Man-in-the-middle attacks (Often abbreviated to MITM attacks) involve a threat operator intercepting email communication between two different parties with a variety of malicious aims in mind. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at this type of cyberattack and why using email encryption is the best way to protect against it. Read on to learn how to safeguard your company against MITM attacks with cutting-edge security technology.

Understanding MITM attacks

Threat actors employ MITM attacks with a diverse selection of intentions. However, all of these aims are harmful to the targets that they select. Malicious operators may use MITM attacks in an attempt to spy on companies, but also to steal personal or enterprise information such as financial details or private credentials used to access secure areas of a system. They can also be employed to alter email conversations.

This type of cyberattack occurs when a threat operator secretly intercepts and then relays messages between two individuals who are under the impression that they are directly communicating with each other. This type of attack is a form of eavesdropping where the threat operator intercepts the emails communications and then controls the whole conversation.

Imagine you believe you are dealing with one of your clients and include personal information on them in an email, but you are actually communicating with a hacker and disclosing private data. As a result, your company will be facing a data breach which can lead to penalties in the millions, served from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

How can email encryption safeguard firms against MITM attacks?

End-to-end email encryption is the most powerful protection that companies can implement to avoid the threat of an MITM attack. With end-to-end encryption, all email communications are encrypted on the sender’s device and remain encrypted until they are decrypted on the recipient’s device. This means that even if a hacker intercepts the email during transmission, they won’t be able to read its contents.

When deployed on business emails, encryption ensures that every email communication in a conversation can only be read by the two parties involved. This means that even if a hacker manages to intercept an email, they won’t be able to decrypt its contents without the encryption key, which is only available to the sender and recipient.

Encryption uses an algorithm to change the contents of an email into a meaningless series of characters. Only the email sender and recipient can access the data using dedicated encryption keys, so if an attacker attempts a MITM attack they will not be able to read any of the emails in the conversation chain.

Galaxkey’s encryption solution uses the onion-model, which is largely hailed in the USA as the best model, which consists of three tough layers of encryption to ensure that encrypted data truly can’t be deciphered by anyone but the intended recipients.

The reason MITM attacks are more scarce these days is directly due to firms using end-to-end encryption and preventing tampering with the security of networks. To avoid MITM attacks, companies should use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) when communicating via a public Wi-Fi hotspot and be wary of intrusive pop-ups, invalid certificates and bogus websites. However, enforcing a strict security protocol for all company communications that insist upon the use of email encryption is vital, which means that sent data will not be intercepted by anyone.

Start using email encryption today

At Galaxkey, we have created state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption for email that makes sure that communications are always protected, both at rest and during transmission. Our solution has been designed to offer paramount protection while remaining exceedingly easy to use for employees. Featuring three different layers of security, it is approved for use by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). To start using email encryption now, contact our team for a demonstration to see how much our solution can help your business.