Top Anti Spam Software
Email is the primary vector used for phishing and distributing malware, botnets, viruses, and ransomware, so businesses need to have a top anti spam software solution in place to block these threats and make sure they do not arrive in employees’ inboxes.
If a business has a sub-standard email filtering mechanism in place – or heaven forbid, no solution at all – spam will clog up inboxes and have a major negative effect on productivity. A great deal of time will be wasted dealing with those messages, which will take employees away from important, profit-generating activities.
The greatest threat comes from phishing and malware. All it takes is for one employee to respond to a phishing email to give hackers a foothold in the network. A malware or ransomware infection is even worse. Hackers could take full control of a computer and move laterally and compromise large parts of the network. Such attacks can cost millions of dollars to resolve.
Considering the costs of remediating a cyberattack and the damage a data breach can do to a company’s reputation, it is no surprise that a National Cyber Security Alliance study found 60% of SMBs go out of business within 6 months of experiencing such an attack.
A top anti spam software solution will block in excess of 99.9% of spam email and 100% of known malware. Security awareness training and other cybersecurity solutions will help to make sure that the remaining 0.01% of emails are correctly identified as malicious and are blocked.
Types of Anti Spam Solutions for Businesses
The first anti-spam solutions were developed in the 1990s and consisted of physical appliances through which all email traffic was routed. Physical appliances are still available to businesses, but other options now exist that are more flexible, scalable, and do not require the purchase of an expensive appliance.
Software-based solutions are now a more popular choice. These serve as virtual appliances and can be installed on existing hardware. These gateway solutions sit between the firewall and the mail server and perform the same function as a physical appliance, but at a fraction of the cost.
The last choice is a cloud-based solution. These tend to be the cheapest and easiest to implement. All that is required is a change to the organization’s MX record. The solution is then configured, tweaked, and maintained through a web-based administration control panel. Cloud-based spam filters are favored by MSPs as no software installations are required and there is no need for any site visits. Clients can be signed up and protected in a matter of minutes and the solutions can be easily incorporated into existing client management systems through APIs.
What’s the Difference Between the Top Anti Spam Software and Basic Spam Filtering Services?
There are three important metrics that differentiate the top anti spam software from middle of the road offerings: Detection rate, false positive rate, and malware detection. The top anti spam software will block in excess of 99.9% of spam email. It is possible to block 100% of spam emails, but not without also blocking legitimate messages. Those messages could be important emails from clients or prospective clients. It is therefore important to choose a solution with a low false positive rate. The top anti spam software will have a false positive rate of around 0.03-0.05% and will still block in excess of 99.9% of spam email.
The top anti spam software will block 100% of known malware using inbuilt anti-virus engines. Advanced techniques are also utilized to identify zero-day threats – New malware variants that have yet to be identified and classified as malicious. The difference between the top anti spam software and basic anti spam solutions could be a costly phishing attack or malware infection. For example, the Avanan Global Phish Report for 2019 found 25% of phishing emails bypassed Office 365 Exchange Online Protection, Microsoft’s basic spam filtering service for Office 365 users.
Important Features of Business Anti Spam Software
Most commercial spam filtering solutions will block the majority of spam email and known malware, but as all it takes is for one malicious email to be opened to cause a data breach, many businesses want even greater protection and more advanced anti-spam detection capabilities.
Some of the most important advanced features of the top anti spam software to look for are:
- SURBL/URIBL filtering – A mechanism of checking embedded hyperlinks in emails to determine if they are malicious
- Greylisting – The process of sending requests to the originating mail server to resend messages. The delay in resending helps to identify mail servers that are being used for spamming
- DMARC authentication – An authentication technique that checks whether the sender of an email is authorized to use the domain
- Sandboxing – A safe and secure environment for executing email attachments to check for malicious activity
- Email continuity service – Ensures email is still received in the event of a server outage
- Outbound email scanning – Scanning of all outbound email to identify anomalous email activity indicative of a compromised email account or rogue employee
- Choice of deployment options – The top anti spam software comes with a range of deployment options, allowing the solution to be hosted on the provider’s servers, in a private cloud, or as a virtual appliance within your own environment
An anti spam solution is one of the most important cybersecurity solutions a business can deploy to protect against phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. Implementing a sub-standard solution can give a business a false sense of security and could result in a costly data breach. It is far better to invest a little time to assess anti-spam software to make sure a solution has a high detection rate, low false positive rate, and excellent anti-malware protections. You can find out more about these stats by visiting independent review sites such as VirusBulletin. Be sure to check out user reviews as these will give you an indication of how easy the solution is to use and how the software performs.
The ideal solution will be easy to set up, configure, and maintain, and have excellent reporting options. It should also fit seamlessly into your organization’s IT infrastructure.
After assessing the features of a solution, take advantage of any free trials on offer and test the solution in your own environment to find out if it is as good as the marketing team says it is.
With a little due diligence and up-front research, you will be able to select the top anti spam software for your business and will be able to mount a formidable defense against all email-based threats.