Anti-Spam Cloud Service

Using an anti spam cloud service means that the cloud will host your email filtering solution as opposed to an on site piece of hardware.

There are a number of key advantages to this namely the ease of installation, speed of set up and low level of maintenance.

There is no outsourcing of control to the service provider as you retain complete management of the dashboard and can set the controls to different levels based on individual, group or global scales using integration with directory services. Typically an MX record changes it enough to set up this solution.

The contrast between spam filtering and effective spam filtering is important to acknowledge. If you consider that there are close to 300 billion emails broadcast daily and the fact that almost half of these are spam emails then you get a much clearer idea of the challenge that your group is facing as hacking attempt to steal sensitive information such as usernames and passwords (phishing emails) using malware and ransomware.

In most cases an anti spam cloud solution will recognize somewhere between 97-99% of spam , Depending on the policies set in the spam filter by you or your IT staff. these spam emails will be blocked, quarantined or marked as spam. However, it is possible to get an even better detection rate if you tinker with the “acceptable spam thresholds”. Doing so will result in less time spent dealing with spam and a much better cybersecurity process in your group.

To deal with the growing refined nature of the spam emails cloud anti spam solutions tackle spam with by employing filtering techniques such as:

  • Domain Name Server Blackhole Lists (DNSBLs): In this process the IP addresses of inbound emails are matched with suspected sources of spam to look for similarities. Once found they are rejected, quarantined or flagged.
  • SMTP Controls: These checks look to validate the source of emails and use processes such as reviewing MX records, confirming qualified MAIL FROM commands, and seeking for digital signatures
  • Sender Policy Frameworks: To stop the arrival of “spoofed emails” domain names are reviewed for legitimacyUsing this method you will cut the amount of phishing emails and prevent email impersonation attacks from infiltrating your databases.
  • URIBL and SURBL Filters: Filters like this seem URLs that attempt to bring users to web pages with a history of hosting malware or phishing kits.
  • Content Analysis Tools: A search of email headers and email copy in your inbound mail will be completed to award a “spam score”. Once the established spam tolerance level is broken messages from that source are quarantined or deleted.
  • Recipient Verification Protocols: Inbound emails have their detailed review to make sure that they are coming from a valid mailbox (i.e. j.doe@xyz.com, sales@xyz.com, etc.). If this is not the case then the messages are quarantined or deleted.

It is still possible to invest in hardware and software-based email filters. However, if you are spending your money wisely then you will not pass up on the chance to install an anti-spam cloud service. Cloud solutions can be used on all existing operating systems and can grow as your organization grows.

FAQs

Why do anti-spam filters have outbound email scanning?

Outbound email scanning is an important feature of spam filters as it helps IT teams identify potentially compromised mailboxes that are being used by threat actors to send spam and phishing emails from your corporate email addresses. Outbound scanning is also important for data loss protection and can identify and block attempts by employees to send sensitive data externally.

Aside from the features of a spam filter, what else should I consider before making a purchase?

In addition to a feature and cost comparison, before choosing an anti-spam cloud service we recommend consulting business software review websites (G2, Capterra, Spiceworks, Expert Insights etc.) to find out what genuine users of your shortlisted solutions think about them. This will help you see past the “sales speak” and find out what the solutions are likely to use and whether they work as well as advertised. Also take advantage for free trials to test solutions for yourself.

Will a spam filter block all malware?

Spam filters have anti-virus engines that scan email attachments for the signatures of known malware, but there is a delay between a new malware being created and having its signature added to the malware definition lists of the anti-virus engines. To detect new malware threats, you should choose a solution that has sandboxing. Suspicious attachments that pass AV checks are sent to the sandbox for in-depth analysis.

Is spam filtering necessary for HIPAA compliance?

Yes. HIPAA does not specifically mention spam filtering, but the HIPAA Security Rule does require technical safeguards to be implemented to reduce threats to ePHI. Since ePHI is contained in email accounts and hackers use email phishing to gain access to mailboxes to obtain ePHI, spam filtering can be considered a requirement for HIPAA compliance.

How much does cloud spam filtering cost?

We compared cloud-based spam filtering costs of solutions with average reviews of 4 out of 5 stars on software review sites such as G2 and found the lowest cost solution to be SpamTitan from TitanHQ, which starts at $1.08 per user, per month. Other popular vendors include Barracuda ($2.66 pu/pm), Avanan ($4.00 pu/pm), and Mimecast ($4.50 pu/pm).