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The Importance of Email Cloud Security

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The Importance of Email Cloud Security

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) has a lot of responsibilities to their customers, and email security is just one of them. Unfortunately, email security can be complex because it requires human interaction without mistakes and the ability to identify threats. Cloud security alleviates much of the overhead for MSPs and administrators responsible for corporate security by offering a solution that admins can connect to numerous domains, organizations, and platforms. 

Without email cloud security, MSPs and corporate administrators must rely on human identification of phishing and malware. One of the biggest causes of a corporate data breach is a human error where an employee or third-party vendor falls for a phishing email. Unfortunately, human error is common in cybersecurity, so organizations need a way to stop users from falling from phishing and other email-based threats. Security awareness training is still necessary, but it shouldn’t be the only email security strategy implemented in the corporate environment.


Common Email Threats Plaguing Enterprises

Read the latest trends in cybersecurity and the most significant reported data breaches, and you’ll find that most of them started with a malicious email message. Usually, phishing is the most common strategy for attackers. With a good phishing email, an attacker can steal network credentials, install malware on a user’s computer, install ransomware, or convince a targeted user to transfer money to the attacker’s bank account.

In addition to phishing, a few more common email threats include:

  • Malware: It’s not uncommon for attackers to send an email with a malicious attachment. The malicious attachment could be a script or a Microsoft Office 365 document that installs malware, giving the remote attacker remote control of the device.
  • Ransomware: More common than malware, ransomware irreversibly encrypts important files and blackmails corporations into paying a ransom in exchange for their critical files. If the corporation refuses to pay the ransom, attackers might threaten to post important data to ruin the brand’s reputation.
  • Exfiltrated data: Attackers can install malware on user devices; the malware can eavesdrop on user activity and network traffic, allowing the attacker to exfiltrate data from the corporate network.
  • Links to malicious web pages: Usually contained in a message, an embedded link leads to a web page that tricks users into divulging their credentials or tricks them into downloading malware. 


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Features of Email Cloud Security to Stop Email-Based Attacks

With human intervention, all email-based threats can be stopped, but humans make mistakes. When employees or vendors fail to detect a malicious email, an email cloud security solution can help. The right email cloud security stops malicious email messages before they reach the intended recipient’s inbox. 

Here are a few other essential features of email cloud security products:

  • Anti-phishing: Cloud email security solutions analyze the incoming message and determine if it’s phishing with artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. Content filters add a layer to phishing protection by blocking browsers from loading malicious websites after users click a malicious link.
  • Anti-malware: Attachments are just as dangerous as phishing and can be used to install malware or ransomware on a user’s device. Email cloud security scans attachments, determines if they contain malicious content, and quarantine them for further administrator review.
  • Protection from employee account takeover: Account takeover happens when employees mistakenly send their credentials on malicious web pages or as a reply in email. Phishing simulation exercises can help educate users on the dangers of email-based threats and help administrators identify users vulnerable to these threats.
  • Data loss protection (DLP): DLP is an entire area of cybersecurity and compliance regulations. The right cloud email security solution protects critical data from malware, ransomware, and other email-based threats.
  • Phishing simulations: Simulating and sending a phishing email to all employees helps administrators identify any training opportunities. Every user has a different level of phishing awareness, so simulation tests determine the users requiring additional security awareness training. SafeTitan phishing simulation tools are proven to help reduce risks from phishing and malware and train employees to identify malicious emails better and understand how to stop them.


Ways to Secure Corporate Email

A centralized email security solution is beneficial, but organizations should follow some basic best practices to stop threats. Here are a few additional steps to take to secure your email:

  • Strong passwords: Require users to use strong passwords with at least one special character, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers. IT administrators should ensure passwords are rotated regularly, every 60-90 days.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA requires an additional step in the authentication process, so it preserves user accounts even if users divulge their account passwords.
  • Offer security awareness training: Phishing simulation tools train users to identify a phishing email, so they do not fall for common phishing and malware scams.
  • Add content filtering: A content filtering tool blocks users from accessing malicious websites and blocks browsers from loading them. It’s a safety net if email security triggers a false negative on a phishing email.
  • Monitor the corporate network: Intrusion protection and prevention tools monitor the network for unusual behavior. They can stop a threat before it installs on the network or exfiltrates data. 
  • Install antivirus: Antivirus software should be installed on all user devices, servers, and workstations to act as a failsafe in case a malicious email reaches a user’s inbox and the user downloads and executes the attachment.
  • Install centralized email security tools: Administrators must be able to review email activity and identify any phishing attacks. A good cloud email security tool centralizes reports and dashboards so administrators and MSPs can check numerous inboxes and organizations under one tool, simplifying the entire security auditing and reviewing process.
  • Monitor changes to the environment: Every infrastructure component should log changes so that administrators can audit and review configurations. Changes to configurations on crucial infrastructure are critical signs that the environment is compromised.


Email Threats a Cloud-Based Email Security Solution Helps Solve

SpamTitan cloud-based email security is essential to a multi-faceted security approach to email-borne threats. The type of email threats that SpamTitan helps to solve include:

Phishing and Credential Theft

Phishing comes in many forms, including clone, barrel, and spear phishing. These phishing types are sophisticated, targeted, difficult to detect, and variants of more general email phishing tactics. Many phishing campaigns focus on specific organizational roles, like a system administrator, to steal that individual's login credentials. The phishing email will contain a malicious link to a spoof website; the site is made to look exactly like the login screen for popular apps such as Microsoft 365. If the phishing individual enters their login credentials into that spoof site, they will be stolen. This all begins with a cleverly crafted phishing email. According to research from the Ponemon Institute, 54% of security incidents are caused by credential theft. 

Phishing and Data Loss

Once credentials are stolen, they can be used to enter sensitive areas of the corporate network and exfiltrate data. The Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report for 2022 (DBIR) found that around half of data breaches began with stolen credentials.

Phishing and Malware 

The latest IBM Threat Intelligence report outlines the malware landscape and has this to say:

"It has become increasingly commonplace for malware to be delivered through malicious Microsoft Office documents, usually attached to phishing emails."

Some phishing emails contain malicious links and some infected attachments. Both can be the starting point for malware infection. 

The latest IBM Threat Intelligence report outlines the malware landscape and has this to say:

"It has become increasingly commonplace for malware to be delivered through malicious Microsoft Office documents, usually attached to phishing emails."

Phishing and Ransomware

Ransomware is typically delivered by email or via credentials stolen by phishing. This is borne out by research from ENISA in its 2022 Threat Landscape Report. Coveware researchers concur, finding that phishing is the most common method to deliver ransomware, with infections surging in Q3 2022.

Financial theft: Business Email Compromise (BEC)

According to IBM Threat Intelligence, in 2022, 6% of attacks were BEC scams. Business email compromise relies on the social engineering of employees and can lead to large sums of money stolen by hackers. As such, these emails are tailored to trick specific roles, such as CEOs, CFOs, and employees in the accounts department. 

Negative Impacts on Productivity 

Spam may seem innocuous compared to ransomware, but because of the daily volumes in employees' inboxes, spam emails can impact on productivity. In addition, because of the volume of spam that requires filtering, cloud-based email security solutions like SpamTitan must use intelligent analysis to weed out spam before it hits an employee's inbox.


Cloud-based or On-premise, What's the Difference?

The modern enterprise mixes central and satellite office, remote, and third to fifth-party entities. This mosaic of employees and non-employees means that the visibility, management, and scalability of apps and solutions are more complex than in an organization that uses an older closed perimeter model.

On-premise email security solutions must be more scalable to handle complicated working environments. Whereas cloud-based email security solutions, like SpamTitan, are designed to be intrinsically scalable, provide dynamic management across expanded networks, and are simpler to deploy across distributed devices.


Three Best Practices Steps to Secure Email

Securing email in an era where cybercriminals focus on this communication channel to hack an organization requires a mix of measures:

Step One: Use a Cloud-based Email Security Solution

Use a cloud-based email security solution like SpamTitan as your first line of defense. These solutions use multiple layers of protection to detect and prevent phishing and spam from entering your corporate network. This is an essential first step to capturing insidious attempts to trick employees into handing over login credentials. In addition, detecting and preventing ransomware and other malware is also a core capability of cloud-based email security solutions.

Step Two: Tighten up Email Authentication

Ensure that a second factor (2FA), such as a mobile authenticator or critical fob device, is used to access an email account. However, 2FA alone cannot be relied upon to prevent email account takeover, so 2FA must be used with the cloud-based email security solution and other measures.

Step Three: Train Staff about Email-borne Risks

Security awareness training of staff is another layer of protection to prevent phishing emails from tricking employees into clicking malicious links or downloading infected attachments. In addition, Behavior-based security risk training is an important measure to use alongside cloud-based email security. 


What Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based Email Security Solution?

Cloud-based email security is designed from the outset to be highly beneficial; amongst the most apparent benefits are the following:

Fast Deployment

Centralized deployment means fast deployment. Because no software installs are required that slow down deployment, setup and switch to secure emails can be done in minutes.

Easy Management and Updates

The same centralized model ensures that management, configuration settings, and updates are easy and fast. This is especially important in a threat landscape that can change quickly; the cloud-based email security solution must respond swiftly and apply intelligent measures to stop email threats as they morph using new tactics and techniques.

Known Costs and No Hardware 

Cloud-based email security is typically billed using a subscription model. This allows an organization to budget more effectively. Cloud-based email security solutions, like SpamTitan, can be highly cost-effective for smaller organizations as there are no associated download or maintenance costs. In addition, SpamTitan needs no hardware, reducing the costs of capital purchase, installation, and configuration.


Companies can expand and contract in terms of staff and device numbers. A cloud-based email security solution is designed to be scalable in line with these changes. SpamTitan makes it very easy to add or remove users at the click of a button, and there is no limit on the volume of emails that can be analyzed. 

Advanced Email Threat Detection

Cloud-based email security solutions use multiple layers of threat detection. This is to ensure that even sophisticated phishing threats can be captured. Even zero-day and emerging threats can be captured using intelligent layers of threat detection. Additionally, any errant emails that may make it through these increasingly fine-grained nets of protection are sandboxed to double-check that they are legitimate before sending them to the recipient(s).

Compliance Support

Organizations come under stringent data protection regulations that include email-borne content. Laws such as CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and HIPAA requirements expect that robust security measures are applied, and non-compliance results in heavy fines. SpamTitan email security ensures that email content is checked and emails are secured using encryption and secure archiving. In addition, SpamTitan provides a reporting feature that generates reports to document compliance.

Using an MSP to Deliver Cloud-based Email Security

Cloud-based email security solutions, like SpamTitan, are ideal for smaller enterprises as they can be delivered by a managed service provider (MSP). The MSP model of cloud email security means that the SMB can have cost-effective, enterprise-level protection. This model also ensures that the SMB gets exceptional security support, and the MSP manages the solution, removing the need for a small organization to find skilled security staff.


SafeTitan Can Help

If you need a solution that’s easy to install and administrators can closely monitor email, SafeTitan can help you better defend your company from email-based threats.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Cloud email security delivers email protection using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ntralized cloud location. A SaaS email security model provides scalability, centralized and fast deployment, and easier management and updates across expanded modern enterprise networks. Cloud email security solutions, like SpamTitan, use this model to detect and prevent email-borne threats from entering the corporate network and employees' inboxes. Cloud-based email security is an integral part of security.

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