The good news is that there are effective ways to foil enterprise Web-based email attacks. Probably the most straightforward...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
strategy is to use two-factor authentication. It is often said that there are three forms of authentication:
- Something you have (i.e. a debit card)
- Something you know (i.e. a password)
- Something you are (i.e. your fingerprint)
Password-protected Web email is an example of single-factor authentication (something you know). Since passwords are often remotely guessed or stolen, this is a fairly low-security method for restricting access.
For Web-based email, I recommend using at least two-factor authentication, such as RSA Security Inc.'s hardware SecurID token. These tokens fit in the palm of your hand, and they display a different password for every login. The password is never repeated, and the odds of guessing it at the right time are extremely small. The user generally also types in a personal PIN, combining the hardware token (something you have) with the PIN (something you know). There are also many other ways to implement two-factor authentication, such as software-based authenticators or cell phone-based systems.
You can also reduce the risk of brute-force webmail attacks by limiting login attempts (i.e. three failed logins in one minute results in a 15-minute lockout). This dramatically limits an attacker's number of guesses. Make sure you have a strong password policy so passwords are difficult to guess, and test accounts regularly. Finally, if you have a password reset system, ensure the answers to questions are not easily attainable from public records or social networking sites.
Dig Deeper on Email and Messaging Threats (spam, phishing, instant messaging)
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.