Despite the evolution of instant messaging platforms, email remains the preferred medium for business communication. Even in the modern world, most intra-office communication and all external communication happens through emails. There are times when sensitive information is shared over emails too. Hence, it is crucial to ensure the security of your email server. If you are using an Email Hosting service, ensure that the provider deploys the latest security measures to protect the server.
Today, we are going to share the four most common threats to an email server and what you can do to keep them at bay.
1. Authentication protocols not up to the mark
The login page is usually the weakest link in the chain when it comes to email security. If you have robust authentication protocols in place, then your first line of defence is reliable, and you can ward off most attackers. To have proper authentication protocols, ensure the following:
- Use strong passwords: Usually, attackers manage to procure email addresses and try to use brute force to guess the password. Ensure that you use a password that is at least ten characters long and includes a capital letter, a special character, and numbers. Also, don’t use common, easily guessable phrases or words based on your personal information.
- Enable two-factor authentication: It ensures that the attacker cannot get access to the account unless they have access to your mobile phone too.
- Use SSL: In today’s times, most people access their emails remotely. SSL ensures that the connection between the user and the email server is encrypted and safe.
2. Phishing attacks
A phishing attack is the most common threat to an email server. The attacker masquerades as a trusted entity and dupes the user into opening an email and installs a virus or malware in the system. This allows him to gain unauthorized access to the email server.
There are several tools that can help you filter the emails reaching your server like Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP). You must also educate the users to be careful of such emails.
3. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
While DoS attacks are usually associated with websites, your email server is susceptible to them too. In a DoS attack, the attacker floods the server with heavy traffic causing it to crash. It will degrade productivity and disrupt communication.
There are various ways to stop a DoS attack from disrupting your email server. Firewalls and tools can alert server admins of incoming attacks. Choosing a reliable Email Hosting provider ensures that these tools are in place to keep your emails secure.
4. Outdated software or applications
One of the most significant security loopholes that could be exploited by attackers is the vulnerability in a software or application that has not been patched by updates. Usually, updates patch bugs or glitches in the software. However, some updates plug security holes that can help make your server secure. By not updating the software, these vulnerabilities are open for attackers to exploit. There are also times where a software stays on the server, even if it is not in use. Such software is usually not updated, creating security holes. So, uninstall any unused software to boost the security of your email server.
As you can see, there are various threats to an email server. Considering the criticality of information that gets shared over official emails, it is crucial to ensure that you make a note of these threats and ensure that you keep them at bay. If you are switching to Business Email Hosting, then ensure that you choose one after thoroughly assessing the security protocols and considering all aspects carefully. Good Luck!