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Banish those Monday blues with proper email security

21 Jan 2019
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Article by Barracuda MSP EMEA director Jason Howells.

Blue Monday is the annual date when a perfect storm of deeply depressing factors converge to make everyone feel as terrible as possible.

By the third Monday in January, the holiday celebrations are a distant memory, aside from some extra weight gain and a big fat credit card bill for the previous month. Cold weather has kept folks indoors, increasing coughs, colds and other airborne viruses. Most workers are gloomy about having another week to wait before getting paid. The lack of daylight makes everyone feel even more lethargic and grumpy.

Reasons to be cheerful

Rather than languish in melancholy, we thought it would be far more worthwhile to provide something constructive to help MSPs avoid feeling blue.

Even better, helping MSPs spread a little sunshine among their customers by easing their security fears. Within the current threat landscape, even those with the sunniest of dispositions could find more reasons to be fearful than cheerful. You need only looks as far as your inbox for a glimpse of the dark world of cybercrime. Depressing stuff. 

In a recent EMEA customer survey on cyber security conducted by Barracuda MSP, it looks likely that the challenge facing IT security practitioners will continue to grow in 2019. 93 percent of targeted cyber-attacks start with an email, and this threat shows no sign of slowing down. Last year, four out of five (80 percent) organisations faced an attack, with 73 percent of respondents certain that the frequency of email attacks is increasing. 

A major focus for Barracuda MSP in 2019 is providing protection from this growing threat, helping MSPs safeguard their customers from costly and damaging attacks. And protecting sensitive data, the bottom-line and reputation of customers is sure to put a smile on their faces.  

Essentials of email security

Email security is entering a new dawn of intuition and responsiveness, easing the woes of customers by reducing not just the incidences of attacks but the time it takes to get them back up and running should the worst happen. 

MSPs can take advantage of tailor-made off-the-shelf solutions that include protection, encryption, data leakage protection and that all-important email continuity at affordable prices. With all bases covered, as well as added support, MSPs can focus on providing customer value and driving growth. Happy customer. Happier MSP. 

An intelligent response to a growing problem 

With so many sources of vulnerability to email attacks, protection needs to be hyper-intelligent and multi-layered. Protecting customers from targeted email attacks through email filtering, spam blocking and encryption is a great starting point. But MSPs need to go further.

Some of the most dangerous attacks come from advanced threats that are designed to evade email filters. Some of the more sophisticated security products can offer further defence against ransomware and other malware, such as zero-day attacks. When asked about ransomware, 30 percent of survey respondents said their organisation had fallen victim of a ransomware attack, with nearly three quarters saying these attacks had come via email. 

Security products that can integrate with employee mailboxes are the smartest approach. Having visibility into internal communication can enable the security software to detect attacks originating from internal accounts - which is critical for stopping socially-engineered spear phishing and account takeover threats. 

Turning staff from a liability to a line of defence

Keeping customers protected from email security threats is a complex business. Not least because one of the weakest links in the security chain is often the organisation itself. The recent survey revealed 79 percent of IT professionals think poor employee behaviour is a greater concern than inadequate cyber security tools. It serves as a reminder that throwing money at your cyber security architecture will be for nought if staff are still falling for phishing attacks that cybercriminals get in. 

Departments with access to sensitive information were seen as most at risk, with finance (26 percent) and sales (18 percent) departments singled out. When it comes to minimising the human risk, IT professionals should consider training alongside getting the right technology in place.

The future is bright, not blue

While there may be plenty of reasons to feel heartily depressed on Blue Monday, it’s not all doom and gloom for MSPs trying to protect their customers from email security threats. With two thirds of respondents claiming that social engineering detection (66 percent) and phishing simulations (61 percent) would benefit their organisation, it’s obvious that customers are beginning to appreciate the value of multi-layered security products.

Many of the respondents (60 percent) recognised the importance of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to give them the best levels of protection. This puts more value on the services provided by MSPs who offer the latest security products.