The United States Department of Homeland Security started the campaign, “If You See Something, Say Something™,” as a way to get people to report suspicious activity that may lead to an act of terrorism. They push this campaign because they know that despite improvements in technology, the human factor in spotting things out of the ordinary is essential.
When it comes to email security software, the same ideal holds true. There are between 100 billion and 132 billion business emails sent every day, so who better would be able to spot illegitimate email messages than the users who receive them?
How emails make it past spam filters
Email content filtering alone cannot stop all malicious email messages. Attackers are constantly studying how even the best email security software works so they can create ways around the current defenses. For example, when spam filters relied on keywords and Bayesian filtering, the spammers would change up the content of their messages by substituting numbers, characters and even images for words that the spam filters were looking for. When email security software relied on blacklists, spammers would just change their email domain to one that was not on any of the blacklists.
Today, criminals who are intent on bypassing email security software craft personalized emails that are sent to only a few people in your organization. This technique, used commonly in spear phishing attacks, is hard for many spam filters to catch because there are few things that identify these emails as dangerous.
Another type of email that commonly flows through email security software is graymail. These messages come from user groups, mailing lists, newsletters and even marketers that the end-user signed up for at one time. Since they come from trusted domains and the user requested the sender to contact them, these emails also make it through the spam filter, cluttering inboxes.
Adding the human factor
By involving end users and embracing a more human factor, email security software can help better protect the organization from potential threats.
In addition to choosing a provider with a proven, layered defense against spam and malicious emails, seek a security solution that sets up each user with a personal quarantine where they can send any emails they identify as spam, phishing or graymail. Relying on the information end-users provide through this personal quarantine, these solutions better learn how spammers bypassed their checks and uses this information to help identify malicious emails in the future.
Another way to add humanity to your email security is to use a solution that allows personal blacklists. If spam or graymail is spotted, the user can add that sender to the blacklist instead of clicking the unsubscribe link, which can be more dangerous in the long run.
For more specific control, email security solutions that include sender address verification to build a trusted community. unlike a blacklist, the trusted community approach isn’t about keeping specific senders or IPs out, it’s about deciding who can come in.
If you are looking for an email security software solution that merges the best technologies with a human factor, give Sendio a try. You can request a demo to see just how effective it can be in helping keep your organization safe.