Email threats such as ransomware are becoming increasingly prevalent, costly, and damaging for businesses. Many organizations, especially SMBs that often experience a shortage of cybersecurity resources and expertise and lack a full-time IT department, cannot afford to mount an in-house team capable of defending against the modern cybersecurity risks they face. This lack of adequate management leaves them vulnerable to damaging, costly attacks that frequently result in data theft, financial loss, lasting reputational harm, significant downtime, or worse - permanent business closure. This is why Osterman Research reports that half of organizations have turned to managed security services, while another 20% say they hope to in the future. 

 

As demand grows for fully-managed email security services that combine automated monitoring and managing of threats with artificial intelligence (AI) and expert analysis, in-house security teams are presented with the challenge of finding the right fit. This article will examine how the increase in ransomware and other sophisticated email attacks is driving the demand for managed email security services, explore why organizations are increasingly implementing fully-managed email security solutions to protect against advanced and emerging threats, and offer tips for choosing an effective fully-managed email security solution for your business.

The Modern Email Threat Landscape Presents Significant Challenges in Securing Business Email

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in heightened digital risk for businesses around the world. The new norm has become a remote or hybrid work environment, and in turn, existing threats have intensified while new threats have emerged. Widespread migration to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace as a means of fulfilling remote workers’ communication and collaboration needs has made cloud email a more popular target than ever for cybercriminals’ malicious attacks.

Threat actors are exploiting overworked IT staff, inadequately secured cloud platforms, misconfigurations as a result of rushed deployments of Microsoft 365 and Workspace, improperly secured endpoints, and poor administration to target businesses in scams intended to steal sensitive data and compromise systems.

Many attacks leverage zero-day exploits and fileless methods to evade built-in cloud email security defenses. The FBI reports that despite existing email security, 30% of phishing attempts are opened by target users. Supplementary protection is needed to protect against phishing, ransomware, and other malicious email attacks in this heightened digital threat environment, keeping businesses secure, productive and successful in 2022 and beyond

The Challenge

Many companies, especially SMBs, are dealing with the challenge of lacking the necessary security resources and expertise to defend against modern cyber threats. Small businesses in particular often operate without a full-time IT department or mail administrator. Even with the position filled, IT professionals are rarely trained security experts and tend to fall short in their knowledge of securing corporate email accounts.

Unfortunately, businesses of all sizes in every industry are at risk of major losses to cyber thieves. If an attack or breach is successful, data theft, financial loss, reputation damage, and significant downtime or worse - permanent closure - are all potential consequences. Over 40% of SMBs are targeted daily by cybercriminals, putting their clients, their reputation, as well as the business itself at risk if corporate email accounts are left vulnerable.

Investing in managed email security services that offer ongoing supplementary cloud email protection and provide a remote extension of your IT team can enhance security, optimize efficiency and provide an invaluable peace-of-mind - freeing up valuable cybersecurity resources and enabling business owners and administrators to focus on aspects of running a business besides securing email accounts.

Why Organizations Turn to Managed Email Security Services

Ransomware attacks are running rampant, and security teams already have their hands full with email fraud, compliance, and other cybersecurity-related issues. Because of this, organizations are increasingly turning to managed security solutions. Reasons for this include:

  • A complex and expanding threat surface.
  • Mounting privacy and security regulations.
  • Frustration about the frequency and success of cyberattacks.
  • A shortage of cybersecurity professionals.
  • Difficulty managing multiple security systems.
  • A high volume of alerts.
  • The inability to focus on strategic security operations.
  • The need to rapidly increase security maturity.
  • A potential reduction of costs.

Top Tips for Choosing a Fully-Managed Email Security Solution

There are a number of services and providers that businesses can choose from to implement the necessary protection. Experts encourage organizations to consider the following when making a choice:

  • Prepare ahead of the selection process, with well-defined security needs, compliance requirements, and use cases.
  • Focus on outcomes rather than technologies.
  • Understand how your team will work with a managed service provider to make the most of their deliverables.
  • Ensure integration with your current cloud and security solutions.
  • Use best practices in third-party risk management when vetting a provider and overseeing the engagement.

The Bottom Line 

Implementing a fully-managed email security solution can be a lifeline for any business facing ransomware and other modern cybersecurity threats, especially SMBs with overstretched IT and security teams. The key is knowing how to choose among an expanding market of services and providers while planning to integrate the services into your security operations.

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