Identifying the ideal cloud based spam filter for your organization is not as simple as it sounds.
Cloud-hosted spam filters vary massively in their ability to recognize spam email attacks, their versatility, and their compatibility with current operating systems and network defenses. Furthermore, some are notoriously difficult to use – placing businesses at risk from malware and ransomware if gaps are left in network security.
There are many options for creating and configuring your cloud spam filter so that it has a high spam email detection rate, is versatile, universally compatible and easy to use for your staff. This will allow your email users and your contacts to be happy that you have done everything possible to protect them from web-borne threats such as malware and ransomware.
A high detection rate on it’s own will not mean that a cloud based spam filter is the ideal option for all business entities. As mentioned previously, if a cloud spam filter is not as straightforward to use as possible, it can be improperly configured and lead to a number of gaps in network defenses. Due to this you should choose a cloud spam filter that was designed with ease-of-use as a primary consideration from start to finish.
Make sure it has the following:
It would be wise to ensure that the solution you implement can be scaled up to tens of thousands of users, with all software updates and blacklist updates are carried out as soon as they are available.
Prompt Customer and Technical Support is also an important consideration as you will need to address any issue as quickly as possible so as to avoid any spam attacks.
DMARC – or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance – is an email validation system that identifies and blocks email impersonation attacks. Checks are performed to determine whether the sender of a message is authorized to send messages from that domain. System administrators can decide what happens to messages that fail these authentication checks.
Office 365 includes a basic spam filter which is effective at blocking spam emails and known malware threats but is less effective at blocking sophisticated phishing threats. Many businesses find the level of protection provided by this basic spam filter to be insufficient and either pay for an advanced Microsoft spam filter or use a third-party anti-spam and anti-phishing solution to protect their Office 365 environment.
The cost of spam filtering solutions varies considerably depending on the solution, the features required, the length of the contract, and the number of mailboxes. Typically, you can expect to pay upwards of $1 per user per month for an advanced spam filter.
It is possible to set aggressive spam filtering controls to block all spam and malicious emails; however, doing so will usually see some genuine messages send to the quarantine folder, which will delay delivery. Spam filtering controls can be tweaked to ensure the majority of spam messages are blocked while keeping false positive rates low.
Spam filters incorporate antivirus engines that scan all email attachments for malware. Any message containing malware will be rejected, deleted, or quarantined, depending on the policies set by the administrator. More advanced spam filters also incorporate a sandbox for detecting zero-day malware threats. Suspicious attachments that pass antivirus checks are subjected to deep analysis in the sandbox.