Gmail Spam Filtering

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Gmail Spam Filtering

Spam Filtering for Gmail

Online security threats are on the rise, and emails are the most common threat vector. This is no surprise considering how much data is exchanged via email servers worldwide on a daily basis. Gmail accounts in particular – given the worldwide uniquity of Google – experience a notably large number of high-profile cyber-attacks.

The main threats affecting Gmail servers range from spam and unwanted email, to phishing and malware attacks. This has huge implications for organizations and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that use Gmail. Managing and dealing with spam/unwanted emails can cost organizations hundreds of hours each year in lost productivity, and cybercriminals can gain access to entire organization email servers and networks by targeting employees with malicious links and attachments which are contained in phishing mail. 

How to Protect Gmail from Security Threats

There are many certified cybersecurity awareness courses that can educate employees as to what phishing attacks typically look like and about the threats posed by a data breach. This is a key starting point for organizations looking to prevent key business data and users from being exploited, however phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and employees can easily tricked.

The best line of defence is to prevent malicious emails from entering the server altogether. This is only achievable by implementing a spam filtering solution

The Need for a Spam Filtering Solution

Gmail accounts have pre-existing spam filters built in to the server, however these are limited in what they offer. They only detect and block spam from previously known sources – who are identified from blacklists. As a result they only block up to 97% of spam. While this rate is certainly substantial, for organizations with high email traffic it still allows 3% of spam emails to filter through to the organization’s servers. This in turn has implications in terms of enhanced lost hours in terms of productivity, as well as – on a more sinister level – an increased risk of phishing attacks, when compared against spam filtering solutions which offer over 99% of protection.

To fully protect against all email security threats, organizations and MSPs need to consider implementing a spam filtering solution.

How Gmail Accounts are Targeted

There are many high profile examples of malicious emails bypassing Gmail filters and gaining access to business networks.

Phishing emails are often used to obtain Gmail login credentials using extremely sophisticated tactics and techniques to evade detection.

Common Phishing/Malware Attacks

It starts off with a simple email being sent to a Gmail account. While Gmail filters will detect and use content analysis to look out for certain email addresses and red-flag content within emails, hackers are easily bypassing this level of detection by actually compromising email accounts and targeting employees with emails addressed by a sender known to them (for example the CEO of the organization).

Email recipients are far more likely to open emails sent from their contacts, especially high profile people within their organization, such as their boss. Many people do not perform any further checks in these instances, they assume that emails are genuine solely from the source, regardless of anything untoward within the content. However compromised emails are becoming even more difficult to detect, going beyond just using a name or address that is known to the recipient.

Cybercriminals may also use information that has been taken from the contact’s sent and received messages and add this to the email, in order to add an extra level of perceived authenticity. This may be in the form of a screenshot of an attachment included in a previous email between the two parties. Once the employee clicks on the attachment, the entire contents of their Gmail account could be stolen, including sent and received emails and the address book, and the whole organization’s network can be infected with malware.

Implementing a Spam Filtering Solution

The above scenario is a real tangible example as to how Gmail accounts can be so easily penetrated  - and shows how simply attacks can originate, and how convincing they can appear - without having the necessary protection in place.

That’s why spam filtering solutions such as SpamTitan are programmed not to initially trust any inbound email. Instead of only checking for known sources, they use a technique known as greylisting to scan all inbound email – and once genuine send a notice to the sending server to re-send the email.

Don’t leave it all to chance on your employees hopefully having the wherewithal to detect malicious email. Even the most attentive staff can be hoodwinked by the highly sophisticated techniques cybercriminals are continuing to incorporate into their phishing and malware attacks. Attacks need to be stopped at the source and to do this organizations need to be using a spam filtering solution.

SpamTitan Spam Filtering Solution

SpamTitan has a 100% success rate in defending Gmail users against threats like these.  Remember it’s not a question of if there will be another damaging phishing/malware attack; it’s a question of when. 

Using a range of mechanisms SpamTitan checks all incoming email for a host of spam signatures, with dual antivirus protection provided by Bitdefender and ClamAV. SpamTitan uses greylisting and sandboxing, among a number of front-end tests to maximize spam detection and to detect threats from previously unknown sources.

SpamTitan is extremely quick and easy to implement, and easily plugs in to all email systems. There are no limits to the number of users or domains. SpamTitan offers a range of deployment options, mainly cloud and gateway.

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