At a time when unsolicited emails account for more than half of worldwide email traffic, and email phishing campaigns are reportedly increasing by 400% per year, configuring an email filtering service is less of an option for businesses and more of a requirement.
Although a basic filtering service is provided on most email platforms, spammers and hackers are becoming more sophisticated in how they work. Simple email filters do not have the complexity to recognize sophisticated spam messages and can often permit obvious spam through or label genuine emails as spam in error.
With online security specialists experts universally agreeing that the volume of unsolicited emails and email phishing campaigns is only going to grow, businesses can enhance their security profiles and mitigate the risks from email threats by configuring a professional anti-spam email filtering service.
Spam email is more than just an inconvenience to companies. Although it takes on average just 4 seconds for a staff member to recognize a spam email and delete it, research produced by Microsoft concluded that lost productivity due to spam email costs the global economy just short of $20 billion annually.
However, a bigger financial cost to business comes from email phishing campaigns and emails containing malware. The cost of deleting malware infections, recovering data and paying regulatory fines was estimated at $491 billion globally during 2014 in a joint study conducted by the International Data Corporation and University of Singapore.
In contrast, the cost of an effective email filtering service is negligible. Most professional services are now hosted in the cloud – cutting out the need to buy hardware – and it typically costs around $10.00 per employee per year to configure a professional anti-spam email filtering service depending on the size of a group.
Email filters catch and quarantine spam emails and those thought of as unsafe using multiple security mechanisms. These include blacklists of senders and websites that have been detected in previous unsolicited emails, sender policy frameworks and Bayesian analysis. The mechanisms are updated in real time to stop any recently created spam avoiding detection.
Strong antivirus engines also inspect incoming emails for malware or links to websites that hide their true identity behind a proxy server. These emails are also quarantined and listed in reports that enable system administrators to determine whether the quarantined emails should be sent to the account holder (the sender may also be whitelisted to prevent future blocking) or removed.
One other vital role of an email filtering service is outbound scanning. Outbound scanning prevents spam and viruses from being sent out by a company, and avoids the business being blacklisted as a spammer by global blacklisting services. The consequence of being blacklisted is that business emails are caught by other spam filters – interrupting the business process and damaging productivity.
Specialists estimate anywhere between 70%-95% of all email shared every day as spam. This is why there exists published public blacklists of mail servers that have been relaying spam. These lists permit other mail servers to check if they’re receiving an email from a server’s IP address that might have possibly been recognized for sending spam in the past.
Choosing the best email filtering service can be difficult. There are a number of vendors in the market claiming that their product is the “best”, and often their claims are supported by affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketers benefit financially from ranking one particular email filtering service above another, confusing the process of evaluation further.
In order to accurately evaluate the best email filtering service for your particular business, you have to look beyond the headline claims and into the small print. The vendor of the genuinely best email filtering service will be able to answer all the following questions:
These are just a number of the considerations to look at when choosing an email filtering service or solution. The vendor should also be able to supply you with verifiable testimonials or, at least, testimonials that match the sentiments found on reliable review websites. Once your questions have been addressed to your satisfaction, only then should you think about the comparative cost of the best email filtering service from your shortlist of vendors.
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