Sandboxing is the use of a virtual environment for testing code and safely opening untrusted files. The sandbox is an isolated and secure environment that emulates a legitimate endpoint; however, there are no connections to the business network, the sandbox environment contains no real data, and if dangerous code is executed, no harm will be caused.

Advantages of Email Sandboxing

Sandboxing is important because of the sheer number and complexity of threats faced by businesses. Cybercriminal groups are conducting increasing numbers of attacks, new groups are constantly being formed, and their attacks are becoming much more sophisticated. The cost of these attacks and the resultant data breaches are also spiraling. According to the 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report from IBM, on average, data breaches cost $4.45 million to resolve in the United States and $10.93 million for a healthcare data breach.

Many of these threats come from email. Emails are used to send attachments containing malicious code that downloads malware that provides a cyber actor with access to the network. Links to malicious websites are also distributed via email where malware is downloaded. While businesses have a degree of protection if they have anti-virus software installed, most anti-virus solutions can only detect known malware variants – Malware that has previously been analyzed and had its signature added to the solution’s malware definition list. Antivirus solutions will not detect new malware variants nor fileless malware, which is executed in the memory with no files downloaded to the disk.

Sandboxing provides an additional layer of protection against zero-day malware and ransomware attacks and will allow malicious files to be identified, detected, and quarantined before they can do any harm, even if they have not previously been encountered. In the sandbox, malware is identified by the actions it tries to perform, not by any signature.

Disadvantages of Email Sandboxing

While there are clear benefits, there are some disadvantages of email sandboxing. Businesses may want to add email sandboxing to their cybersecurity arsenal, but email sandboxes can be complicated to set up and run, and they can require a considerable amount of resources and can be expensive to run. Another of the disadvantages of email sandboxing is analyzing file attachments takes time and messages cannot be delivered until all checks have been performed. It is therefore inevitable that there will be email delivery delays.

As with any cybersecurity solution, there is the potential for false positives. An email attachment may be determined to be malicious when it is actually harmless. In such cases, important business emails may be blocked or deleted. The last main disadvantage is malware often contains code that determines if it has landed on the targeted endpoint or if it is in a virtual environment. If the latter is detected, the malware may delete itself or not perform any of its programmed malicious actions. Considering the cost of a successful cyberattack, the advantages of email sandboxing outweigh the disadvantages, provided the right sandboxing solution is chosen.

SpamTitan Email Security with Sandboxing

SpamTitan is an award-winning email security solution from TitanHQ that provides advanced threat protection at an affordable price. The solution is easy to implement and use and protects thousands of SMBs and managed service providers (MSPs) by blocking spam, viruses, malware, ransomware, and links to malicious websites from your emails. SpamTitan’s ATP defense uses inbuilt Bayesian auto-learning and heuristics to defend against advanced threats and evolving cyberattack techniques and features an integrated email sandbox tool that is part of Bitdefender’s Global Protective Network.

SpamTitan uses advanced intelligent technologies, such as AI, to predict and prevent advanced threats and the sandbox accurately mimics a real endpoint to trick malware into determining it has reached its intended target. As with any sandbox, there are delays in delivering emails but this is kept to a minimum. SpamTitan has multiple layers of security and sophisticated sandbox technology, which means only specific and dangerous emails will be sandboxed. Even if a legitimate email lands in a sandbox, the delivery delay will be, at most, twenty minutes. While there may be false positives on occasion, no emails are deleted. They are quarantined to allow administrators to check the validity of the results.

If you want to improve security and get the advantages of email sandboxes while eliminating the disadvantages, give the TitanHQ team a call today. SpamTitan is also available on a free 14-day trial to allow you to test the product and sandbox in your own environment before making a purchase decision.

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