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The Top 3 Safest Methods Hosted Email Security Providers Use

By November 3, 2015June 17th, 2017Blog

While it is difficult to find hard numbers that show just how many companies use hosted email security services, common sense tells us that that number is on the rise. For most organizations, security is a complicated matter that requires specialists or dedicated teams for protecting the network, desktop, website, email, and more. This need for specialization has driven many organizations to turn to hosted solutions that harness the knowledge and experience of their vendor’s team; however, not all hosted email security vendors are equal in the quality and protection they offer. There are certain methods that are safer than others – safer meaning they keep illegitimate emails out while reducing the number of false positives they mistakenly identify as harmful emails.

The safest methods hosted email security solutions use to protect your organization are:

  • Mail authentication techniques to prevent spoofing
  • Anti-virus protection techniques
  • Challenge/response checks

Without these techniques in place, an email security system will do little more than filter out the noise of low level spam emails sent out en masse by spambots. If you really need your hosted email security tools to protect against spam, phishing and other email borne threats then you need to take a look at why you need to choose a tool that utilizes the aforementioned methods.

1. Mail authentication

Spoofing is a big problem. If your end users are receiving emails that have been spoofed to look like they come from legitimate senders, then they are more likely to engage with a malicious email message. Clicking a link or downloading an attachment from one of these messages could prove harmful to your entire organization.

Conversely, if your email domain is being spoofed, you run the risk of damaging your company’s reputation when people find out that attackers used your good name to carry out attacks.

To prevent this, a hosted email security solution should rely on three important technologies:

  • Inbound and outbound SPF
  • Inbound and outbound DKIM

2. Antivirus technologies

Scanning all incoming mail for malware is a great way to reduce the number of attacks that are sent to your end-users. However relying solely on AV software isn’t going to stop zero-day attacks where no known signature files exist to identify a new strain of malware. That is why any antivirus solution needs to be augmented with a technology that helps prevent unidentified attacks and the means to block attachments known to package malware using MIME content filtering.

3. Challenge/response checks

Bots that send spam generally go through a list of addresses, sending an email to one and then moving on to the next. If the message is never delivered it doesn’t really matter since there are thousands more on the list to go through.

Silverlisting technology is one way to challenge new email senders potentially spending malicious threats. With Silverlisting, emails from new senders are deferred in the SMTP transaction. While legitimate email servicers will try to send the email again, spammers will not try to keep sending. Messages that are not re-sent are assumed to be junk.

Some challenge/response systems go even further and use Sender Address Verification. In this case, the email security system sends a confirmation message to the sender. If the sender confirms that he or she did in fact send that email message, the message is delivered and the sender is added to a trusted list.

Not all hosted email security solutions offer these three methods of protection for your inbox. Some may offer a few of the technologies mentioned, while others simply rely on content and Bayesian filtering to try and stop spam. Sendio is different. Their email security systems are build to offer you technologies that work in layers that scan a message for any possible anomalies before it is ever delivered to the inbox.

To find out more about why Sendio is a trusted hosted email security platform, read up on the benefits their solutions offer.