The value of your email account cannot be understated. To a hacker, your email is a goldmine of valuable information about your company. No matter how many Emails you send and receive on a daily basis, one or one hundred, you cannot ignore the need to protect your Email inbox from unwanted intrusion.
Your Email Inbox is full of Valuable Information.
What makes your email account valuable to hackers is that it’s literally linked to everything you do online. Almost every Internet service you sign up for requires a submission of your email address. The service will then send you information like terms of service and password information. Therefore, a hacker that accesses your email inbox will have an easy way to connect to all of these services. This enables them to access your financial services and credit card information. The damage can be even greater if a hacker breaks into a business email account and gains access to your organization’s sensitive information, including records about your employees and customers.
How a Hacker can hijack Your Email.
With very little effort a hacker that’s breached your email may go to the settings, change the account password, and lock you out of your own account. Once a hacker is in control of your email account, they would then be able to visit the login page of an online server connected with your account, enter your username and email address, and then select “Forgot Password?” Unless the online service has extra precautions in place, a hacker with access to your email will essentially be able to pose as you and be sent your passwords.
Hackers Make Easy Money from Stolen Email Accounts.
Another option a hacker has with a stolen email account is to sell it to underground brokers. The more online services attached to an email account the more valuable it is in the underground market. For example, a stolen Facebook account will fetch a hacker $2.50, and an iTunes account can fetch as much as $8.
Therefore, a hacker who has stolen multiple email accounts can strip them down and sell the data for some fast cash. Think about how much money a hacker could make from breaching your company’s server and gaining access to all of your employee’s email accounts. They can also use any credit card information to run up charges at your expense. Even if you are covered for this it can still cause problems when they max out your credit line. It takes time to repair this damage and that time could cost you business.
Once a hacker has access to your account, they can steal your identity. The damage does not stop there; many hackers hold your data for ransom and will not release it until you have paid them a substantial fee for its return. Hopefully your company has instituted its own customizable email solution, putting you one layer of protection ahead of the malicious intruders looking to complicate your life.
Finding more Victims in a Stolen Email Account
A hacker can also pose as you and spam all of your contacts. They could send an automatic spam message like, “Hey friend, long times no see. Check out this funny website!” (This would lead them to a malicious website). A hacker could contact a relative of yours and act like you’re stranded, broke and need help. It really depends on how much effort a hacker is willing to invest into your stolen email account. They can sell it on the black market for some quick money, or they can use the information to steal your identity. Neither of these outcomes is desirable.
What you can do to protect Your Email Account.
With so many new ways to communicate, it’s easy to downplay the role of email, but that doesn’t mean email is any less a target for hackers. If your company is serious about protecting its sensitive information, there are a variety of enterprise-level security solutions you can utilize. You can implement multi-factor authentication that requires an SMS message to be sent to your cell phone in order to access your inbox. You can protect yourself with a spam filter, and you can activate a firewall for your business with a Unified Threat Management solution.
There are multiple security precautions you can take to keep the email accounts in your organization safe. The smartest thing you can do is educate yourself and your staff on best security practices and know what kind of scams to look out for. To learn more about how to protect your email account, give Quikteks a call at 973-882-4644.