More than 4 billion people worldwide use email. While email is exceedingly popular, it is one of the least secure ways to communicate on the Internet today.
Due to email’s lack of security, many are considering ways to reduce their organization’s email footprint and finding more secure ways to collaborate. Keep reading to learn the reasons behind this shift and why you might consider doing the same.
6 Reasons Why Email is Inherently Insecure
74% of organizations said that their businesses were impacted by email security attacks. What makes email such a risky way for both companies and individuals to communicate? Here are six of the top reasons:
1. Phishing Scams
Email is the preferred delivery system for phishing scams. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 96% of all phishing attacks arrive via email. A successful phishing attack can lead to a malicious actor gaining access to your entire network and all of your valuable data. Phishing attacks are the gateway for all sorts of data breaches and attacks, including devastating ransomware attacks.
2. Business Email Compromise
Business email compromise (BEC) is a sophisticated form of phishing. A BEC scam aims at companies that do wire transfers, typically to suppliers outside of the U.S. This email-based scam targets employees who handle the wire transfers, with emails spoofing the address of a high-level executive within the company. The fake executive instructs the targeted employee to make wire transfers supposedly to an existing supplier, which in reality go to the fraudster’s bank account. The FBI reported that email-based BEC scams resulted in $3.5 billion in losses in 2019.
67% of ransomware arrives via spam or phishing emails, with the average cost of ransomware-based downtime reaching $274,000 per incident. Most small- and medium-sized businesses can’t afford to be down the multiple days typical in ransomware attacks, let alone the cost of paying the ransom and recovering from the attack.
4. Client-Side Attacks
A client-side attack occurs when an attacker sends someone in your organization an email with a link to malicious content. Clicking on the link enables the attacker to control the targeted computer and thus gain access to the organization’s network and data stores.
5. Malicious File Attachments
Malicious content can also be delivered via files attached to email messages. When an unsuspecting employee inadvertently opens a malicious file attachment, the attacker can install malware or take over the entire network.
Most email is unencrypted, which means it is susceptible to being intercepted in transit. A malicious actor intercepting an unencrypted email message will be able to read everything contained within, including your company’s most confidential information.
In addition, many email providers store emails in an unencrypted format on their servers, and many users have unencrypted emails stored on their phones and other personal devices. This presents another pressure point where unauthorized parties can access sensitive information.
More Secure Communication Methods
All of these potential issues make email communication particularly risky. A survey found that 72% of respondents thought protecting their organizations from email-borne threats has become more difficult over the past several years.
If email security is increasingly tricky against a rise in email-related threats, what options do you have for more secure communications in your organization? There are several options, including:
- Text-based messaging
- Audio calls and conferences
- Video calls and conferences
Three factors make these communications platforms more secure.
First, all of these platforms are private rather than public, so users are not as subjected to phishing, spear phishing, and BEC scams.
Second, these communications can all be encrypted so that messages or calls cannot be intercepted in transit or breached in storage. The most secure of these communications platforms, such as Wickr, use end-to-end encryption to ensure that even if a message is intercepted, it won’t be readable.
Third, most secure communications platforms also include secure file sharing. This reduces the need to send files via email, thus minimizing the risk of malicious file attachments.
The key, then, is to move your organization as much as possible from insecure email communication to more secure text, audio, and video communication, ideally protected by end-to-end encryption. Most internal communication can be done via these secure communication platforms, leaving email only to service external communication needs. And with Wickr’s Global Federation, even your external communications can be held on Wickr without sacrificing the security of your network.
Switch from Email to Wickr for More Secure Communications
When you’re considering moving from email to a more secure communications platform, look no further than Wickr. Wickr uses military-grade end-to-end encryption for all communications, including audio calls, video conferences, text messaging, and file sharing. You won’t have to worry about phishing, ransomware, malicious file attachments, or intercepted messages. All of your data and communications will be safe and secure.
Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure collaboration platform!