Microsoft Exchange is one of the most used email services worldwide. It delivers an excellent service for sending and receiving email. However, it is not a cybersecurity solution and has not had a team of developers dedicated to fighting the attempts of cybercriminals to infiltrate its security provisions and steal valuable data or install ransomware.
Due to the fact that it is the leading email service that businesses use around the world, cybercriminals have invested a lot of money in trying to come up with schemes that will result in them trick staff to hand over access or download malware and tracking cookies to their computing devices. Hackers are always coming up with new tactics that seem more realistic to email recipients so it is important to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to stop them from gaining a foothold on your databases.
The free security provisions that come with your purchase of Microsoft Exchange can block a large portion of email but they cannot boastr the same power as dedicated spam filters. In addition they are typically more user friendly and scalable.
In short, if you wish to do everything possible to stop cybercriminals accessing your network with as as user-friendly an experience as possible that you need to invest in a dedicated spam filter for Microsoft Exchange.
Greylisting – with spam detection rates of 99.9% – is only one of the features businesses should look for in an email filter for Exchange. Many other features exist that can enhance online security, and these are usually factored into the cost of implementing an effective email filter for Exchange.
One of the most important ones is SUBRL filtering. This process checks links within emails against lists of URLs found in unsolicited emails. SUBRL filtering significantly reduces the likelihood of a successful phishing attack, and thereby reduces the threat from malware and ransomware.
Another feature to look for in an email filter for Exchange is outbound scanning. Outbound scanning is provided by Microsoft as a paid-for extra if your business uses Office 365; but most third-party software vendors include this feature – which can identify compromised business email accounts and prevent your business´s IP from being blacklisted – as standard.
Paying extra for Exchange Online Protection does not necessarily resolve the problems with the spam filter for Microsoft Exchange. Spam detection rates are still low by industry standards, and the more features you pay for, the more you have to configure to find the optimum Spam Confidence Levels.
Microsoft has tried to increase the spam detection rates of its email filter for Exchange. Back in 2015 it introduced a feature called “IP Reputation” – a feature that was described as a “sophisticated version of Greylisting”. Although it was free, IP Reputation only succeeded in increasing false positives.
Had Microsoft simply introduced Greylisting as an optional feature, businesses could have had the choice of whether they wanted higher spam detection rates at the cost of slightly longer email delivery times and white-listing trusted senders. Microsoft´s customers were not given the choice, and many have since implemented a third-party email spam filter for Exchange with the Greylisting feature.
The problems with the spam filter for Microsoft Exchange vary according to who you speak with. Some businesses complain about the volume of spam the filter fails to detect. Others complain about the advanced technical skills required to find the filter´s optimum configuration.
These two problems are not disassociated. If you are receiving too much spam, it is a natural reaction to increase the Spam Confidence Levels. This can have the result of delaying the delivery of business-critical emails – particularly sales leads – while they wait to be extracted from quarantine.
The reaction to this scenario is to reduce the Spam Confidence Levels, with the result that more spam evades detection. Although it is possible to apply different Spam Confidence Levels to different departments, the least labor-intensive way of doing this is (by synchronizing the spam filter for Microsoft Exchange with directory software) is a paid-for extra.