Protecting your organisation’s emails from human activated risk

20th September 2022BlogRob Batters

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Understanding human behaviour to improve email defences

No email security system is perfect. For example, how do you identify and prevent a sensitive email being sent to the wrong person? In the past, on-premises email servers and gateways were loaded with specialist software, all designed to save us from ourselves—and with some success, too. As companies moved email online, the technology has moved on to include sophisticated cloud-based AI filtering, management, and monitoring.

However, technology is not a silver bullet when it comes to email security. It can seem as though all the awareness training in the world will not stop users from doing what users do: sending emails to the wrong recipients, sharing confidential data by mistake, clicking on malicious links, opening suspect attachments, and so on.

Organisations must try to understand human behaviour and then mitigate the behavioural risks. Click To Tweet

Organisations must, therefore, also try to understand human behaviour and then mitigate the behavioural risks. And while education and information programmes are tremendously important, they cannot be managed in isolation. For example, if users rely on security solutions that quarantine suspicious emails, it becomes easy to assume that all emails that reach their inbox are safe.

Practical steps to boost email security

Whether your systems are on-premises or in the cloud, the invariable factor behind human-activated risk is that more than 90% of cyber compromises start with an email-related action. The essential step is to ask about user behaviour and how it can be informed, guided, and improved.

In parallel, consider your organisation’s security policy and the practical impact of that policy choice. Very strict security tends to introduce a high administration workload, with a large degree of user friction, and potentially an attitude that the user is less, rather than more, responsible for security. On the other extreme, low security may expose the business to unacceptable risk, including significant financial and reputational damage.

Northdoor recommends combining technology with human aspects for the best response to these risks. Organisations should find ways to support user behaviour while providing best-of-breed data security technology. Click To Tweet

Northdoor recommends combining technology with human aspects for the best response to these risks. Rather than just imposing inflexible controls, organisations should find ways to support and direct user behaviour while providing best-of-breed data security technology.

Mitigate human-activated risk with Northdoor’s email security solutions

The latest email security solutions from Northdoor offer powerful tools that work at multiple levels and deliver positive feedback to help users improve their email security:

  • Help users resist phishing attacks, business account compromises, and sophisticated inbound threats
  • Monitor outbound email helps to mitigate misaddressed emails and malicious exfiltration
  • Protect users and the organisation with highly secure email encryption at a level depending on the nature of the business and the risk appetite.

human activated security controls for employees

Enrolling users in your cyber defence strategy

Over time, Northdoor email security solutions help users educate themselves. Ideally, users will be able to identify issues that the software misses (no email security system is perfect, after all!), thereby building a culture of human-activated defence.

As you would expect, our solutions integrate fully with your existing on-premises or cloud-based email infrastructure and place a minimal administrative burden on your IT team, while offering comprehensive audit and reporting capabilities to help meet regulatory requirements.

Northdoor adds value throughout the process: the first step is to complete a full email risk assessment, which will help define the security policy. From full email lockdown, encryption, and quarantine to simple alerts and notifications of risk, Northdoor can advise on policies that we know work well.

To learn more about how Northdoor can improve your cyber resilience and minimise the potential disruption in the event of a security breach, email us, complete the form here, or call us on 020 7448 8500 to arrange a free initial assessment.

Interested in finding out more about email security solutions?

Request a demo or contact sales on: 0207 448 8500

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