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When you’re getting back to business, you can usually count on one thing: sorting through your email inbox to figure out what’s important, what’s spam, and what can wait until later. While catching up, you should also be on the lookout for potential scams and security threats.

Think about it. How many attachments and links do you click on during your workday? If at first glance it looked like the email came from a trusted source, would you hesitate to download an attachment?

Adding sandboxing to your cybersecurity solution can you help deter potentially harmful emails. While it’s no substitute for safe cybersecurity practices, sandboxing can help weed out a significant percentage of unsafe emails.

What is Sandboxing?

Shovels and castle-shaped buckets aside, sandboxing is a process in which an application scans incoming emails for potential threats before they reach your inbox. The sandboxing application uses cutting-edge technologies, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, signature matching, behavioral analysis, and static code analysis to identify threats hidden within attached files and links.

When the scanning application identifies a potential threat, it diverts the email to a sandbox environment. Think of the sandbox as a virtual copy to your computer or device, except it’s in a safe, secure, and isolated area. Within the sandbox, the software application can open and investigate attachments and links to see what would happen to your actual computer without any detrimental consequences.

If the system notices any suspicious activity in the sandbox, it detonates the email before it reaches your inbox. This process prevents your computer, network, and devices from falling victim to an attack. If the application doesn’t find anything suspicious from executing attachments and links in the sandbox, it allows the email to proceed to your inbox.

Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat

Sandboxing is an extremely effective cybersecurity tool that will help keep your business safe. Advanced sandboxing technologies do an exceptional job at scanning for threats. However, by executing well-designed zero-day threats, there’s a chance clever hackers can sift their way through the sandbox and into your inbox.

What are zero-day threats?

Zero-day cyberattacks occur when hackers discover security vulnerabilities in software before software engineer can develop and deploy a solution. Between when the hacker discovers the vulnerability and when the software manufacturer develops a security patch, the hacker tries to install malware through the security vulnerability. To install this malware, the hackers need to infiltrate your system and install it themselves or convince you to install it through a well-disguised link or email attachment. Zero-day cyberattacks can spread rapidly before software companies make a public warning announcement.

Understanding zero-day threat targets

In 2017, hackers executed a multimillion-dollar cyberattack on Equifax through a zero-day exploit. By identifying a vulnerability within the company’s website software, hackers accessed and stole sensitive customer information, including names, birthdates, addresses, and credit card numbers.

You may think your company is too small to be targeted by a cyberattack. Think again—data is one of the most valuable and accessible digital resources. Cyberattacks don’t discriminate based on size, revenue, or industry.

While your business might not be a direct target, the software you use could be. According to a widely cited report published by Zero Day Initiative, 135 vulnerabilities were discovered in Adobe products during the first 11 months of 2016 and 76 vulnerabilities were discovered in Microsoft products. While your business may not be a direct target, it could be targeted indirectly through employed software or a third-party vendor with security vulnerabilities. For example, the company providing your HVAC services could be attacked. Hackers impersonate the HVAC company and send a zero-day export through an email that looks like an invoice .pdf attachment. You download the fake invoice, which is actually malware, and you’re infected. Cyberattacks can happen swiftly, right under your nose.

How Can I Keep My Business Safe?

With a well-informed cybersecurity strategy, you can prevent hackers from infecting your business. Unfortunately, there’s no 100% guaranteed all-in-one cybersecurity solution. Your best way to stay protected is by building a multi-layered cybersecurity solution, which includes sandboxing as well as:

  • Firewalls. Prevent incoming security threats with automatic remediation, anti-virus, intrusion prevention, content filtering, and advanced threat detection.
  • Endpoint Protection. Protect workstations and servers with anti-virus solutions, drive encryption, and device management.
  • Email Security. Automatically scan email for spam, unlawful interception, phishing, malicious attachments. Encrypt outbound emails containing sensitive data.
  • User Education. Teach users about safe IT practices, such as internet, email, and peripheral device usage; password management; and data control.
  • Image and File Backup. Ensure your company’s data is protected by employing a secure monitored backup solution with on-premise and off-site recovery solution strategies.

We Keep Your Business Safe.

High Touch specializes in engineering custom, multilayered cybersecurity solutions to help keep businesses safe.

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