Email is typically the channel through which ransomware and malware are unleashed upon the enterprise. Phishing scams use it to compromise networks. Executives are conned by fake emails into sending funds to the wrong places – or worse, giving up their privileged credentials. Employees are duped into clicking on malicious email attachments and links.
A recent HP Wolf Security report found that email now accounts for 89% of all malware. The good news in that is that web and browser security are improving. The bad news is that email security is not.
That makes employee training a critically important defense – see our picks for the best employee cybersecurity awareness training tools.
What is a Secure Email Gateway?
Another critically important line of defense is a secure email gateway – and not surprisingly, analysts forecast double-digit growth for the secure email gateway market for years to come.
These gateways are either devices or software that monitor emails being sent and received. They spot unwanted traffic such as spam, phishing expeditions, malware, and scams.
Generally speaking, secure email gateways are a specialized form of email server that filters incoming and outgoing traffic. In some cases, in-depth analysis is done on outgoing messages to detect and block the transmission of sensitive data. Some gateways are hardware appliances or servers, some are software-based or virtual appliances, and others are cloud services.
Regardless of the mode of deployment, email gateways protect organizations against malware and ransomware by providing robust scanning layers to identify and reject emails that contain malicious payloads delivered either by URLs or attachments. Heuristics and behavioral analysis are often applied to enhance detection capabilities if no file signature is present. Files found to be containing malware are held and suspicious files can be passed to a cloud-based sandbox for full detonation.
Key Features of Secure Email Gateways
A good email gateway will contain most of the following features:
- Identify and filter spam, viruses, phishing and malware from URLs or attachments
- Scan inbound, outbound and internal emails
- Look for authentication checks such…