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Email is still the primary form of digital communication for business. Over 300 billion emails are sent and received worldwide every day and incredibly, approximately 45% of these emails are estimated to be spam.
When coupled with the fact that most Malware is transmitted via email, you can understand why businesses are investing so heavily in Anti-spam solutions to mitigate the risk of malicious attacks, in addition to reducing the amount of clutter that ends up in their inboxes.
What is Spam email?
Also referred to as junk mail or just spam, spam email is typically a series of email messages that are sent in bulk for the purpose of generating sales, or for more malicious motives, such as Ransomware for example.
Your business is at greater risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime if you do not reduce the amount of spam email you receive everyday. In addition, a high volume of emails can also cause technical issues for both your end users and on your network.
In short, from both a commercial and financial perspective, receiving a high volume of inbound spam email is bad news for you business, which is why an Anti-spam solution is essential.
What is Anti-spam?
Anti-spam is an email security solution which detects and blocks a broad range of inbound spam emails before they reach a user’s inbox. More advanced email protection solutions will also check outbound emails to protect the reputation of the sender and intended recipient.
How does an Anti-spam solution work?
Anti-spam solutions typically filter all inbound emails for spam content, malware, viruses, and phishing emails through the process of scanning multiple attributes – including text, attachments, malicious URLS and images. Advanced Anti-spam solutions that provide an elevated level of protection are more effective because they check hundreds and thousands of different email attributes.
Once a potential spam email is identified, it is either quarantined or deleted.
What should you expect from your Anti-spam solution?
The minimum level of performance you should expect from your Anti-spam is as follows:
- 99% spam capture rate – which is backed by a Service Level Agreement (the SLA is especially important)
- Multi-layered virus scanning – all inbound email messages will be scanned by multiple-levels of highly accurate virus engines that will identify, capture, and block any potential threats before they enter the network. More clever Anti-spam solutions also have the capability to identify unknown threats, then add these to the system and protect in real-time. It’s all clever stuff!
- Adjustable sensibility settings – which can be amended at individual or group level, giving you more control.
- Block filter rules – giving you the ability to add sender email addresses to a blacklist. You can also blacklist emails by domain extensions and IP addresses, in addition to creating your own body text filters.
- A Quarantine area – where all emails identified as spam are held. From here, any false positive emails can also be released, whitelisted and released, or permanently deleted.
- Reporting tools – which allow you to create scheduled reports that can be emailed to end users, points of contact and heads of department. Some Anti-spam solutions will allow the recipient to release and whitelist emails from within the email report.
What are the advantages of using a Cloud-based Anti-spam solution?
As with many other software applications, numerous Anti-spam solutions are available “as a service” subscription model, with the service being hosted in the Cloud.
When compared to a locally installed Anti-spam application or appliance, the advantages of using a Cloud based solution are many:
- Stop spam before it enters your network – all inbound emails are scanned and filtered through a cloud-based anti-spam server before reaching your mail server with a minimal delay in delivery time.
- No local installation or updates required – your Anti-spam solution is hosted and maintained in the cloud, which means that no local installation and maintenance is required. In addition, no scheduled updates or expensive version upgrades are needed because you will always have access to the latest version.
- Take the pressure off your IT systems and network – with a cloud-based solution, all email scanning and filtering is completed on a hosted server, alleviating your IT resources and your network bandwidth from running an additional application.
- A subscription-based service model – add and remove mailboxes on the fly as required, with immediate real-time protection.
Machine Learning Technology.
Many cloud-based applications have embraced the recent advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Anti-spam is no exception.
Advanced Anti-spam solutions incorporate Machine Learning Technology, which facilitates the analysis of millions of message attributes and characteristics, including IP addresses, headers, and email structure, in addition to continuously adapting to new spam email content and attachments techniques on the fly – greatly increases the level of effectiveness.
Integration with popular email services.
Many advanced Anti-spam solutions also provide one or more complimentary email security solutions that be integrated with popular email services, including Microsoft 365, Exchange Online and G-mail. Examples of service integration includes:
- Secure email encryption – this allows the end user to securely encrypt emails using the latest 128-bit standards from within their email account, ensuring that only the intended recipient can open the email and;
- outbound email filtering – which ensures your organisation is not sending potential malicious emails to clients that could potentially damage customer relations and your reputation.
Implementing an effective Anti-spam solution in the workplace is an essential requirement for Businesses or ALL types and sizes. Anti-spam isn’t just about keeping your inbox tidy – failure to protect your business and your staff from any potential malicious email attacks could result in financial ruin, or your business reputation being damaged beyond repair.