Benefits of Cloud Based Email Security

More and more businesses are moving to cloud based email solutions, with Office 365 by far the most popular choice, and with cloud-based email, it makes a great deal of sense to also use cloud based email security solutions. Traditionally, businesses would use a secure email gateway that was deployed on-premises, either as an email security appliance or, more commonly in recent years, an email security solution deployed as a virtual appliance. These solutions are gateways through which all emails must pass and are subjected to a variety of checks to eliminate spam, phishing emails, and malware.

On-Premises vs Cloud Based Email Security

These on-premises appliances have advantages and disadvantages. The benefits are that businesses retain full control of their email communications, potentially giving them greater visibility and control over their email accounts and users, but there are many disadvantages, and for most businesses, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. The disadvantages are the initial cost of purchasing the appliance and the ongoing costs of maintaining it, upgrading it, and ultimately replacing it. These appliances have limited capacity, so when the business grows, the appliance will need to be replaced with one with more capacity, or additional appliances will need to be purchased, and installation may not be straightforward. With all factors considered, the cost of on-premises email security is generally much higher, and with so many businesses having cloud-based email, using a cloud based email solution makes a great deal of sense.

These are provided as a software-as-a-service solution, either directly through a cybersecurity company or a managed service provider. The advantages of cloud based email security are numerous. There is no major upfront cost as no hardware needs to be purchased, with many cloud based email security providers even offering monthly billing – email security becomes an operational expense with predictable and transparent costs, which makes budgeting easy.

Businesses can refocus their resources and there is no need to employ specialists as the SaaS providers handle all the support, and there is much less maintenance required with cloud based email security solutions. There is no need to maintain software or perform patches, since they are all handled by the SaaS provider, and are applied with no downtime. That means businesses can focus their resources on more strategic tasks, eliminating the hardware maintenance and putting those resources into more proactive security tasks.

There is the scalability of the cloud, so when the business grows, more licenses can be purchased, or the user count can be reduced so businesses only pay for what they use. There are no management costs associated with maintaining hardware, as that is handled by the service provider, and those costs are spread between many thousands of users. While there are ongoing costs, cloud based email security is often the most cost-effective choice.

Additional Security Features Provided by SaaS Companies

Implementing and managing IT security solutions on-premises can be difficult and costly. One of the advantages of cloud based email security solutions from cybersecurity companies or managed service providers is easy access to a much broader range of security solutions, which allows businesses to add many additional layers of protection – something that has become increasingly important in today’s rapidly changing threat landscape.

Cybercriminals have increased their efforts to target businesses and email is the main attack vector. Phishing attacks have increased in number and sophistication, and malware is a constant threat, with new variants continually released that are capable of evading traditional signature-based defenses such as antivirus software. Cloud based email security solutions are available that provide advanced protection against phishing attacks and zero-day malware threats, incorporating email sandboxing for behavioral detection, the capability to strip out active content and deliver sanitized attachments, and the incorporation of AI-based or machine learning systems that can predict new phishing attacks. These solutions are also fed extensive threat intelligence that protects against zero-minute attacks.

Some of the additional features often provided in cloud based email security solutions can help with compliance and disaster recovery, such as email archiving. Implementing, managing, and maintaining an email archiving solution on-premises can be a headache, but this service can be easily implemented in the cloud with SaaS companies providing full backups and replication across multiple data centers to ensure constant availability of email, even during a mail server outage. Email archiving provides an important additional layer of protection for disaster recovery. Many service providers also combine phishing protection with the protection of emails in transit to help businesses meet their compliance obligations. End-to-end email encryption will ensure that there can be no unauthorized accessing of email content, something that is vital for compliance with regulations such as HIPAA. Email encryption is often incorporated with email archiving in the same solution or email security package. These solutions can all be managed and maintained through a web-based interface from anywhere, so there is no need for IT team callouts to resolve problems.

Cloud based email security solutions are quick and easy to implement, come at a much lower cost than they would if they were deployed on-premises, and are much easier to manage. For businesses with very limited resources to devote to security, packages of cloud-based security solutions can be obtained from managed service providers, that will implement, manage and maintain the solutions to allow businesses to fully focus on strategic projects and proactive defense.