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3 Things Barracuda Didn’t Tell You About Their Spam Filter

By December 30, 2015June 17th, 2017Blog

These days, cybercrime is big business, with U.S. companies losing nearly $40 billion a year to email-based schemes and theft. That figure is only expected to grow, as experts anticipate the financial impact of cybercrime to rise by 10 percent a year.

This means businesses of all kinds now require highly effective anti-virus protection, email spoofing prevention and email scanning. Many have turned to Barracuda for email security; however, even though the company has one of the more recognizable names in the marketplace, their spam filter will likely not live up to your needs and expectations.

Consider these three important things Barracuda didn’t tell you about their spam filter:

1. False positives are a common occurrence

The Barracuda spam filter uses an older technique called Bayesian filtering, which has been shown to cause false positives. Bayesian filters scan the entire content of an email, seeking out words or character strings that typically denote spam. However, in a business environment, a spam filter that relies solely on content filtering can create a significant amount of false positives, especially if your company emails often include numbers, product names, non-English words and other “red flags” that are common in today’s corporate world.

False positives aren’t only a nuisance; they can cause your users to miss important emails—which can be extremely costly and impact your company’s reputation, revenue or performance. In addition, more false positives means that users more frequently hunt through spam folders due to past experiences with false positives, which means they expose themselves up to the possibility of opening something malicious.

2. Lack of outbound filtering enables spoofing

Barracuda doesn’t use DKIM outbound email filtering, which can expose your company to the possibility of being spoofed. DKIM uses public key cryptography to enable your users to digitally sign their emails. In turn, recipient servers are able to verify that any messages sent by your company are legitimate.

This relatively simple step will ensure that your brand and reputation are protected online—while also helping to safeguard your vendors, partners and customers from malicious messages that spammers might try to send on your behalf.

3. Too much reliance on DKIM for inbound messages

DKIM is a great first defense to verify that the content of a message is trustworthy and hasn’t been altered after leaving the mail server. However, Barracuda customers would greatly benefit from additional layers of filtering, such as SPF and DMARC.

By relying solely on DKIM, without the use of SPF, the Barracuda spam filter may leave you open to incoming emails from spoofed addresses or domains. SPF is a DNS text entry that compiles a list of authorized servers for sending mail from a particular domain. This helps to ensure that all messages—even if they are not flagged by DKIM—are coming from the source that claims to have sent them.

In addition, without DMARC, the Barracuda spam filter doesn’t go quite far enough with messages that fail to pass through its SPF and DKIM filters. Using DMARC, your spam filter would allow you, as a domain owner, to publish policies that other email recipients’ servers compare against their own SPF and DKIM failures. This improved level of information-sharing helps to protect your own company if your domain is ever used in a spoofing attempt.

If your organization is using the Barracuda spam filter and still having problems with spam and false positives, it’s time to consider a more layered approach to email security. Sendio Email Security combines a suite of tightly integrated layers to provide a higher level of security, even up against the newest cyber threats. Request a demo to discover how Sendio’s layered approach could benefit your company.