Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- by Brittany Day
Business email risk is universal - and greater than ever in our increasingly digital society. Understanding the risk you face online is the first step in reducing it. To help you evaluate your current email security solution, as well as other solutions that you may be considering, we’ve put together a email security checklist of key characteristics that buyers should look for in an email security solution for their business.
To complement this checklist, we encourage you to use our free Email Security Assessment Tool, which will provide you with further insight into the magnitude of your email risk and expert advice on how to secure your email to prevent expensive attacks and breaches in this heightened digital threat environment. If you're in the market for a business email security solution, the tool can also be used to help evaluate the products you are looking into.
The Modern Threat Landscape
The threats that users and organizations face online daily have been magnified as a result of remote workers’ increased reliance on email for business communications, widespread migration to vulnerable cloud platforms like Office 365, G suite and Google Workspace and the persistent fear and uncertainty surrounding this pandemic. Cyberattacks - 90% of which begin with a phishing email - are a serious threat to all businesses’ users, data and reputation and often result in significant, costly downtime or worse - permanent closure. Sixty percent of SMBs that get hit with ransomware are forced out of business within six months of experiencing the attack. Organizations can no longer get away with a subpar email security strategy, as modern cyber threats like spear phishing and fileless malware are highly targeted, sophisticated and evasive. Safeguarding email against today’s advanced attacks requires an adaptive, multi-layered email defense strategy, fully-managed around-the-clock by a team of experts.
Here's what you should prioritize in a business email security solution whether you are looking for G suite email secuity checklist or Office 365.
Business Email Security Checklist
1. Multi-Layered Supplementary Defenses
Effective modern security is all about defense in depth. With the level of sophistication and evasiveness displayed in today’s attacks, no single security feature or “layer” of defense alone provides sufficient protection. This is especially true in the realm of email security. Built-in security defenses provided in Office 365 and Google Workspace are ineffective in combating advanced attacks like spear phishing and zero-day exploits, as these defenses are static and single-layered. Moreover, attackers are now engineering their malicious campaigns to bypass these simplistic filters. Due to the architectural uniformity of cloud platforms, malicious actors are able to open any account and test their methods until they are able to bypass default security features.
Safeguarding the cloud mailbox against modern attacks requires critical supplementary defenses designed to fill the gaps in default protection. An effective supplementary solution must be proactive, leveraging multi-layered detection engines informed by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Machine Learning (ML) to detect and block threats before they reach the network.
2. Sender Fraud Protection with Advanced Email Authentication Protocols
Properly implemented email authentication protocols - namely, SPF, DMARC and DKIM - are an essential component of an effective email security solution. These protocols verify sender identity, confirm the legitimacy of messages and set up key standards and barriers for email communications, preventing sender fraud and spoofing - techniques used in the majority of modern cyberattacks.
Learn how SPF, DMARC and DKIM secure email against sender fraud in this blog post.
3. Malicious URL Protection
Phishing is the predominant modern cyber threat businesses face. Although attackers are increasingly employing stealthy fileless tactics in their deceptive scams, the majority of phishing attacks still leverage malicious URLS. Thus, malicious URL protection is a critical aspect of securing business email against phishing and other dangerous, persistent threats.
Learn about malicious URL protection and why you need it to secure your email in this blog post.
4. Adaptive Real-Time Protection Supported by a Global Input Program
In the context of this modern threat landscape, securing business email requires intuitive defenses capable of rapidly adapting to the ever-evolving threats that challenge them with automatically-adjusting detection algorithms that anticipate and block attacks in real-time.
To fortify email against attacks and prevent breaches, organizations should implement an advanced auto-learn security system that scrutinizes millions of attributes of each email that passes through it, quickly utilizing resources of systems around the world to identify and block threats. Preferable, this system would be engineered using the innovative open-source development model. In this collaborative model, emails gathered from millions of systems from around the world are used to identify patterns and perform large-scale tests on filters. Results of these tests are then distributed back to the community and incorporated into open-source email security systems, equipping them with highly effective zero-day and phishing detection capabilities.
5. Managed Services & Expert, Accessible Support
Managed services is a key characteristic of effective email protection that is too often overlooked. The ongoing expert system monitoring, maintenance and support that these services provide simplifies administration, improves security and reduces costs for businesses, delivering a rapid return on investment (ROI). In this model, the email security provider you select partners with your company in securing its users, critical data and reputation by becoming a permanent extension of your IT team, and acting as the front line of defense against cyber thieves. The team of security experts overseeing your systems around-the-clock considers the individual risks your business face and works with your company to develop a strategy specific to your needs. This often involves identifying the individuals within your organization who are most likely to be targeted in an attack, and closely monitoring them to watch for targeted threats. It should be noted that not all managed services providers live up to these ideals - making it imperative that you select a reputable, trustworthy provider.
When choosing an email security provider, companies should also prioritize expert, accessible customer support. This level of support - which is unfortunately pretty rare in the technology industry - offers invaluable convenience and peace-of-mind, knowing that answers and assistance are a simple phone call away.
Ensure below checklist for securing G suite & Office 365 emails at the minimum:
|1||Enable Sender Fraud Protection (SPF)|
|2||Enable DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)|
|3||Enable Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC)|
|4||Set up a email spam filter|
|5||Enable mail relay parameters|
|6||Create a throttling policy for all users of Microsoft Exchange|
|7||Disable local email domain|
|8||Set attachment restrictions|
|9||Ensure log visiblity and history|
|10||Consider email encryption|
|11||Turn on DNSSEC to prevent any DNS attack vectors|
|12||Educate your employees|
|13||Regularly test configurations|
|14||Backup your data|
Does your business’s current email security strategy lack any of these key elements? If so, you are at heightened risk of suffering a cyberattack or a breach.Next Steps
Get further insight into the magnitude of your business’s email risk, advice on how you can reduce it and insight into how solutions you are considering measure up using our free Email Security Test tool.
- Thinking Strategically about Email Security in 2021 and Beyond
- There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- Behind the Shield: EnGarde Cloud Email Security Explained
- Open Source: A Powerful, Yet Underutilized Weapon against Phishing & Zero-Day Attacks
- Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- Buyer's Guide to Office 365 & Workspace Email Security
- EnGarde Cloud Email Security: The Logical Solution to Cyber Risk in Office 365
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Top Email Security Risks in 2021 - How To Set Your Business Up for Safety & Success
- Ransomware By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- SMB Ransomware Warnings & How To Prevent an Attack
- Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs
- Top Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online in a Work-from-Home World
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Why Ransomware is a Threat to Business
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: A Passionate Engineer Brings the Power of Open Source to Business Email Security
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How to maintain security when employees work remotely: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright - Beware of These Sneaky Seasonal Phishing Scams
- Migrating Business Email: The Hidden Complexities You Need To Know
- How Do SPF, DMARC & DKIM Secure Email Against Sender Fraud?
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Complete Guide on Email Security & Threats Faced by Organizations
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Are Zero-Day Attacks & How Can I Prevent Them?
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail