Posted by Manish Bhardawaj
Every business needs to access internet for some or other reason including email, website, online transactions, web applications, and web hosting to name just a few. Presence of online threats and growing activities of hackers, spammers, and information thieves has underlined need to adopt stringent security measures for protection of vital information and business continuity.
Significance of email security
Process or policy of securing enterprise email includes a large assortment of technologies and software in addition to stringent adherence to good security practices as far as the employees are concerned.
Network security systems guarantee protection of the entire business from cyber threats. These can consist of identity thieves and hackers.
Email hosting is also the most vulnerable resource as far as the sensitivity of business communications is concerned. Since email is the most sought after resource for communication, one must design email security policies on priority to keep viruses, hackers, spammers, and malware at bay.
Important security policies for emails
Your staff is the most sensitive resource for assuring the initial security of emails. You should provide a thorough training and guidance to your employees in terms of following the basic security steps. This can also include precautions required while opening mail attachments from unknown senders or avoiding inadvertent clicking of suspected links.
Employees should always use the option of BCC while sending out a particular mail to a long list of recipients to help prevent spammers from getting hold of email addresses of your recipients.
Undecipherable passwords or login credentials are valuable tools to enhance security of your systems. Moreover, employees should be encouraged to make changes to these on regular basis.
DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is one of the simplest steps to be taken by domain owners for securing enterprise email from the acts of impersonation. It is also the very first activity, which has attained the status of a standard security practice. Since DKIM enablement has proved its worth beyond doubt, it is extensively implemented by email industry. DKIM is therefore a significant step to secure email associated with your domain.
DKIM authentication is founded on the condition that creation of the valid key can only be executed by senders that are authorized to do so. Providers of email can use the information shared on pubic DNS of the domain for validation of signature.
This facilitates integrity of the message in terms of its contents and other information with regards to recipient and sender. DKIM is increasingly being incorporated in email security packages offered by hosting service providers. This is n addition to DMARC and SPF (Domain Message Identification Reporting and Conformance, Sender Policy Framework).
DKIM secures each and every email that is being sent out with a secure signature. This is done by provisioning of a secure signature that leverages private/ public key mechanism that enables mail recipients associated with the sender’s domain verify the authenticity of the email message whether it is a bulk messaging service or individual email from your account.
Implementing security settings for emails
If the research is to be believed, ninety percent of virus and malware find their way into your system via email attachments. This calls for use of scans and filters to restrict entry of infected attachments. There are different types of security measures including spyware protection pr messaging protection that are offered along with a variety of security and operating system suites.
There are different email encryption software applications being used by professionals such as chartered accountants as well as legal firms for securing their mails along with attachments. Email encryption is one of the most trusted practices for securing emails since it leverages a system of public key encoding.
By encrypting your outgoing mails, you can ensure guaranteed protection of critical mails. Email encryption is the standard feature of reputed email providers including Microsoft Outlook.
Built-in security features of MS Exchange
Microsoft Exchange Server happens to be the most sought after platforms for executing business emails since it is designed for advanced protection. It offers a wide spectrum of email security features by default including capability of scanning multiple engines and integrated filtering to name a few.
Compliance control is also an important feature of MS Exchange to improve adherence to regulatory as well as compliance requirements. What’s more, MS Exchange helps improve confidentiality of messaging by encryption of messages during the transit period.
Other resources for security of emails
You can ensure blocking of threats pertaining to incoming as well as outgoing emails at the network gateway with help of Websense Email Security. This also helps implementation of internal security policies provided by a number of MS Exchange versions.
MS Exchange itself can be leveraged for a hosted encryption service, which is based on internet. This obviates the need to provide basic email security training to employees as well as installation of additional software.