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The critical and challenging role of email security

Why is email today’s No. 1 threat vector? Email is ubiquitous, impersonating a credible sender is simple, unaware users are easily fooled, and email attacks make cybercriminals a lot of money with little effort. Where once we were concerned with basic spam and phishing emails, now we’re on guard for highly targeted and sophisticated attacks including spear phishing, ransomware, and business email compromise (BEC).

At the same time, businesses are migrating their email from on-premises servers to cloud-based systems such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite. Unfortunately, the basic, built-in security of these systems cannot fully protect against email threats. Traditional email security solutions don’t work either. Their rudimentary defences fail to block new and sophisticated attacks, and their siloed approach to security allows advanced threats to slip through the cracks. Both types of security give organizations limited visibility and provide only basic analytics, which makes it harder to respond to threats.

Further complicating the landscape, vendors offer myriad point products that address only part of the security problem. These disjointed products—for email security, data loss prevention (DLP), endpoint protection, web security, and more—require costly, custom integrations and high management overhead. And again, a patchwork defence is leaky. Add in a shortage of trained IT security personnel and organizations end up with increased operational complexity and greater vulnerability.

Finally, as users increasingly share sensitive information over email, organizations are struggling to keep confidential data from being exposed. Data leakage undermines an organization’s ability to meet its legal and compliance requirements. And it can result in damaged brand reputations, regulatory fines, and ultimately, financial losses.