The 4 Basics of Small Business Email Security for MSPs

By its very nature, email is one of the more vulnerable areas of any network infrastructure. The fact that it leaves one network and enters another makes it one of the most obvious vectors for threats and malicious activity. Every day, email is used to transmit viruses, malware, and phishing schemes, thus making email security a priority for all businesses. For MSPs, email security is a vital component to any client security offering and one of the pillars of a secure network.

However, no matter how advanced the technology that is implemented, proper email security can be boiled down to a few basics that every user should know and understand. As an MSP, you can easily prove your value as a trusted advisor and further promote yourself as a vCIO by providing thorough email security training to your clients. The following are just a few security measures that can be used.

Spam Filtering

Through spam filtering, you can redirect harmful, useless or deceptive email away from your inbox so they are either automatically dumped into a junk folder or never enter the network at all. Spam filtering can eliminate numerous front-line threats and can prevent many risks to end users.

What other cyber risks should end users be concerned about? Click here to find out!

Attachment Scanning

Many email security threats come through the unwitting download and opening of an attachment that contains malicious code, ransomware, virus, or spyware intent on capturing sensitive information. Posing as harmless documents, these attachments can cripple a user’s computer once downloaded and bring an entire network down. Attachment scanning uses advanced techniques to detect if the attachment contains any known malicious code packages, and will notify, isolate and remove any attachments deemed harmful.

Email Encryption

To prevent against messages being intercepted and/or read by anyone other than the intended recipients, email encryption should be enabled.

Email encryption either relies on public-key cryptography—where users can publish a public key that others can use to encrypt messages to them, while keeping secret a private key that can be used to decrypt messages—or to digitally encrypt and sign messages that are sent.

User Knowledge

There is no replacement for end users having the knowledge to tell the difference between malicious and safe email. Targeted attacks are gaining popularity, like spear-phishing, which attempts to infiltrate a network by posing as a common email a single recipient may receive—such as one from a boss or CEO requesting information. These sort of attacks may not be prevented by any of the methods described above, and could leave a network open to even larger infiltrations and attacks. These sort of attacks can be even more insidious if they come from within the organization, which is why a well-educated end user is the last line of defense to bolster any email security strategy.

MoreEmail security is just one component to a strong cybersecurity strategy. Uncover the rest by downloading Continuum's eBook here!

Joseph Tavano is senior content marketing manager at Continuum. Read more Continuum blogs here.