In the not too distant past, before there was so much criminal hacking and fraud, managing email was not so complicated. Now it has become a complex beast that demands constant attention, time, and money. Spam is a headache for both users
and administrators, plus it exposes the business to the security risks associated with phishing. Outsourcing the filtering portion of your email architecture frees you from doing that and improves security for your organization.
Anti-spam and email security solutions are now essentials pieces in any IT toolbox. There are many excellent on premises anti-spam and spam filtering solutions available,however managing these on-site presents an additional burden for the IT staff, as their consistent smooth operation is dependent on many factors outside their control.“Outsourcing the filtering portion of your email architecture frees you from doing that and improves security for your organization.”
What happens when there’s a network outage or an email server failure? What happens when users can’t access their work email, because the mail server is offline? The cloud provides redundancy and queuing for that and failover. Fortunately there is
an easy way to manage all of this: move peripheral email tasks like anti-spam and anti- malware filtering to the cloud. Your current vendor may even have a cloud anti-spam solution ready for you to investigate. Businesses are constantly looking for better alternatives and are moving towards hosted cloud services for anti-spam filtering. Modern email systems have embraced this hybrid model by making easy the interconnection with third-party party anti-spam services,
anti-virus gateways, email archiving systems, encryption, and more. A cloud-based service helps the overworked and underappreciated IT admin by freeing him or her from ensuring that mail and spam filters are kept up-to-date and searching for lost emails in the quarantine folder in the case of false positives.
“Cloud anti-spam solutions are an efficient and effective weapon in the fight against spam while reducing complexity and management requirements.”
Selecting a Hosted Service for Managing Email in the Cloud Cloud computing is the most talked about concept in IT now. It’s the lowest cost way of operating an IT shop. It lets you build the best possible systems by plugging in differing
offerings from different vendors. This increases security, reliability, and easy-of-use. Research shows that cloud computing will increase 35% in 2014. Most of this envisions a hybrid architecture. When a business decides to move cloud projects forward,
determining where to start and choosing a suitable services provider are the first steps. How Companies can determine where to start and which cloud vendor to pick.
Businesses are pressing their IT staff to move to the cloud for cost reasons, but IT want to maintain in-house control over certain applications, particularly email. The best solution is a mixed solution. Technical visionaries in Silicon Valley refer to this as the API Economy. That means you use whatever API is best suited for the task. “Cloud anti-spam frees up I.T. staff time from updating anti-virus and anti-spam definitions and restarting and recovering email if there is an outage.“
For email, the de facto standard remains Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory. But filtering spam is not a core Exchange function. For that, is it best to tap into a cloud- based anti-spam engine. Cloud anti-spam frees up I.T. staff time from updating anti-virus and anti-spam definitions and restarting and recovering email if there is an outage. Yet IT retains the ability to maintain whitelists and blacklists and email filtering rules that are particular to the organization. Doing all of that in-house would require hiring more administrators and skilled and expensive IT staff with knowledge in this area. Moving those functions to the cloud frees up those expensive IT resources to focus on the unique needs of your business and the other applications that you use and maintain.
Top 5 tips for boosting your spam arsenal
Phishing attacks remain a clear and present threat to businesses. There is no evidence to suggest that network security measures are discouraging the number of phishing attacks. In fact the arrival of social networking in the workplace has presented phishers with an even bigger pond to phish in. Clear policies along with improvements in user education and awareness supported by robust preventative tools are the best way to beat phishing in all its forms.
Phishing protection tools like SpamTitan use a multi-layered approach. Ensure your solutions malware detection mechanisms are regularly enhanced to keep pace with the ever changing threat climate and that scan engines contain a comprehensive set of Phishing signatures, support for SURBLs (Spam URL Realtime Blocklists) and heuristic rule tests.
Trending topics like the recent British Royal wedding or Osama Bin Laden’s death are nirvana for spammers. Such events generate enormous levels of online interest worldwide providing scammers with plenty of potential new victims. By piggybacking news headlines spammers can increase traffic volume to their websites. To date it is estimated that over $40 billion has been lost to 419 scams alone explaining why these scam emails continue to exist and grow in frequency and ferocity.
Left unchecked spam can create huge problems for businesses. User mailboxes may be overrun leading to lost productivity. Unblocked mail can also contain viruses capable of infecting the entire network. Gateway solutions are designed to catch the spam before it ever reaches users. Further measures such as white listing of individual email addresses or entire domains, mean that you can be confident that messages coming from important colleagues, clients or partners will not be inadvertently caught in the filters.
To dispel any misleading references of SPF’s use, it is important to define SPF– it is an anti-forgery approach in which the Internet domain of an e-mail sender can be authenticated for that sender, thereby discouraging spam mailers who routinely disguise the origin of their e-mail, a practice known as e-mail spoofing.
While SPF is effective in stopping email spammers from forging the “From” fields in an email, SMBs should absolutely not consider using SPF as an anti-spam solution. SPF is not a standalone anti-spam solution, treating it as such is leaving organizations extremely vulnerable to email security threats such as viruses, trojans, phishing, malware in addition to spam.