to protect us against often-overlooked internal mistakes that could cause a catastrophic data breach. It’s also an essential tool for any small business looking to secure its operations against malicious activity and remain compliant with industry regulations.

Compliance regulations like GDPR and CCPA require companies to secure customer data or face significant fines or even criminal prosecution. Secure email helps organizations demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive information and staying compliant with data protection regulations.

How You Can Ensure Secure Emails Within Your Business

Securing your email is a critical piece of the cybersecurity puzzle when it comes to protecting company data. Implementing secure email in your small business will help you stay secure, and compliant, and protect against both external and internal threats. Here are steps you can take to implement secure emails in your business.

1. Enforce Strong Passwords

Using secure and unique passwords for all accounts is the first step to secure email. Passwords should be a minimum of 8 characters in upper and lowercase, utilize numbers, and include symbols.

2. Enable Multi-factor Authentication for Email Logins

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires two or more pieces of secure information to login, such as a username and password with an additional layer of security like a fingerprint scan or token code. This helps you secure your emails from malicious hackers attempting to gain access to your secure emails by guessing or stealing passwords.

3. Train Employees in Email Security Best Practices

Your team is the first line of defense against malicious emails infiltrating your systems and stealing data. Educate your teams on the following email security practices:

  • How to identify and report suspicious emails.
  • Encrypt emails with sensitive information before sending.
  • Never open an attachment or click on a link from an unknown sender.
  • Don’t use your company email address to receive or send personal emails.

4. Use End-to-End Encryption

Utilize industry-standard encryption protocols for secure emails during transmission. This ensures that messages sent over the internet are secure from third parties or malicious actors attempting to intercept them.

5. Monitor Email Activity

Implementing email security features is important, but monitoring email activity is equally as important. Monitor email usage within your organization to ensure emails are used appropriately and that no malicious activity is taking place.

6. Establish an Email Retention Policy

An email retention policy outlines the rules for managing emails within your organization. It should include how long emails should be kept, what type of information needs to be archived, and who has access to them. Establish an email retention policy to secure sensitive data and avoid potential data breaches.

Secure Your Emails with AIS

Don’t let your company be part of the statistic that falls victim to a data breach. At AIS, our Microsoft 365 solution includes secure email features that help secure your emails against a variety of threats. Our security experts are also here to help tailor our services to meet your email security needs.

Our services include end-to-end encryption for all emails sent over the internet, making it near impossible for malicious actors to intercept messages. We also provide monitoring/alerts of suspicious activity, migration and implementation assistance, and more. 

Schedule a consultation today to secure your email and protect your company data.

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