With an ever-evolving number of cybersecurity threats, it’s becoming more and more important for enterprises to protect themselves with secure email services that can likewise evolve and adapt.
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But the evolution of secure email services is not limited to technical cybersecurity. For enterprises, it’s also important to consider the following:
- How easy it is for employees to use the secure email service
- How much (if at all) the secure email service interrupts the ease of internal and external communication
- How well the secure email service helps mitigate the No. 1 cause of cybersecurity breaches: human error
Look for secure email services designed for enterprises
Given the importance of cybersecurity, it may be tempting to look for the tightest security on the market. These secure email services may be ideal for journalists or government agencies, but are not necessarily the right solution for a business.
Secure email services for enterprises should protect your information. However, they can’t interrupt productivity or the flow of day-to-day communication. For example, end-to-end PGP encryption is not logistically reasonable most of the time for a business with clients. There are exceptions, like medical institutions, but most enterprises find more useful protection from tools like sandboxing attachments and opening links into an isolated browser, which can be much more useful for stopping the most common types of breaches that impact enterprises.
These features help derail phishing scams, which are fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable companies and trick victims into revealing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers. It’s not uncommon for cyberattacks to deploy emails that appear to come from an organization’s client, CEO, or even their own IT department.
By creating a securely isolated environment in which suspicious emails and attachments can be opened, if it turns out the emails were incorrectly flagged as suspicious, the content can still be accessed. And if the user opens something that is a cyberattack, it’s difficult for the cyberattack to infiltrate the rest of the network from the isolated browser.
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Understand Your Environment
One of the first things to consider when comparing secure email services is the online environment. In other words, you’ll want to be aware of what vulnerabilities you have, and how cyberattackers tend to infiltrate the type of environment you operate within.
An organization that works with Google Workspace might have different vulnerabilities than Microsoft Outlook for example, so you’ll want to make sure the secure email service is not only compatible with your environment, but that it can compensate for weaknesses.
Key Factors to Look for in Secure Email Services
Ease in understanding their communication style
For many people, cybersecurity is a foreign concept, but a good secure email service makes their solution easy to understand. This is important not just to help you make an informed buying decision, but because it reflects how they will communicate when rolling out security awareness training for your employees.
A secure email service is only worth its investment if your organization is able to use it, so make sure the communication style is a good culture fit for your organization.
Email archiving services
Emails are virtual paper trails, so keeping protected records is just as important as being able to send emails securely. Email archiving helps you store emails in a single secure location as opposed to bringing in another third party that might not offer the same level of protection or integrate as well with your overall operation.
Email continuity services are essentially a backup email system that can take the place of your traditional system if the server goes down. Downtime can carry dire consequences ranging from employee frustration and lack of productivity to dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue–it’s important to be able to avoid downtime while also keeping your operations protected whenever you resort to plan B.
A secure email gateway
A secure email gateway blocks email-based threats before they reach a mail server. You want to look for companies that offer multiple detection engines, which can protect against a variety of common cyberattacks, such as spear-phishing and zero-day attacks, which can be difficult for employees to detect on their own.
Targeted threat protection
Targeted threats are a type of malware that are designed to infiltrate a specific company. It’s common for employees to receive malicious links in an email or attachment that could cause them to reveal their credentials, sensitive information or to download malware and viruses. Targeted threat protection guards against this by detecting suspicious links and allowing employees to open links safely.
This essentially allows employees to send and receive sensitive data in directly from their mailbox without needing to access encryption methods. Even if accessing encryption is straightforward and easy, automating the task altogether is the best way to mitigate human error.
Large File Send
When employees need to share large files, such as video or audio files, they often need to go through third-party file sharing software that may not always meet your organization’s security protocols. This feature offers safety as well as convenience by letting employees send the files from within their mailbox application.
Data Leak Protection (DLP)
A data leak happens when an outbound email containing sensitive information reaches someone it shouldn’t. DLP helps monitor outbound emails and will block or quarantine anything with suspicious content.
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