Threats to Email Security and How to Prevent Them

In many sectors of society, the preferred method of communication is through email. Today, there are many threats to email security, and although email is very convenient and easy to use, these threats can compromise messages that we transmit and the attachments that we send. Interception of messages, modification of origin or content, forgery of origin or content by an outsider, forget of content or origin by the recipient, or the denial of message transmission are just some of the threats that you can face every time you send an email over the internet or a network.

Many times we send email that contain confidential or financial data to people within our company or sometimes even to people outside the company. An unencrypted email can be monitored and intercepted in many ways. If this is the case, then your emails can easily be read, copied, and modified by unauthorized or malicious persons. These malicious users can empty your financial accounts, run charges on your credit cards, apply for loans, etc, using the personal data that they have retrieved from an email.

If people are able to gain access to your email in your network, then you will definitely allow malicious people to be able to copy emails that ask for sensitive information. This is known as phishing or fraudulent mails trying to persuade individuals to give up important personal information such as an account name or password.

It is difficult to tell phishing emails from the real one because they look exactly alike to the last details like company logo, color scheme, and format. The company asking for information can be a bank or an internet business. The name for this deceptive attempt to gain information through fraudulent means is social engineering. The links in the email are changed to the one used by the phisher. You can be asked to do immediate actions like logging in to your account. Phishers are able to get your account name and passwords since you will be asked to register it in the web pages that they create. Below are some important things that can help prevent phishing and forgery in emails.

There has to be access control which is a services that controls and logs access to systems, resources, and applications and protects against unauthorized use. In order to prevent persons who are not authorized to access your emails, the network needs to be secured with passwords and account names.

If you want to be protected from disguised attacks, authentication is important. The use of digital signatures is one integral mechanism for this service. Two ways to authenticate identities is through unilateral or mutual authentication. In mutual authentication, both parties verify each other. Only one party verifies its identity in unilateral authentication.

If data is transmitted without being modified in transit then there is confidentiality and integrity. Confidentiality protects data in transit and integrity protects unauthorized modifications.

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