With 1.7 billion current email exploits bouncing across the Internet, it's not surprising that email security remains at the forefront of cyber security and privacy concerns. Email exploits are constantly being directed to an organization's employees, and it only takes one recent exploit -- and a careless employee -- to compromise the organization's infrastructure. Email is the most used medium of communication today, and its ability to transfer external files into a protected network makes it incredibly dangerous. To combat this, many organizations are switching to an email security service rather than attempting to maintain security in-house.
Email Hazards: Phishing, Spear-Phishing, and Malware Attachments
There are many ways that malicious attackers can target an organization through the use of email. Phishing techniques are often used to gather information from an employee, through the use of authentic looking emails -- such as banking messages, or corporate missives. Spear-phishing is similar, but done with in-depth knowledge of the organization and its hierarchy, often targeting a specific individual. Malware attachments can wreak havoc on an internal network simply by being opened.
Compounding these issues, employees transmit an incredible amount of privileged information through their email accounts -- and they often log into these email accounts from personal or even public devices. In one poll, it was discovered that over half of all employees had sent unencrypted corporate data through their email account and 21% had sent sensitive data without encryption. A network does not need to be breached for this to pose a security threat. All an employee needs to do is leave their email account open on a public computer and all of that data would be compromised.
Protecting Your Organization through an Email Security Service
An email security surface takes the burden off of the organization by outsourcing security to a provider. Email gateways utilize advanced, often cloud-powered, technologies in order to identify the newest and latest threats before they ever get to an employee's inbox. Through heuristic analysis, new threats and even sophisticated phishing techniques can be both identified and quarantined. This leads to an overall much safer environment, as employees are never given the option of falling prey to these threats.
Email security services also offer better support -- through their 24/7 technical teams -- and better system performance, as everything is handled off-site. Administrators can easily access information to identify any threats targeting the system, and can manage email security through an all-in-one consolidated dashboard. Essentially, an email security service creates an all-in-one portal through which threats can be identified and managed.
Email cybersecurity requires a solid IT infrastructure. Employees make mistakes -- and many of them may not understand the risks inherent to email attachments and phishing attempts. Organizations may want to invest in an email security service and a hosted email service so that they can take the burden off of their in-house IT. Keeping current on new and emerging threats is absolutely essential for those trying to secure their email solutions.
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