Skip to content

Ultimate Guide to Email Filtering Solutions

Home  /  Email Security, Email Protection and Email Filtering  /  Ultimate Guide to Email Filtering Solutions

Ultimate Guide to Email Filtering Solutions

Email filtering is a way to ensure that your company remains safe from spam, credential and data theft, viruses, ransomware, and other malware. Comprehensive email filtering solutions such as SpamTitan also provide additional benefits, including helping to adhere to regulations and data protection laws. In addition, email filtering solutions are increasingly used to mitigate the onslaught of spam and phishing emails. Advanced email filters, such as SpamTitan, use intelligent technologies to keep ahead of the ever-changing security threat landscape that is increasingly dependent on delivering cyber-attacks via email.


What is an Email Filtering Solution?

There are several types of email filtering solutions. Determining which solutions best fits your organization should be based on a combination of the deployment options, features, and functions. Email filtering solutions typically secure your organization from email-borne threats and may also protect against threats leaving your organization, i.e., email security is applied to inbound and outbound emails. Email protection is based on detecting known and emerging threats delivered via email. If an email is dangerous, the filter usually quarantines it before destroying it; the latter depends on company policies. 

Email filtering solutions are typically cloud-based and installed on-premise; some may require hardware appliances. Once deployed and configured, the email filtering service will run in the background to stop unwanted and dangerous emails from entering employees' inboxes.


Why Should a Company Use an Email Filtering Solution? 

Email-borne phishing, scams, social engineering, and spam affect the increasing threat levels organizations feel. The Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG) keeps track of volumes and trends in phishing and scam emails. The latest APWG report covering Q3 2022 recorded 1,270,883 phishing attacks, a new record described as the" worst quarter for phishing that APWG has ever observed." In addition, email-borne attacks such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams have increased by 59% in Q3 2022. Worryingly, advance fee fraud scams initiated via email increased by 1,000% during Q3 2022.

Reports such as the APWG show that email for scams and phishing is still a significant route into an organization for cybercriminals. Phishing research also indicates that this type of cyber-attack is still prevalent and looks set to continue as the most popular cyber-attack vector. However, reports like the APWG also show that phishing and spam trends wax and wane, and new emerging techniques and tactics appear. This all shapes how an email filtering solution must operate.

Advanced email filtering solutions are designed to tackle large volumes of malicious and spam emails. Without the automation offered by email filtering solutions, employees would have to wade through many emails daily to find legitimate ones manually. Also, human error is more likely if spam or phishing emails litter employees' inboxes; employees may accidentally download malicious attachments or click dangerous links. 


Benefits of Using an Email Filtering Solution

A company that uses email filtering solutions can expect the following benefits:

  • Remove the hurdles to productivity.

Free employees from the burden of spam trawling and spam email deletion. Employees will be able to focus, unhindered, on the legitimate emails in their inboxes. This time-saving removes barriers to productivity.

  • Use the power of multi-layered email filters.

Email filters apply multiple layers of increasingly sophisticated anti-spam and anti-phishing technologies to detect and filter illegitimate emails. This removes the need to remove dangerous or spam emails manually. The various layers of protection will finely filter out these emails so employees don't have to.

  • Reduce the risk of malware infection.

Emails are a popular method to deliver malware directly or via malicious websites. According to research from Coveware, email was the most popular method to deliver ransomware.

Ransomware Attack Vectors

An email filtering service will use techniques such as code analysis and identification of malicious links in an email to filter them out before they enter the corporate network.

  • Reduce the risk of exposed and stolen data.

Phishing causes 90% of data breaches, according to Verizon. The EU's ENISA (European Union Agency for Cybersecurity) states, "Phishing remains a popular technique, but we see new forms of phishing arising, such as spear-phishing, whaling, smishing, and vishing." ENISA also points out that new zero-day exploits are being used effectively to attack organizations. SpamTitan uses multiple anti-phishing techniques to identify and filter sophisticated phishing attempts.

  • Reduce the risk of social engineering.

Cyber Scams such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and specialized phishing tactics, including clone and barrel phishing, use social engineering to trick employees. An email filtering service can identify and stop cleverly composed scam emails before they trick an employee.

  • Adhere to regulations and data protection laws.

Email and data protection regulations put organizations under pressure to adhere to strict requirements. Examples of these regulations include CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and HIPAA. Sometimes companies must adhere to several related regulations representing sector regulations and local laws. Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties, including hefty fines. SpamTitan provides highly configurable options to ensure that the email filtering techniques meet the regulation requirements. Dashboards and reports can be used to generate reports to document compliance. 


Types of Email Filtering 

Email filtering solutions provide security by filtering spam emails, graymail, and phishing.

  • Email Spam Filtering

Spam is a significant concern for many organizations as the volumes are massive. The figures for spam vary, but one report found that almost half of the emails received were spam. Email spam filtering solutions offer an automated method to remove spam at the source.

  • Graymail Filtering

Graymail is a legitimate email, usually presented as newsletters or mass marketing, but it can still become unwanted over time. Advanced email filtering solutions should offer a mechanism for employees to set these emails as undesirable and for the email filtering solution to remove these emails automatically.

  • Email Phishing Filtering

Phishing emails are the most dangerous of all email-borne threats. However, cybercriminals are continuously changing their tactics to avoid detection by both employees and static email filters. Therefore, advanced email filters that use intelligent and multi-faceted layers of threat detection are needed to filter phishing emails.


Deployment Options for Email Filtering Solutions

Email filtering solutions are usually deployed in one of three typical ways or as a hybrid deployment:

  • On-premise (physical appliance)

Some companies may need to use an appliance-based email filtering solution. An appliance is a physical device that isolates all internal data. Typically, this appliance is managed by an in-house IT team. This team must maintain, manage, and update the appliance, so the team must be highly skilled in using the device. Also, this process is usually manual and time-consuming. Scalability is challenging, and new appliances may need to be added if a company grows.

  • Cloud-Based Email Filter (SaaS)

As more companies put their apps and workloads into the cloud, it also makes sense to use a cloud-based email filtering solution. Cloud-based email filtering solutions are flexible, affordable, and scalable. Because the filtering solution is delivered as a Software-as-a-Service solution, it can be cost-effective, centrally managed, and updated quickly. Cloud email filters like SpamTitan provide a mechanism to promptly deploy email protection across the expanded network, including remote user endpoints and devices. Cloud-based spam filters are hosted in the cloud, so they do not require any capital expense. Updates in protection techniques can be deployed automatically and are fast so that with cloud-based email filtering, even zero days and emerging threats can be prevented.

  • Managed Service Provider (Cloud)

Small to medium-sized companies can benefit from world-class enterprise-level email filtering solutions using an MSP to deploy and manage their email protection. Advanced email filtering solutions such as SpamTitan are designed to be delivered using an MSP model. TitanShield is TitanHQ's MSP program that provides SpamTitan and other TitanHQ email security tools to organizations worldwide. TitanShield uses a perfect SaaS model for an MSP, allowing the MSP to deliver centrally managed security services to SMBs. 


SpamTitan vs. Competitive Email Filtering Solutions. 

There are several email filtering solutions in the marketplace. Evaluation of the offerings of email security products should be based on your organization's specific email security needs, type of deployment required, and cost. 

SpamTitan regularly receives excellent reviews and typically wins out over the competition. Some examples of recent studies from the trusted review site Capterra are shown below each competitor.

Below, TitanHQ has performed a brief competitive analysis of four key email filtering players. 

Barracuda Sentinel

Barracuda Sentinel is a cloud email filtering solution that directly integrates with Office 365. The solution uses AI-enabled technologies to track behavior and detect phishing attempts. Barracuda Sentinel generates alerts sent to administrators of the solution whenever unusual activity is identified. Malicious emails are placed into quarantine. 


Barracuda email security vs Spamtitan

Source: Capterra Reviews

SpamTitan beats Barracuda Email Security in the following areas:

Pricing: SpamTitan is more cost-effective.

Email routing: SpamTitan provides email routing.

Support: SpamTitan provides more extensive support options.

Organization focus: SpamTitan is designed for all sized organizations, including smaller companies. Barracuda Sentinel is more appropriate for larger enterprises.

MSP support: SpamTitan is designed for deployment and management by an MSP. Barracuda Sentinel has been criticized for inflexible pricing for MSPs.


Barracuda Sentinel also offers: 

Deployment: SaaS allows for centralized deployment and management

Threat intelligence: Uses over 170,000 active sites to provide threat intelligence (see below for SpamTitan's "Collaborative spam fingerprint."

Layered security: provides layers of email protection techniques to capture spam, phishing, and other email-borne threats.

Protect your business with advanced threat protection and intelligence against phishing, business email compromise with SpamTitan.

Start Free Trial


Mimecast Secure Email Gateway

Mimecast Secure Email Gateway is a cloud-based email filtering solution. The gateway prevents phishing and email spam from reaching employee inboxes. The solution also provides an email archive service. 

Mimecast email security, spamtitan

Source: Capterra Reviews

SpamTitan beats Mimecast in the following areas:

Pricing: SpamTitan cost is significantly lower than Mimecast's.

Administration: SpamTitan has an easy-to-use administration console.

Deployment: SpamTitan is straightforward and provides options that include on-premise.


Mimecast also offers:

Cloud-based: offers centralized deployment and management. 

Real-time threat analysis.

Outbound email protection: provides data loss prevention (DLP) to prevent sensitive data from leaving an organization.


Proofpoint Email Security and Protection

Proofpoint Essentials is an email filtering gateway for the SMB (small to medium-sized company) market. Proofpoint Essentials prevents phishing and attachment scanning to prevent malware infection. 

proofpoint email protection

Source: Capterra Reviews

SpamTitan beats Proofpoint in the following areas:

Administration: The main areas of difference between Proofpoint Essentials and SpamTitan are in the ease of use and administration of the solutions. SpamTitan is overall simpler to use and administer than Proofpoint Essentials. 

Advanced threat intelligence: SpamTitan uses advanced threat intelligence, whereas Proofpoint focuses more on anti-malware.


Proofpoint also offers:

Policy-driven DLP: to stop sensitive data from leaving corporate control.

Automated email encryption: automatically encrypts certain emails.

Granular controls: Per-user controls and quarantine access for emergencies and email continuity


Cisco Secure Email

Cisco Secure Email is a cloud-based email security product that protects against phishing and spam. The solution uses local and global threat intelligence from Talos™.

cisco email secure

Source: Capterra Reviews

SpamTitan beats Cisco Secure Email in several areas, including the following:

Deployment: Cisco is cloud-only, whereas SpamTitan has cloud and on-premise deployment options.

Organization focus: SpamTitan is designed for all sized organizations, including smaller companies. However, Cisco Secure Email is more appropriate for larger enterprises.

API: SpamTitan offers an API that allows deep integration into MSP stacks and corporate networks.


Cisco Secure Email also offers:

Intelligent threat analytics: uses machine learning techniques to detect emerging threats.

Automation and integration: integrates with Microsoft 365 to automate email protection


Why Choose SpamTitan?

TitanHQ's SpamTitan email filtering solution receives consistently high marks in reviews when compared to any of the competitive email security solutions. There are many reasons for this, not only that SpamTitan has powerful technology ensuring that both known and emerging threats are detected and stopped. In addition, SpamTitan is an all-rounder in delivering and maintaining the highest levels of email security. SpamTitan provides technology backed by a well-designed service to enable the solution to be an effective email filtering solution. Some of the core features that have made SpamTitan the email filtering solution of choice include the following: 

Multi-layers of email protection to capture threats as they happen

SpamTitan cloud email filtering uses multiple security measures to protect emails, each detecting a specific spam, phishing, or malware indicator. The various layers comprise a mix of:

  • Harvesting/dictionary attack protection
  • Collaborative spam fingerprint checks
  • RBL tests (real-time blackhole list)
  • Bayesian analysis
  • Rule-based spam scoring
  • Allow and block list filters. 

These multiple layers of protection are applied to both inbound and outbound emails; the emails are scanned, looking for signals and content associated with spam, malware, zero-day threats, phishing, social engineering, and other advanced threats, including ransomware. When a suspicious email is detected, it never reaches the employee's inbox. In addition, advanced machine learning, trained using millions of real-time data points, detects unknown and emerging threats.

Deployment options to fit your organization 

Cloud email filtering solutions differ from virtual or physical appliances as the filtering mechanisms operate in the cloud. Cloud-based solutions are easy to deploy and configure. By making a small change to a mail exchanger (MX) record, the redirection of inbound and outbound emails through the service provider's server is optimized.

Centralized for easy administration

The easy administration of an email filtering solution is an essential feature of SpamTitan; an easy-to-use, configurable, policy-enabled service provides a template for administrators to work with. In addition, SpamTitan is a cloud-based spam filtering solution. Therefore, the administration is centralized. Using a central console, an administrator can roll out updates, new policies, and rules quickly and efficiently to all connected devices across the expanded corporate network. Having this level of central control and automation of updates is critical in preventing attacks from emerging threats.

Minimal maintenance and little overhead

If deploying on-premise or relying on in-house IT teams, you want to minimize their workload. SpamTitan is a cloud-based email filtering solution that can be deployed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or on-premise. The solution is designed to require minimal maintenance. SpamTitan can also be delivered by an MSP who can provide always-on email security on behalf of your organization: the email filtering service is hosted for you and is available on demand. An MSP-serviced company has minimal, if any, maintenance overhead with no capital investment, paying only a subscription charge; email security is cost-effective and a known-cost entity.

Granular and local policies that meet regulations

SpamTitan ensures that the control of email filtering policies will fit your specific industry and regulatory needs by making them granular and configurable. Policies can be applied per individual, user group, or business-wide and are integrated with directory services such as AD to ensure enforcement. This granularity and ease of update mean that even when regulations change, you can quickly update and deploy new policies and rules to maintain compliance.


No matter what size or type of organization, spammers, and cybercriminals will take advantage of your email system. By choosing the right email filtering solution for your company, you can take back control, prevent cyber-attacks, and help employees cope with the burden of spam.

Try our free trial now to see how SpamTitan can keep your company safe.

Protect your business with advanced threat protection and intelligence against phishing, business email compromise with SpamTitan.

Start Free Trial

Start My Free Trial Now

Sign Up
Get Your 14 Day Free Trial

Talk to Our Email and DNS Security Team

Call us on US +1 813 304 2544

Contact Us