What Is Cloud Email Security & How Does It Benefit Businesses?
- by Brittany Day
Imagine a user is trying to communicate with their coworker or even boss using their cloud-based email. Everything was going well until they realized the person they were emailing wasn’t who they said they were. These attacks and others happen to 1 in 2 American Internet users.
Modern cyberattacks are a severe threat to organizations and individual users alike, and fifty-six percent of Americans don’t know how to prevent data breach. With over 90% of cyberattacks beginning with phishing emails, cloud email security is needed now more than ever to protect users and critical business assets. To help you secure your business against damaging security breaches, we will explain and answer common questions about cloud email security and how it benefits businesses.
What Is Cloud Email Security & How Does It Work?
Cloud email security uses cloud-based services to secure and protect email communications from unauthorized access, loss, or compromise. Cloud email security uses techniques like content filtering, encryption, and spam protection to prevent email-based threats like phishing and ransomware. This type of security defends against advanced threats such as targeted spear phishing, ransomware, and even emerging zero-day attacks. These systems are used to protect and secure your email system by controlling and strengthening the system to detect and stop malicious and fraudulent mail.
What Are Some Common Features of Cloud Email Security Solutions?
There are standard features of cloud email security that help protect your inbox against malicious mail. Common features include spam filtering, email encryption, content filtering, and antivirus protection.
Spam filtering is used to prevent unwanted messages from entering the inbox. Spam filters sort legitimate emails from fake ones. They identify emails that attackers use to send unwanted or dangerous content. Spam filters use specific methods to determine if emails are safe or malicious, and if the filter detects the email as suspicious, it flags it as spam.
Encryption shields information from unauthorized users and makes it unavailable for them to access. It encrypts the details in the message so unintended parties can't access the data within the email. When the message travels from one user to the next, attackers can't decrypt the message and gain access to the information within it.
Content filtering uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to filter software that scans images, text, video, and other media sources to see if it contains harmful content. If it does, it will promptly block access to that material. This prevents access to certain content that could put users and organizations at risk.
Antivirus software protects your device and accounts from viruses that can destroy data. Viruses can also slow down or even crash your device, allowing spammers to send emails through your account. Cloud-based antivirus works from a user's computer to the cloud to protect against harmful viruses.
Sender Fraud, Spoofing & Impersonation Protection
Protecting against sender fraud, impersonation and spoofing attacks requires verifying that an email actually comes from who it says it is from. The SPF, DKIM, and DMARC email authentication protocols provide exactly this type of verification. In order to provide reliable protection, these protocols should be properly implemented by a trusted email security provider as party of a defense-in-depth cloud email security solution.
Malicious URL Protection
The majority of phishing emails leverage malicious links to trick users into disclosing sensitive credentials or installing harmful malware. Fortifying business email against phishing and other attacks that rely on malicious links requires dynamic URL protection to identify and block emails containing malicious URLs before they reach the inbox, safeguarding against attacks resulting from human error.
What Are Some Key Benefits of Cloud Email Security?
There are many benefits of investing in cloud email security. Some benefits of cloud email security include improved threat detection and prevention, increased email availability, and simplified email management.
Improved Threat Detection & Prevention
Improved threat detection helps enhance security and protects organizations against email threats. Advanced threat detection allows organizations to identify potential threats at an early stage. This detection helps prevent phishing emails, malware, ransomware, and other malicious content from reaching the inbox.
Increased Email Availability
Increased email availability helps maintain communication, business operations, and overall productivity for an organization. Increased availability means that employees can access their emails during unexpected events, and helps enable business continuity.
Simplified Email Management
Simplified email management refers to the ease of handling and maintaining email security measures. This helps enable consistent policy enforcement that allows organizations to enforce consistent security measures for all users and devices. Along with policy enforcement, centralized configuration helps simplify user experience, and administrators can control email security settings from a single location.
How Does Cloud Email Security Protect Against Phishing & Ransomware Attacks?
Cloud email security solutions use sophisticated algorithms to detect and block phishing emails before they reach users' inboxes. These solutions also protect against ransomware attacks by blocking emails that contain malicious attachments or links that could lead to the installation of ransomware. As previously mentioned, there are different ways to protect cloud email, including spam detection, email encryption, anti-malware, and content filtering. Combining these security measures in a defense-in-depth approach helps amplify security for cloud-based email.
How Can Businesses Implement Cloud Email Security & How Much Do Cloud Email Security Solutions Cost?
Businesses can implement cloud email security by subscribing to a cloud-based email security service or deploying a dedicated email security appliance within their IT infrastructure. The cost of cloud email security solutions depends on the size of the business, the level of protection required, and the specific features of the solution. Implementing security includes a few steps, depending on your organization's needs. Some steps that need to be taken are evaluating security needs, choosing a cloud email security provider, technical installation, and user training. As for costs, it depends on the provider, number of users, type of protection required, or if the provider offers a subscription plan.
How Can Businesses Measure the Effectiveness of Cloud Email Security?
Businesses can measure the effectiveness of cloud email security by monitoring the number of detected threats, analyzing the type of threats detected, and assessing the impact of successful attack. Measuring the effectiveness of protection must take into account if attackers are successful when attempting to contact and gain information from your company. There are also types of metrics that businesses can use to have an idea of the effectiveness of their security defenses. These metrics include:
- Phishing / Spam Detection & Malware / Ransomware Rate: It’s helpful to monitor the percentage of phishing emails / spam messages and emails that contain malware / ransomware that are blocked. The higher the detection rate, the better protection against unsolicited or dangerous emails.
- False Positive Rates: Monitor the number of legitimate emails that are falsely identified as spam. A lower false positive rate is the goal, due to minimizing the risks of blocking real business communications.
- Incident Response and Resolution Time: Incident response time is a great tool to use and see if the effectiveness of your security is working. These work in real time so you can see the incidents and how the security works and keeps your inbox safe.
- Compliance and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Metrics: If your security includes Data Loss Prevention (DLP), this helps monitor and measure data protection policies to ensure your sensitive information is correctly protected.
- Incident & Threat Analytics: Analytics can give you the exact numbers and reports on how your cloud email security solution is working. These insights track email traffic, threat trends, and potential areas of vulnerability.
What Are Some Best Practices for Cloud Email Security?
Best practices for cloud email security include educating employees about email security risks, enforcing strong password policies, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regularly testing and updating security measures.
Strengthen Your Email Security Strategy with Additional Layers of Protection
Many businesses continue to make the critical mistake of relying on endpoint security alone to safeguard against attacks and breaches. Endpoint security is a solid start, but alone is ineffective in combating sophisticated and evolving threats without additional layers of advanced protection technologies accompanied by expert, ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support. This protection must be able to anticipate and learn from emerging attacks and offer the real-time cybersecurity business insights that are necessary to improve cybersecurity business decision-making and security policy enforcement.
Protect Against Spoofing, Impersonation & Fraud with Email Authentication
Sender authentication helps combat phishing attacks and protects against other threats like email spoofing and business email compromise (BEC) by providing a way to verify that an email indeed comes from who it claims to be from. This is possible with the help of the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC email authentication protocols, which should be properly implemented by a trusted email security provider.
Invest in Fully-Managed vCISO Email Security Services
In order to fortify business email against today’s most targeted and sophisticated threats, it is essential that organizations have a fully-managed vCISO email security solution in place, designed to protect against the specific threats each individual business faces, extend IT resources, optimize efficiency, and provide invaluable peace of mind.
Educate Employees About Email Security Risks
User education is the first step in protecting against email security risks. Learning about the gaps and risks within cloud-based email software helps you and your organization determine the best practices to fight against them. Educating your employees about different types of cyberattacks helps limit their risk of falling for a scam.
Enforce Strong Password Policies
Passwords are the bridge between protection and downfall. If your password isn't strong enough, attackers could easily guess what it is and access your information within that account. If you use the same password for multiple accounts, attackers could gain access to numerous accounts. To ensure this doesn't happen, use passwords that contain randomized letters, numbers, and special characters.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
If multi-factor authentication (MFA) is enabled on your account, attackers don't have the required credentials to access your account. When enabled, you'll need another device to authenticate that the account you're trying to sign in to belongs to you. This helps fight off attackers if they're trying to access your account. If they don't have one (or more) of your devices, they won't be able to log in to your account - even if they have the correct login credentials.
Regularly Test & Update Security Measures
Regularly testing and updating your security help keep you, your devices, and your accounts safe from the latest cyberattack methods. These updates patch holes in security. Keeping your software or applications up-to-date limits your risk of phishing attacks and other vulnerabilities.
What is Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security & How Does Its Protection Benefit Businesses?
Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is a comprehensive email security solution that protects businesses against email-based threats such as phishing, malware, spoofing, and zero-day exploits. It is a SaaS cloud-based email security suite providing flexible and comprehensive protection for SMBs and enterprises. Some key advantages of using this solution include the following:
- Rapid Return on Investment (ROI): By preventing security breaches, minimizing downtime, increasing productivity, and safeguarding your operations, businesses can expect a positive impact on their bottom line.
- Superior protection through an inherently secure design: By applying the collaborative, transparent open-source development model to email security, businesses receive enhanced threat protection, increased trust in the information they receive, real-time updates, and more secure, resilient technology.
- Extended IT resources: The ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support that Guardian Digital provides reduces the strain on businesses' overworked IT departments, enabling them to focus more productively on tasks unrelated to email security. These fully-managed vCISO email security services provide the around-the-clock email vigilance required for the early detection and elimination of threats.
- Better Planning & Policy Enforcement: Complete visibility into your email security and the threats targeting your organization via the EnGarde Cloud Email Security Dashboard reduces risk exposure and enables improved cybersecurity business planning and better enforcement of company policies.
- Enhanced Microsoft 365 Email Security: EnGarde's supplementary defenses bolster inadequate built-in cloud email protection to fortify Microsoft 365 email against credential phishing and account takeovers.
Keep Learning About the Benefits of Cloud Email Security for Businesses
Cloud-based email software alone isn’t enough to keep your account and information protected against modern and sophisticated cyberattacks. Attackers use powerful tools and technology to gain access to users' information. Multiple practices are crucial to ensure that you and your business have the best protection. Keep learning about cloud email security by exploring the resources below and initiate these practices to protect your organization against attacks and breaches.
- Implementing a comprehensive email security system can help prevent advanced threats, such as targeted spear phishing and ransomware.
- Learn how to protect your business from ransomware.
- By following these best practices, you can also Improve your email security posture to protect against attacks.
- Keep the integrity of your email safe by securing the cloud with spam filtering and enterprise-grade anti-spam services.
- Get the latest updates on how to stay safe online.
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