Despite all the advances and changes in online communication channels, email continues to be the dominant tool of choice. But is it really the best option?
Email was built as a simple store and message forwarding tool to facilitate communication between individuals using different type of computers. For the longest time, email has been insecure for many reasons - for example, the lack of two-way password encryption. Because emails are sent using open methods, it makes it one of the most vulnerable access points for hackers to infiltrate a network.
The primary reason that email is not the best form of communication is because emails can be easily accessed by any one with the ability to watch network traffic or access accounts. In addition, email companies such as gmail can access such information and sell it to the highest bidder - for instance, advertisers. Although there's been more clampdown in recent years, email still remains a largely unregulated domain.
There's no denying that email is an efficient way of communication which is why it has remained popular to this day. However being efficient is one thing while being secure is quite another.
At the end of the day, email is routinely the weak link in an organization's security chain.
How Emails are Hacked
The most common ways hackers infiltrate a network system is through phishing and malware. Most individuals and organizations that use email as one of their primary communication channels are unaware that roughly 1% of every email they open has malicious intent. Obviously the intention by cyber criminals is never good which can only mean that they intend to commit fraud, deliver malware or conduct a phishing campaign.
It's essential that CEO's of companies consider such threats as tantamount, and they would be well served to have their IT department take measures tightening their overall networks security.
What is Phishing?
IT departments should regularly educate staff on how hackers operate and why they should flag some emails when they suspect that something is out of order.
Cyber criminals use phishing because it is the easiest form of attack on the Internet. Although prevalently used on emails, phishing has extended to social media as well.
Phishing is when a cyber criminal targets an organization or individual in attempt to get them to do their bidding. They do it through subtle deception such as impersonation of a bosses or colleagues email. Phishing works particularly well in message only forms of communication such as email. They may attempt to alter an account number so that funds are directed to a fraudulent account or try get a password(s) that might compromise a whole organization's network.
A common practice in phishing is also sending an email to one's inbox in hope that an unsuspecting employee will hit the download button. Should that happen, the download would then infect your network with ransomware in hope for immediate profit. By bringing an entire organization's network to a standstill, the hacker then asks for a ransom in order to disinfect the system remotely. Does one pay the exorbitant ransom or hire expensive malware experts to clean the network?
The inconvenience caused and losses incurred can be monumental. It’s better to invest in tools that can effectively prevent a company from falling prey to cyber crime.
A Secure Internal Communication System
Email security breaches are a costly affair. In the United States alone, the cost incurred by organizations and individuals as a result of email breaches can total up to $1.2 billion dollars per year.
With such grave email hacking concerns, Zebu developed an internal communication system with iron clad security that protects company and client information from prying eyes. Zebu is a Canadian start up working to rescue organizations from the deep-seated risks of email hacking.
Email service providers often tout the security measures that they have enforced on your behalf. But truth be told, company data is at their mercy because there’s no mechanism that prevents the email service provider from accessing your data. If anything, B2B service providers has unfettered access to their subscriber's data.
Who's to say that they won’t use that data to their benefit? Zebu on the other hand has sought to develop an internal communication system that facilitates data integrity and provides much needed security for internal hacks as well as external hacks. Zebu even has a system in place that prevents them accessing your information.
Zebu is a 'no knowledge' solution that every company should consider for their internal communication security and efficiency as well. Not only does it provide an effective communication solution, it combines that with scheduling and file management tools that integrate seamlessly with cutting edge encryption technology.
In 2019, the single biggest existential risk to an organization is likely cyber crime. Make sure your organization takes the necessary steps to protect against it.