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Email security is very important for blocking emails from spam or containing malicious messages. That’s why companies use e-mail security software to control incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic. The main task of these products is to prevent malware, phishing attacks, and spam. The way these tools work and the method they use may vary from software to software. Most email security software quarantines the email that it detects to be malicious. At the same time, these software prevent data loss that may occur in e-mails sent, and provide e-mail encryption for employees.

With the expansion of the cybersecurity industry, a lot of e-mail security software started to be produced in the market. Having so many options for a product or service began to intimidate companies. Companies are very confused as they need to do a lot of research to find the right software. If you want to find the most suitable software for yourself, you need to research and test each product, and review vendor comments. You can prepare a detailed list of questions for this. So, what questions should you ask when researching email security software? Here are 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Email Security Software!

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Email Security Software

1. Security features offered by the email security software

Most e-mail security software includes only basic security features. But recently, some service providers have started adding additional features to their email security software, such as data loss prevention (DLP) and email encryption. While most large companies do not care about these additional features, features such as data loss prevention and e-mail encryption are very important for smaller and new companies. Service providers usually charge an additional fee for these features, but since they usually charge a reasonable amount, many companies that need them, buy these additional features.

2. Email storage and processing services

Many e-mail security applications use cloud-based services today. Applications that work in this way process the company’s e-mails and store them in an external system. This way, when necessary, they can transfer suspicious e-mails to another server where they will be analyzed further. Some companies find this type of cloud-based storage application too risky, so this system is not very favorable. Because cloud-based stored emails become more vulnerable to phishing attacks and data breaches. Data can be deleted or encrypted if the service provider is hacked. In such a case, the company may face serious losses. To prevent this, you can use an email security gateway instead of cloud-based storage.

In addition, another risk related to cloud-based systems is that the security and privacy laws regarding such systems are not yet fully established. Security-related laws, in particular, can vary from region to region, state to state.

3. User experience and customization

User experience is very important in e-mail security applications. The easier the email security tools are to manage, the more useful they are, the better for administrators. In this way, your employees can properly manage these applications and ensure their e-mail security more effectively. In addition, e-mail security applications must be customizable. Since it takes a lot of time to customize software, most companies do not pay enough attention to this issue, but it is a fact that customized software perceives phishing attacks better. That’s why experts recommend companies customize basic and advanced applications of the software. Especially high-risk companies should pay attention to customization to protect against advanced and specific attacks.

4. False positive and negative rates

Another factor determining the success of e-mail security applications is the detection rate of malicious e-mails. There are two different ratios you can look at for this. We call false positives to the percentage of emails that the app falsely classifies as malicious. We also call malicious emails false negatives where the app is mistakenly classified as harmless. Since no application is perfect, there is always room for error. However, in a good e-mail security practice, the rate of such e-mails should be as low as possible.

Service providers usually offer different rates for different threats. In other words, the current rate is different for different threats such as malware, phishing attacks, ransomware, spam e-mail. The important thing is the e-mail security application’s ability to set these rates. For example, a company that wants the false positive rate to be too low should be able to make this adjustment, considering that the false negative rate will rise.

5. Effectiveness of the email security software

The most important goal of email security gateways is to protect companies from bad emails. Therefore, the software you use should be able to detect malware, phishing attempts, and spam e-mails. Not only basic antivirus, antispam, and anti-phishing services, but also advanced security prevention options should be in the tool. Because the old generation protection technologies used in the past are not very effective in fighting the risks we face today. Companies looking to combat these new risks must now use more sophisticated antivirus, antispam, and anti-phishing technologies. For example, sandboxing technology should be used instead of signature-based intrusion detection systems to detect malware.

Email security services usually design and offer supportive products in addition to software. By subscribing to these additional services, you can take advantage of sandboxing and other similar advanced techniques. For example, with our Email Threat Simulator tool, we offer you new generation APT products (Fireeye, Deep Security, etc.) and anomaly detection systems (SIEM) and traditional protection mechanisms (Antispam, Antivirus, Content Filter, etc.) at the same time. These next-generation tools provide 100 percent protection against attacks as they are more effective than traditional software against advanced malware and targeted phishing attacks.

Bonus: Threat Intelligence Services

In addition, companies need to take advantage of up-to-date threat intelligence tools for e-mail security. So what does threat intelligence mean? Using threat intelligence, you can gather information about any current or recent cyber-attack you have witnessed. The information that you should collect using intelligence includes various information such as the IP addresses of the attacked devices or malicious URLs. If you want to prevent attacks, it is very critical to keep your threat intelligence tools up-to-date. According to recent research, e-mail security gateways used with up-to-date threat intelligence are much more successful in terms of security and system performance.

If you use all these tools together, you can detect malicious e-mails much more easily.

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