Choosing an email security solution for your business can be a time-consuming task but it really does pay to thoroughly research products before making a decision. If your budget is limited, it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest solution. While the savings you make initially might be attractive, the solution is unlikely to have features for blocking more sophisticated email threats, which means those threats are likely to be delivered to inboxes. The cost of dealing with malware infections and data breaches is likely to far exceed the cost of a more advanced email security solution.
Choosing the most expensive solution does not necessarily give you the best protection. These solutions tend to be packed with features for large enterprises, which will be overkill for many businesses. While it is better to have features and not need them than need them and not have them, email security solutions for large enterprises can be overly complex for small- and medium-sized businesses to use. That could well mean that you fail to get the benefits and may not be as well protected as you expect.
When choosing an email security solution, small- and medium-sized businesses will be faced with a decision. Manage email filtering on-premises or use a cloud-based filtering service, where the filtering aspect is taken care of by the service provider. The latter offers several advantages.
On-Premises or Cloud-Based Email Security
Larger businesses and enterprises with in-house IT departments may opt for on-premises email security through an email security appliance or a virtual appliance installed on existing hardware, especially if the business manages its own mail server such as Microsoft Exchange. If you use a hosted email service such as Microsoft Office 365, it makes more sense to perform email filtering in the cloud. Even if you do use Microsoft Exchange, cloud-based filtering through a service provider makes a great deal of sense. Email security is not one of the core features of Microsoft Exchange and the solutions provided by cloud email security vendors work seamlessly with on-premises email.
Cloud-based email filtering also has the advantage of helping with business continuity in the event of network and mail server outages, making sure employees can continue to access their emails, even when the mail server goes down. Filtering in the cloud will also ease the burden on your IT team, as the filtering solution will be constantly updated by the service provider. You will always be running the latest version of the solution and you will never have to apply patches. There is also redundancy, queuing, and failover to ensure that even with high email volume, the service is maintained and, generally speaking, there are cost savings to be had from using cloud-based email security solutions.
When filtering takes place in the cloud, in-house IT teams still have total control over email security and can set their own rules through a web-based portal.
Advice for Choosing an Email Security Solution
There are several features you should look for when choosing an email security solution to ensure you are well protected. As mentioned, when choosing an email security solution try to avoid making a decision based on price alone. Create a shortlist of solutions based on the features provided and then factor the cost into the equation.
Multiple Layers of Protection
When it comes to security, multiple layers of protection are required and the same is true of email security solutions. Look for advanced anti-malware, anti-phishing, and anti-spoofing capabilities, with Bayesian analysis, greylisting, SURBL and URIBL filtering, and heuristic rule tests.
Advanced Anti-Phishing Capabilities
Most email security solutions will be good at blocking spam emails, but advanced anti-phishing capabilities are required to block sophisticated phishing attacks. Email security solutions can look for common signatures of phishing but look for a solution that also has AI or machine learning capabilities for detecting zero-day phishing threats.
Signature and Behavior-Based Malware Protection
Email security solutions incorporate antivirus protection which is effective at identifying known malware threats; however, new variants of malware are constantly being released and there is a delay between their release and having their signature added to AV engines. Behavior-based detection – such as sandboxing – will help to identify zero-day malware threats.
Phishing emails commonly spoof trusted contacts and well-known companies. Anti-spoofing protection is provided by Sender Policy Framework (SPF) which prevents spammers from forging the “From” fields in emails, Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) for authenticating senders, and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) for verifying the senders of email and determining what to do with unauthenticated emails.
Outbound Email Scanning
Email security is not only concerned with blocking inbound threats. Outbound scanning is also important for security. Outbound scanning allows IT teams to set data loss protection (DLP) rules to prevent email from being used to send sensitive data externally, for identifying potentially compromised mailboxes, and for stopping phishing attacks and malware distribution through the company mail server.
SpamTitan Cloud from TitanHQ
SpamTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-based email security solution that incorporates all these advanced features. SpamTitan offers enterprise-level email security at a price that is affordable for SMBs. The solution is quick and easy to implement, easy to use (even for individuals who are not IT-minded), and there is a low maintenance overhead which allows IT teams to concentrate on other important matters.
If you are currently in the process of choosing an email security solution, take advantage of the free trial of SpamTitan and see for yourself how easy the solution is to use and how effective it is at blocking phishing and malware threats.