Email is the lifeblood of today’s high-tech world. Every single second, millions of emails are zapped all across the globe at lightning speed to billions of users. We depend on email for both business and personal communications.
Sadly, its popularity and commonality are why email became the preferred target for cybercriminals, thieves and hackers. After all, even crooks are busy trying to “work smarter, not harder,” so they look for the easiest ways to hit as many people as possible. What better way than to attack the most common form of communication ever known in the history of the world? Turns out, email security was also an easy target since it can be easily comprised in a variety of ways.
Security Tips to Begin
The #1 email security tip given out to cybersecurity consumers is to avoid opening any email, attachment, or link inside an email if you don’t trust the sender. While that is always a good idea, it is shockingly incomplete advice.
Even if the original sender of the email is completely innocent, and they’ve earned your trust, by the time the email lands in your inbox, it has zapped and bounced around multiple servers, in any number of far-flung places about the world wide web, exposed and vulnerable to nefarious actors corrupting the content or adding unwanted, malicious attachments. Yes, it’s a long road to your inbox and there are dozens of opportunities along the way for your email to be altered, sabotaged or violated.
As you can see in the diagram, email transmission is a cybersecurity nightmare. Given that email has always been the crown jewel of the internet, email security is as old as the internet itself. That’s given both the good guys and the bad guys lots of R&D time. And the wickedly ingenious nature of cybercriminals can not be overstated. For example, you probably get lots of “graymail,” stuff you signed up for (you think) at one point, but now do nothing beyond clutter your inbox. Easy enough to solve, you think, just unsubscribe! Guess what hackers do if they break into your email? Hide their malware link in a fake unsubscribe link at the bottom.
Secure Email Gateway, or SEG: What is it?
A Secure Email Gateway, or SEG, is exactly what the name implies. It secures every single gateway encountered by your email as it travels the web. Think of it as a firewall between your email and all the clever tactics cyber criminals develop to sneak into your business where they aren’t invited.
The common cybersecurity threats a SEG seeks to thwart include:
- Spam filtering
- Phishing attacks
- Virus, trojans and malware blocking
- Fraudulent or dangerous content filtering
- Malicious attachments
- Ransomware attacks
- Encrypted email
- Whitelisting, blacklisting and blocking capabilities
- Email archiving
Email Security with Cloud Solutions
As with all things internet security, as technology marches on, old solutions become ineffective and new threats pop up.
Cloud computing added several layers to the already-existing email security issues. Blocking spam or detecting threats changed radically once cloud computing became common, so keeping the “secure” in your secure email gateway meant entirely new solutions were needed.
For example, a SEG designed for Microsoft Office 365 would have to work in an entirely different way compared to a SEG used for Microsoft Outlook, in spite of the fact that the programs are the same or similar. Cloud cybersecurity is just an entirely different ballgame.
Specifically what you need for truly secure email depends on so many variables that it can leave almost anyone scratching their head over proper solutions. For example, if you deal with email containing medical information, you need a SEG heavy on ensuring HIPAA compliant email.
How IT Support Protects Your Business
If you have IT support you can trust, they will help you navigate the mindfields of sales copy for all the hundreds of different SEGS cleverly designed to make you think a product might be more complete that it really is. For example, encrypted email sounds great, and it is, but did you realize the nature of email transmission means encryption might have to happen more than once?
Technology managed services are your best source for genuine, reliable cybersecurity you can count on so you can concentrate on life instead of cybersecurity. Often, it’s the only practical thing for small to medium businesses since only dedicated IT support pros have the time to adequately study and fight the never ending tsunami of email security threats.
Because the threat is so real, while being disguised as a daily ritual as innocuous as brushing your teeth, the savvy business owner needs to be proactive and ensure that this common threat is neutralized.
Managed IT Services
If you employ professional managed IT, they should have you covered, so you barely have to even concern yourself with email vulnerabilities. It’s not only much easier to hand off this important task to the pros, ultimately you’re much safer too. A professional managed IT service, like us here at Cima Solutions Group will know what is hype and what’s serious so you can concentrate on running your business, instead of having your business run you.
Managed IT Services offer the support you need to run your business more smoothly. IT Security Services and other Managed IT experts are available in the Dallas, Texas area with the Cima Solutions Group.
Cima Technology Managed Services in Dallas - Fort Worth can provide you an expert-level IT team to fill in the gaps of what you want to handle internally. Cima Solutions Group has seasoned professionals, expertly trained on every aspect of information technology and IT Support Services relied on by so many small to medium businesses today.