Advanced Email Threats For Dummies, Cisco Special Edition
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Advanced email threats use a wide range of methods to attack company security, including sophisticated technology and an in-depth understanding of the weak points in the way that email recipients and senders communicate. To fight them, companies need to use tools including threat detection, threat hunting, and extended detection and response (XDR) technology.

Here are ten things you can use to protect against advanced email threats.

Use secure email threat defense

Use a comprehensive email security solution to detect quickly and respond effectively. Look for an email defense system that automatically and reliably does many of the things that you might wish users would do consistently, such as:
  • Assess the sender’s reputation
  • Asses the reputation of the email’s source URL
  • Scan content for concerning words and phrases
  • Scan file attachments and analyze their reputation and content
  • Spot and block spam

Optimize your defenses against major email threats

You can scan the horizon for current threats and note what threats are being blocked — or causing breaches — at your organization. You can then respond by working with your vendor; working with your email provider; training your security personnel and end users; educating upper management; and many more steps.

Use AI to understand and categorize threats

You can use AI to identify patterns that serve as indicators of an attack. These patterns are often so subtle that attackers aren’t aware of the breadcrumbs they’re leaving as they put together attempts at exploits. AI can spot these patterns before the bad actors do.

Use threat data to inform and expedite your response

Before a threat arrives, you can know:
  • What the recent patterns of threats look like
  • The signatures left by different kinds of threats
  • What attacks are leading to successful breaches
  • The best response to each different kind of breach
By using threat data, you help yourself at every step of the “funnel” of security breaches: reducing the number of attacks that reach user inboxes, reducing the impact when a malicious email is opened or a toxic file attachment is downloaded, and responding quickly and effectively to the remaining breaches that do occur.

Act quickly to ensure maximum protection against threats

By acting automatically against many threats, and by providing alerts and information about the threats that do appear, the best email security solutions give you a precious gift in responding to any remaining breaches: time.

With a solution in place, your best people are empowered to respond quickly and effectively to the breaches that do occur, while directing their focus to strategic efforts such as studying the breach, understanding how it occurred, and taking the steps needed to prevent a recurrence.

Unify visibility across control points

Look for a security provider that helps you unify visibility across multiple control points so you can, for instance, tie the damage that’s occurring from a successful breach to the original gaps in your defenses that allowed it to occur. You can then “mind the gap” and prevent the problem from recurring in the future.

Embrace automated tools to maximize resources

Automated tools save your people’s time and focus for the largest potential threats. These tools also allow your team to find a solution and then “set it and forget it,” using the automated tools to prevent the same problem from happening again.

Detect sooner, respond faster

You can’t solve a problem you don’t know you have — and most cybersecurity breaches get worse the longer it takes you to respond. Effective security solutions buy you time, removing some threats and giving you early notice of others.

Getting started

Visit and download your free copy of Advanced Email Threats For Dummies to learn more about advanced email threats.

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