Email plays a very important role in our modern digitally enabled lives. Today, every small and large business, government establishment and non-profit organization across the globe uses email for communication.
In 2015, a study conducted by the Radicati group found that an average business user sends and receives at least 122 emails per day! A more recent report says that this number will grow to 129 emails per user per day by 2019.
From being an internal messaging system to gaining popularity as a business communication tool and validity as a legal business document, email has come a long way. This popularity of email has also made it a vector of choice for various online threats.
Landscape of Email Threats in 2017
Today, email borne attacks have become complex, organized, and pervasive.
As per the SANS Institute, Ransomware emerged as the most identified form of cyber attack across the globe. Ransomware is a type of malware, which gains access to a computer by encrypting data. Access to the computer is blocked for an organization until a large sum of money is paid.
A study by Osterman Research found that nearly half of North American business organizations were affected by Ransomware in 2017. About 60% of the Ransomware attacks were conducted through email.
As per the 2016 Threat Landscape Survey by SANS, whaling and spear phishing are emerging as major forms of cyber attack. Spear phishing attacks are pinpoint attacks that are targeted to a certain subset of individuals such as employees of a particular organisation, visitors of a certain website etc. This type of attack targets a specific group as opposed to spamming the world. Emails sent through this type of attack often look real and from a known source. This type of attack is often carried out to steal certain data for malicious purposes.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) is another form of cyber threat, which continues to attain strength. In this type of attack, an email imitates a corporate identity like a company CEO, or a trusted sender, asking for a wire transfer. In 2016, businesses affected by BEC lost an average $140,000 per attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated there have been over $5 billion losses between 2013 and December 2016, due to BEC. It is not only the big corporations but even small firms have reported BEC scams.
Although data theft is one of the underrated forms amongst email threats, still a report by Osterman Research in 2017 suggested that 69% of businesses were affected by it. They reported significant damages due to data loss brought by actions of departing employees, who may delete important email data or ingest malicious programs on the server. The research report also stated that almost three in five businesses haven’t anticipated this theft.
Thus, threat defense and data security have become a topmost priority for business organizations.
As email-borne threats continue to grow, many business organizations are investing in robust cyber defense strategies like gateway level email security and email archiving to protect their data, employees, and business.
Achieving Cyber Resilience through Gateway level Email Security and Email Archiving
Cyber resilience is gaining recognition due to its multidimensional approach towards cyber security. It combines various concepts like business continuity, data security, and business resilience.
In simple terms, it is an acknowledgment that cyber attacks on a company’s email systems will continue, and sometimes threat agents may succeed, too.
A robust resilience strategy focuses not only on combating unsuspecting cyber attack but also assures a fast recovery and business continuity after a threat is negated.
A combination of a strong gateway level email security to scan all inbound mail for malware and a cloud-based email archiving system to safe keep a copy of every email, is one such robust cyber resilience strategy that addresses risks associated with email security as well as email availability.
Organization-wide Value of Email Archiving
Migrating to a robust cloud archiving platform makes life easy for the entire organization in the following ways:
Ensure Resilience with Strong Security Features: Many email archiving solutions are equipped with end-to-end encryption, as well as several other features that help protect sensitive business data from corruption, damage, or misuse. Thus, when a cyber attack or a natural disaster occurs, the cloud-based archiving solution makes it easy to retrieve business information, and maintain business continuity.
High Productivity for Users: Preserving business records in their authentic form is one of the key requirements in eDiscovery. The consequences of slow eDiscovery can be massive, including huge fines, a risk of sanctions, and reputation loss. Thus, legal and risk management teams in various organizations spend a lot of time, in organizing email and data archives as per compliance regulations. Modern cloud-based email archiving solutions, maintain all data online, search ready and with faster search capabilities, which easily streamline processes required for eDiscovery.
Easy Integration with various other Business Tools: Email archiving systems can be easily integrated with various business tools like Splunk, Salesforce, Sendgrid, etc, which are used to process email for a business besides the primary mail platform. E.g. Salesforce is typically used to run outreach marketing campaigns or Sendgrid may be used to send business notifications, all of which need to be archived. The easy integration helps consolidate these emails being sent from different platforms to simplify data management.
Lesser Involvement of IT Teams: Advanced email archiving solutions are intuitive, and enable authorized people to safely and easily access their older correspondence. A user can launch an independent search and retrieve email, without involving the IT team, thus allowing the IT team to focus on more productive initiatives.
Enables Faster Decision Making: A robust email archiving solution with fast and deep ediscovery, provides an excellent business opportunity to organizations. It enables them to analyze the archived data for gaining insights on trends and patterns. These insights then help in faster and more effective decision making.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, 33% of the decision-makers in IT organizations say that email archiving solutions will become the major business driver in the next two years. (Osterman Research 2017).
ClrStream: Cyber resilience through malware free email with business continuity
ClrStream is a cloud based mail cleaning, mail security and business continuity solution, which scans every inbound email for malware, ransomware, virus and spam, quarantines infected email and only passes clean mail to the users. This reduces chances of email borne infections to near zero.
In addition, by retaining a copy of every inbound and outbound mail on the cloud for a limited period, the service provides alternate access to the users in case of a disaster on their primary mail server.
Vaultastic: Cyber resilience through robust and safe Email Archiving
Vaultastic is a cloud-based email archiving and ediscovery solution, which helps businesses to achieve cyber resilience, by providing them a way to safe keep a copy of every mail transacted by all users, in a secure, separate location and make these vaults available to the users via a tamper proof, secure web interface.
The mails are kept safe, secure, search ready and always online using technologies such as encryption, role based access, location based access control, multi factor authentication, audit trails, elastic stores, and more. This means that once an email is ingested into Vaultastic, it is safe for life and always available online, instantly, via ediscovery.
The solution is designed to ingest email in-line along the path of delivery and not post delivery, since there is very little control once the mail is in a user’s mailbox. This ensures that no matter what the user does after the mail has been delivered, there already is a copy of all the email in a central separate physical repository.
To know more about how Vaultastic and ClrStream aid in achieving cyber resilience? Feel free to contact us.