Aspire Email Deliverability, Security & Compliance (EDSC) Platform

Your email is a key business communication tool.
Make sure it stays that way.

Are you in-control of your online reputation?

Is your brand name safe from online attack?

Are your email systems protected against illegal online activity?

If you don't have a definite 'yes' to these questions, keep reading our comprehensive guide on email deliverability, security, and compliance.

In 2024, it's more important than ever to protect your company from cyber security threats.

Make sure your business is protected.

Book a Demo with Mark
(friendly tour, not a sales pitch)

"Have been a customer of Aspire for a number of years now. Despite continually being approached by competitors for my business, I have always been 100% happy to remain. Would happily recommend."

Nick Thompson

"Mark and the team have been servicing our company since 2021 and have been a great partner for our IT support & maintenance. There are always prompt with responding to queries via email and are a fantastic support via telephone. I would highly recommend their services!"

Sean Ryan

"Aspire IT have been a great help for my business. From start up they have sorted out all my email accounts and if I have any problems they always act swiftly to overcome them."

Chris McMahon

 

How exposed is your business? And what can you do to protect yourself? Find out here:

 

Why are emails and domains a target for scammers?

Email was invented in 1971 and by 1997 had grown to 10 million users. It is set to top 4.48 billion users worldwide in 2024.

Its origins are from a time where people trusted messages from each other. The fundamental operation of email protocols have not changed in over 50 years.

Email has become ubiquitous worldwide and is still the primary communication platform for business users.

However, email has had to evolve to meet the demands of users and the scale of cyber threat pressure. This evolution has come in the form of security, protection and compliance.

Email has now become a 'zero-trust' system.

 ~~~ 

In 2024, reputation is key.

Has your email been setup to gain trust with the people you send to?

And, has your email system been managed to prevent bad actors compromising your systems, stealing your data and damaging your reputation?

 

The cyber threat pressure in connection with email, is huge.

Here are a few statistics, which highlight the problem:

Are you in-control of your online reputation?

Email scammers can abuse your company's email and domain reputation in several ways, often leading to significant negative impacts. Here are some of the key methods they use:

Email Spoofing

Scammers can spoof your company's email address, making it appear as if emails they send are coming from your legitimate company domain. This can be done by manipulating the "From" field in an email header. Recipients, believing the email is from a trusted source, may be more likely to open it and engage with its content.

Phishing Attacks

By using your reputable company's domain or a lookalike domain, scammers can send phishing emails to trick recipients into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information. These emails can look incredibly authentic, mimicking the format, style, and language of legitimate company communications.

And with the rise of A.I., phishing emails are appearing increasingly authentic-looking.

Malware Distribution

Emails sent from what appears to be your trusted domain can also be used to distribute malware. Users might be less cautious about downloading attachments or clicking links if they believe the email is from a reputable source.

Damage to Email Deliverability / Blacklisting

If your company's domain is associated with spam or malicious activities (even if it's actually the work of scammers), email servers around the world might start blocking or filtering emails from your domain. This can severely impact your legitimate company's ability to communicate with your customers and partners.

Loss of Trust and Reputation Damage

When customers receive spam or malicious emails from what they think is your legitimate company domain, it can erode trust in your company. This reputational damage can be long-lasting and challenging to repair.

Financial Losses

In some cases, email scams can directly lead to financial losses, either through fraud (such as CEO fraud where someone impersonates an executive to authorise fraudulent transactions) or through the costs associated with mitigating and recovering from an attack.

You may not be aware that any of these activities are happening.

Cyber criminals are very good at covering their tracks. Once inside your system they may wait for weeks or months, gathering intelligence about your company, network, and stakeholders before making their attack.

You need to be vigilant and proactive in protecting your email and domain reputation. This can include implementing email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, regularly monitoring for unauthorised use of your domain, educating employees about the risks, and having strong security measures in place.

How exposed is your business? And what can you do to protect yourself? Find out here:

Book a Demo with Mark
(friendly tour, not a sales pitch)

 

Brand names

Is your brand name safe from attack?

Scammers can abuse your company's brand, trademarks, and intellectual property through online impersonation in several ways, often with significant negative impacts on your company's reputation, customer trust, and financial health.

Here are some of the methods used:

Fake Websites

Scammers can create websites that closely mimic legitimate company websites. These sites often use a domain name very similar to the real one and copy the design, branding, and layout of the official site. They can be used to collect sensitive information from users, sell counterfeit products, or distribute malware. As the cost of acquiring domain names and setting up websites these days, is minimal, criminals have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Social Media Impersonation

Scammers may create fake social media profiles using your company's brand name and logo. These profiles can be used to interact with customers, often promising fake promotions or phishing for personal information. This can damage your company's reputation and erode customer trust.

Counterfeit Products

Scammers can exploit your company's brand by producing counterfeit goods and selling them under the guise of your brand. These products are often of inferior quality and can damage the reputation of the actual brand when consumers associate these substandard products with it.

Email and Communication Fraud

Similar to email spoofing, scammers can impersonate a company's official communication channels in emails, messaging apps, or even through fraudulent customer service portals. They can send fake promotions, phishing emails, or conduct fraudulent activities in your company's name.

Ad Fraud

Scammers can create fake advertisements that use your company's branding and trademarks. These ads might lead to scam websites or other malicious sites, misleading customers and potentially damaging your brand's reputation.

Search Engine Manipulation

By using SEO tactics, scammers can attempt to rank their fraudulent websites or content higher than the legitimate company's resources. This can divert traffic away from the genuine site, leading to lost sales and confusion among customers.

Misuse of Intellectual Property

Beyond trademarks, scammers may misuse other forms of your company's intellectual property. Such as patented technology, designs, or unique business methods to create illegitimate products or services.

Legal and Financial Consequences

Dealing with online impersonation can lead to significant legal and financial costs for your company. This includes the costs associated with tracking and taking down fraudulent operations, legal actions, and efforts to mitigate damage to the brand.

Loss of Customer Confidence

Perhaps one of the most damaging effects is the loss of customer confidence and trust in your brand. Once customers feel they cannot distinguish between what's real and what's fake, they may hesitate to interact with your brand, affecting sales and loyalty.

Cyber criminals' method's get more and more sophisticated every day, and with the rise in AI there is a whole new raft of attacks happening daily. It pays to stay informed of your online reputation and keep your business at the forefront of cyber protection.

Illegal activity online

Are your email systems involved in illegal online activity?

Compromised email systems can be a significant vulnerability and can be exploited for various illegal activities. Here's a breakdown of how these systems can be abused:

Phishing and Spear Phishing Attacks

Once an email system is compromised, attackers can use it to send phishing emails to the contact list of the compromised account. These emails, appearing to come from a trusted source, can be more effective in deceiving recipients. Spear phishing, a more targeted form of phishing, involves sending crafted messages to specific individuals, often using personal information to make the attack more convincing.

Spreading Malware

Compromised email accounts can be used to distribute malware. This could be in the form of attachments or links within the emails. Since the emails come from a trusted source, recipients are more likely to open them, leading to further spread of the malware.

Would you want to be responsible for your system to infect a customer or partners network due to your poor cyber security practices?

Identity Theft and Fraud

Attackers can use a compromised email account to gather personal, financial, or business information. This information can be used for identity theft, financial fraud, or even to gain access to other systems (like banking or corporate networks).

Email Interception and Eavesdropping

Once in control of an email account, attackers can intercept incoming and outgoing emails. This allows them to gather sensitive information, manipulate communication, or even intercept verification emails from other platforms to gain access to those services.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) and CEO Fraud

In these sophisticated scams, attackers use compromised email accounts of executives or high-level employees to request fraudulent wire transfers or sensitive data from other employees. These scams can result in significant financial losses.

Ransomware Attacks

Some attackers use compromised email systems to launch ransomware attacks, encrypting important data and demanding payment for its release.

Using the Account for Spam Campaigns

A compromised email account can be used to send out large volumes of spam emails. This can damage the reputation of the email domain and might lead to it being blacklisted by email providers.

Creating Backdoors in the System

Attackers might use the compromised email account to create hidden backdoors into the network, allowing for persistent access even after the original breach is discovered and closed.

Social Engineering

By having access to email communications, attackers can gather enough information to perform social engineering attacks, manipulating people into divulging confidential information or performing actions that compromise security.

It can be very difficult to detect whether your systems are being used for illegal activities. Hackers can be very good at covering their tracks. If you have any concerns that this may be occuring, or you would like reassurance that you're protected, reach out to us for advice.

 

You may not be aware that any of these activities are happening.

How exposed is your business? And what can you do to protect yourself? Find out here:

The Fight Against Email Cyber Crime: The 2024 Changes to Email Deliverability Standards

In 2024, Google, Yahoo and Apple have implemented new requirements for email senders, initially targeting bulk email communication. These changes are designed to enhance email security and deliverability, ensuring emails are delivered more effectively and protect users from unwanted content like spam and phishing attacks. Other providers are also updating their systems and it will eventually become a requirement for all email senders.

Key elements of these new standards include:

Authentication with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

Watch our short video which explains the process:

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are crucial for establishing your sending legitimacy and protecting against email spoofing.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) validates emails sent from authorised domains.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) adds a digital signature to each email, ensuring its authenticity.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) uses SPF and DKIM to provide a comprehensive email authentication strategy.

Lower Spam Complaint Rate Threshold

Senders need to maintain a spam complaint rate below 0.1% and avoid exceeding 0.3%. This change aims to reduce the volume of unwanted emails reaching users. To achieve this, senders should refine their targeting strategies, personalise content, and continuously monitor feedback.

Enhanced DNS Protocols and Email Security Compliance

This includes complying with RFC 5322 standards, configuring PTR records properly, and using TLS connections for email transmission.

One-Click Unsubscribe Option

This requirement is especially aimed at bulk senders, mandating a one-click unsubscribe link in the header of the email and a clearly visible unsubscribe link in the message body. This empowers recipients to easily opt out of receiving emails, which in turn helps reduce spam complaints.

These updates underscore the importance of responsible email practices among senders and aim to improve the overall email experience for users. For bulk email senders, adapting to these new rules is crucial for maintaining email deliverability and reputation.

Not only will your outgoing email be affected, but by failing to implementing these standards you will be a more of a target of increasingly sophisticated incoming email threats.

 

Our Approach to Email Cyber Threat Prevention and Growing Your Business by Embracing the New Standards

Aspire IT Services can advise you on improving your email standards and protecting your business. Our approach also reduces your costs and helps your sales grow.

For starters, incorporating SPF, DKIM & DMARC into email systems offers several significant benefits, primarily enhancing email security and improving email deliverability.

Secondly, you're choosing a provider that gives you:

  • advice on how to enhance deliverability of your email messages
  • effective marketing and outgoing messages, which build customer trust
  • protection against malware and spam ever reaching you.

What else is required to be a secure and highly performing business?

We advise that it's also crucial to have the following:

  • robust cyber insurance cover
  • IT Security policies and procedures
  • disaster recovery plans
  • effective employee training
  • regular online reputation monitoring
  • checks for breaches on the dark web
  • monitoring of your brands and intellectual property
  • safeguarding employee activities
  • and more.

All of which we can put in place for your business.

This is a multi-faceted and multi-layered approach, which is crucial for the success and safety of modern businesses.

By implementing robust protection, standards adherence and improved deliverability you will be protected, and get a jumpstart on your competition who are lagging behind.

Done yourself, these activities can be very technical and time consuming. Plus it's easy to miss something if you don't know where to look.

Remember, it only takes one email to get through, to give access to a hacker!

At Aspire we have the knowledge and depth to offer all of the above services and much more!

Need-to-know information:

2.39 million

Estimated cases of cyber crimes that affected UK businesses over the past 12 months (2022-23).+

£4.56 million

The average cost of a data breach within the UK (2022-23). Up 8.1% on the previous year.+

ZERO

Nobody can impersonate you by email after implementation of Aspire EDSC.

100%

Global and company-wide compliance from one platform.

Start Today:

Get full protection against all these significant online threats.

And grow your business, with complete compliance to all new standards - now and into the future.

By implementing our zero-downtime and zero-learning-curve Aspire Email Deliverability, Security and Compliance (EDSC) platform, starting at just £45/month.

To get started, access your free demo to see how exposed your business is, and what you can do to protect yourself:

Sources:

* https://www.people.ai/blog/new-gmail-anti-spam-rules-go-into-effect-february-2024-is-your-gtm-team-ready#:~:text=A%20whopping%20162%20billion%20emails,go%20into%20effect%20in%202024.

** https://www.stationx.net/phishing-statistics/#:~:text=An%20estimated%203.4%20billion%20emails,of%20all%20email%20traffic%20globally.

*** https://www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach

**** https://www2.deloitte.com/my/en/pages/risk/articles/91-percent-of-all-cyber-attacks-begin-with-a-phishing-email-to-an-unexpected-victim.html

***** https://www.knowbe4.com/press/knowbe4-finds-96-percent-of-organizations-say-email-phishing-scams-pose-biggest-security-risk

+ https://www.dbxuk.com/statistics/data-breach-statistics-2023#:~:text=It%20was%20estimated%20that%20approximately,of%20%C2%A34.56%20million%20%E2%82%83