Can Your Email Be Hacked?

Cyber Security

Email is a basic tool in the business world, and where serious exchanges between companies and clients occur. For entrepreneurs and businesses with high-value clients, email communication makes it easy for them to exchange sensitive information. However, cybercriminals are outsmarting email security protocols and breaching business email accounts.  

According to a report by AAG-IT, nearly 1 billion emails were exposed in a single year, affecting 1 in 5 internet users. Once cybercriminals gain access to your email, they can steal important data, identity, and funds. In this article, we’ll discuss how business emails can be hacked and how businesses can avoid this security issue. 


Ways Your Email Can Be Compromised 

Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to gain access to business’ emails and their sensitive information. Every business should be aware of the tactics criminals are utilizing to better prepare their cybersecurity and employees of the potential threats. Here are a few tactics Usherwood frequently sees cybercriminals performing to try to gain access to emails: 


Social Engineering 

Hackers use social engineering tactics to trick individuals into revealing passwords or information that grants access to an email account. Social engineering attackers exploit personal information and psychological manipulation to gain trust and access to a user's email account. To avoid this threat, businesses need to educate their employees to avoid revealing sensitive information to unauthorized personnel. 



One of the most common ways cybercriminals hack business emails is through phishing. They send emails posing as executives, clients, or other people who belong to the organization, containing links or attachments with malware. The recipient clicks on the malicious link that the hacker embedded in the mail, and from then on, their email account gets hacked. Businesses can use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to prevent these phishing attacks. MFA sends authentication codes to a user's phone that they need to verify to gain access to their email. For more information on phishing and MFAs, check out our “Did You Know Phishing Simulations Help Prevent Cyber-Threats?” and “MFA Scams are on the Rise as Cyber Threats” articles. 


Weak Passwords 

Hackers use automated tools to generate passwords based on patterns and common phrases. With these tools, they effectively gain access to email accounts with poor passwords. Businesses need to encourage their employees to use more complex passwords. That involves combining numbers, characters, and symbols for better cybersecurity. For advice on how to create strong passwords for your business accounts, take a look at our “Your passwords are sometimes the only protection of your privacy against a malicious hacker” article. 


Fake Wireless Networks 

Hackers use fake wireless networks to intercept sensitive information and steal credentials. They create true-looking wireless access points that entice unsuspecting employees to connect to them. Businesses need to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that can be incorporated into the email client. VPNs encrypt all data that is being sent over the network, hence creating a secure connection channel for the user. 



Hackers can impersonate employees and executives of a company to gain restricted access to email accounts. They can send emails using the official email address of a company to request passwords or other information. To avert impersonation, businesses need to use email security systems that automatically flag suspicious emails using domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance (DMARC) technology. 


Protect Your Information 

Hackers are always looking for new ways to breach business email accounts. By following our tips, businesses and individuals can reduce the risks of their email accounts getting hacked. It's critical that businesses regularly update their email security protocols and educate their employees to avoid falling victim to hacking. By doing so, companies can maintain business continuity, safeguard sensitive data, and preserve their reputation. 

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About Darrian Breedlove, Content Writer

Darrian Breedlove is Usherwood's Content Writer. She manages Usherwood's message by integrating educational content into our company culture.