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The 4 Basics of Email Security

Posted February 1, 2017by Joseph Tavano

The Basics of Email Security.png

By its very nature, email is one of the more vulnerable areas of any network infrastructure. The fact that it leaves one network and enters another makes it one of the most obvious vectors for threats and malicious activity. Every day, email is used to transmit viruses, malware, and phishing schemes, thus making email security a priority for all businesses. For MSPs, email security is a vital component to any client security offering and one of the pillars of a secure network.

However, no matter how advanced the technology that is implemented, proper email security can be boiled down to a few basics that every user should know and understand. As an MSP, you can easily prove your value as a trusted advisor and further promote yourself as a vCIO by providing thorough email security training to your clients. The following are just a few security measures that can be used.

Spam Filtering

Through spam filtering, you can redirect harmful, useless or deceptive email away from your inbox so they are either automatically dumped into a junk folder or never enter the network at all. Spam filtering can eliminate numerous front-line threats and can prevent many risks to end users.

What other cyber risks should end users be concerned about? Click here to find out!

Attachment Scanning

Many email security threats come through the unwitting download and opening of an attachment that contains malicious code, ransomware, virus, or spyware intent on capturing sensitive information. Posing as harmless documents, these attachments can cripple a user’s computer once downloaded and bring an entire network down. Attachment scanning uses advanced techniques to detect if the attachment contains any known malicious code packages, and will notify, isolate and remove any attachments deemed harmful.

Email Encryption

To prevent against messages being intercepted and/or read by anyone other than the intended recipients, email encryption should be enabled.

Email encryption either relies on public-key cryptography—where users can publish a public key that others can use to encrypt messages to them, while keeping secret a private key that can be used to decrypt messages—or to digitally encrypt and sign messages that are sent.

User Knowledge

There is no replacement for end users having the knowledge to tell the difference between malicious and safe email. Targeted attacks are gaining popularity, like spear-phishing, which attempts to infiltrate a network by posing as a common email a single recipient may receive—such as one from a boss or CEO requesting information. These sort of attacks may not be prevented by any of the methods described above, and could leave a network open to even larger infiltrations and attacks. These sort of attacks can be even more insidious if they come from within the organization, which is why a well-educated end user is the last line of defense to bolster any email security strategy.

Email security is just one component to a strong cybersecurity strategy...

Joseph Tavano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, with more than 14 years of experience in content creation, content marketing, event marketing, marketing communications, demand generation and editorial across a range of industries. He is the author of several eBooks, blog posts, thought-leadership articles and other marketing and product collateral that enable Continuum partners and IT service providers in the channel to make their businesses stronger and grow their profits. In 2016, he launched the Continuum Podcast Network, which publishes multiple shows every week and reaches tens of thousands of IT professionals every year. A native of Boston, he holds bachelors in English and History from Suffolk University and resides in Salem, Massachusetts.

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