In today’s business world, spam has become as common as casual Fridays. That’s why, like any savvy company, your team uses a spam filtering service to protect your inboxes from unwanted junk and malicious schemes. But chances are your spam filtering service isn’t doing enough to actually protect you.
How can you tell if you need to up the ante on your email security? Here are a few signs:
1. Your company has been the victim of spoofing.
If you’ve ever discovered that spammers have been sending emails pretending to be someone in your company, you’ve been spoofed. Not only can these schemes put your customers and business partners at risk of being phished; spoofing can also negatively affect your company’s reputation. Unfortunately, most spam filtering services don’t include safeguards to protect you against spoofing.
2. Your employees are experiencing signs of a computer virus.
Even with spam filtering in place, viruses can fairly easily breach your network. This may happen because your spam checker isn’t staying up to date on ever-evolving security controls, or because it mistakenly routes malicious emails into employee inboxes (see below.)
Do your employees often have unexplained computer problems that might indicate a virus? This includes their computers suddenly moving a lot slower, displaying more pop-ups than usual or crashing altogether. Another sign of a virus is suspicious hard drive activity and shrinking hard drive space—an indicator that unauthorized programs are running in the background.
Company-wide, a good indicator of a virus is an unusually high amount of activity on the network. Ensure that there isn’t a large amount of legitimate activity going on at that time, such as a Windows update or a lot of data being downloaded. If not, you’ll want to have your IT department closely monitor where your network traffic is occurring to ensure a virus isn’t causing all the activity.
3. Spam regularly makes its way into your employees’ inboxes.
Separating the good from the bad seems fairly straightforward, but most spam filtering services still allow spam messages into your workers’ inboxes. In most cases, that’s because they don’t have sender verification. And as spammers’ tactics grow increasingly sophisticated, they’ve learned ways to easily sidestep content-based spam filters.
4. False positives are wasting employee time and company money.
When companies rely on a traditional spam filtering service, false positives can happen all the time. That’s when the filter incorrectly flags an email as spam, usually because of certain words and phrases, links or attachments included in the message.
False positives require employees to spend even more time on their email—a task that already consumes 28 percent of workers’ time. Worse yet, missing important messages because they are flagged as spam can be incredibly costly to your business. In one classic case, a series of false positives cost a law firm thousands of dollars in court fees.
Go Beyond Spam Filtering
Most spam filters just aren’t getting the job done. In the face of today’s increasingly sophisticated malware threats, it’s not enough to simply redirect spam into a separate folder based on its content. In many cases, this doesn’t help to fully protect employees from phishing, viruses and other schemes.
Instead, IT managers and business owners should consider a solution that takes a more comprehensive approach to email security. Seek out a security solution that filters spam based on the sender—rather than the content—and includes multiple layers to protect employees from malicious messages. Also be sure to implement a solution with DMARC, an open email standard that helps to prevent email spoofing.
By dealing with spam in a more comprehensive way, your company is better protected and your employees can enjoy improved productivity—a win-win for the business and your workers.