In fact, it is the behind the scenes responsibilities that consume a majority of your time when it comes to email. Unfortunately on of the biggest behind the scenes concern for many email administrators is security.
Security has taken on an entirely different role since the inception of laws and regulations that govern not only how well we protect the confidentiality of email and its contents, but also the integrity of those messages in how they are stored and retrieved when needed.
To the bad guys, email systems provide an open door the many organizations overlook when it comes to security because they are simply not aware of the threats that their mail systems face. That is about to change for you. We are going to look at three different threats that can make an email administrator’s life miserable.
Spam and other unwanted emails
When we think of email threats spam is always the first thing that comes to mind because it has been so prevalent for so long.
Despite so many people reporting that spam levels are down, IT professionals continue to state that spam is one of their biggest concerns. In addition to the concerns surrounding spam are the issues that many mail administrators and security professionals face in the threat of phishing and spear phishing.
The reason illicit email messages like these remain a problem is because they cost organizations in big ways. Spam wastes resources. It costs money to store spam on our servers, it costs money when people open, read and delete it and it costs money to fight it. Phishing, that costs money when people fall for it. One successful phishing attack can compromise customer data, user logins or even proprietary information.
Malware has always relied on email to spread. Since the earliest days of email messaging, malware has been a concern.
Nowadays, malware is often spread via spam and phishing attacks because people continue to ignore warnings and click on malicious links or download malicious files.
Despite the ongoing threat that email borne malware presents, most organizations do not put the appropriate security solutions in place to protect their users from it. They may scan their email servers for malware and use a content filter to stop spam but when it comes to scanning incoming messages for known malware and zero-day threats they continue to come up short.
Something that many small businesses forget when it comes to email is a solid backup process. They forget, that is, until it is too late.
With so many laws and regulations governing how emails are stored and “discovered” on demand, not having a solution in place that protects emails in the event that a natural or manmade catastrophe occurs can put an organization out of compliance. We all know that being out of compliance can result in fines and legal fees, but it can also cost big time when it comes to protecting an organization’s brand and reputation.
Of course backing up your users emails is only half of the solution. You need to be able to recover these backups should the worst case scenario arise. Testing this process is something that needs to be a part of your overall security solution so you can be sure that should you need to recover your emails, the system will work.
Security is an ever-changing field. Being tasked with the responsibility to keep your users email safe, secure and reliable takes quite a bit of time because the threat landscape is so wide and new attack methods are found every day.
In order to best protect your users and email it pays to have a solid foundation in your security knowledge and to have a solution in place that protects against both known and unknown threats. Of course any solution that your organization puts into place also needs to be something that you and your staff can effectively configure and manage or it will provide nothing more than a false sense of security.