How long has it been since you reviewed the efficacy of your email security solution? If your organization has been trusting out-of-the-box solutions and believing that your email security is good enough to protect you from most attacks, you may want to reconsider. Here are five reasons why your email security solution should be periodically reviewed.
Reason 1: Email and related security risks are increasing
205 BILLION—according to Radicati, that is the total number of emails sent and received worldwide each day in 2015. Businesses account for over half of that traffic, with an average of 122 emails per person per day. That traffic, and the security risks that come with it, will only continue to grow.
Reason 2: Email-based attacks affect every level of your organization
Email is prolific: We all use it to stay connected. We rely on it heavily to manage time, obligations and relationships. And attackers use email as a primary attack vector. It’s personal, especially for executives. Timely communications and rapid responses are essential to maintaining their performance.
Reason 3: Stronger email security means stronger cyber security
With so much email traffic, it’s no wonder that most malicious exploits enter an organization via email. You need to consider strong email security as a critical component of a strong cyber security stance. It’s relatively simple to recognize and protect yourself against the majority of spam and nuisance emails, including messages from princes trying to reclaim their inheritance and suspicious email attachments from people you don’t know. But the most nefarious email-based attacks are extremely subtle. Sophisticated attackers craft and target their intrusions carefully.
Among email-based attacks, spear phishing is probably the most dangerous. When used against executives, VIPs, or other high-value targets, it’s known as whaling. It convinces recipients that an email is from a trusted source and requires a reasonable action. If recipients follow through, they unknowingly allow infiltration that often leads to data exfiltration and credential theft. Because of its high believability, and the urgency around many emails encountered every day, spear phishing is the most effective way for cyber attackers to infiltrate an organization.
As reported by Wired, about 91 percent of all hacking attacks start with a phishing or spear-phishing attempt. The ability to quickly recognize and block spear phishing attempts will significantly decrease your risk of a serious breach.
Reason 4: Your email security solution is probably outdated
Email has been around for a long time. That means that attackers have had an equally long time to build and refine their exploit kits. And although email security technology and deployment models have also evolved in the last three years, it’s likely your organization relies on pre-packaged, default or otherwise outdated security solutions. Purchasing newer email security solutions can improve your overall security posture, but it’s not as simple as that.
Reason 5: The management of most email security solutions has extremely high hidden costs
All email security solutions can be configured to quarantine suspected email-based attacks, route them to a specific spam folder or let them through normally. In all cases, the security system generates an alert to security staff. Security analysts must process these alerts manually to determine if they indicate a genuine attack, or are false positives or duplicates. Alerts can number in the thousands per day. Manually processing all those alerts costs organizations millions of dollars each year and consumes valuable security expertise. Security experts should be spending their time working on solving bona fide security issues such as establishing proactive plans and resolving real cyber threats.
Re-Examining Your Email Security Will Pay Off
Are you invested in the correct email security solution? Can it analyze the amount of email traffic moving through your organization? Does it provide the correct level of protection for every employee at every level of the organization? Will it protect you from spear phishing and other email-based threats that foreshadow advanced and multi-vector attacks? Do you have a need to move beyond default email security options and configurations? Does your email security solution save you money in the long run? Are your security staff focused on processing alerts and other grunt work or are they available to provide meaningful support to your cyber security agenda?
Answering these and related questions will ensure that your organization is well protected with the email security it deserves.
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