Managed hosted email security – is it right for you?

By Chad F. Walter

My opening line will come as no surprise – emails are one of the most vital communications tools we leverage upon in this digital age.  It’s become the default mode for us to stay in touch with our clients; for internal communications within the company; and even for delivering security settings.

Yes, it is that critical.  As such, it goes without saying, securing our email is more important now than ever.  Herein lays the challenge.  Is Managed Hosted Email Security right for my operation, you ask?  In all honesty, it really boils down to three primary questions:

1.      Do I fully understand the risk presented by email usage in my environment?  It’s all about the path to data.  Email is, without doubt, an excellent entry point for data leakage, social engineering, skimming, spear phishing, Trojans and other malware attacks.

2.      Can I keep up with innovation?  Not just IT security innovation, but the innovative nature of the cyber criminal.  It’s not 1983 and the threat isn’t a teenager in his basement having fun with a dial-up modem.  The threat is organized, professional, with access to superior resources and, in many cases, funding.  They’re innovating as fast as (perhaps even faster than) IT security vendors can roll out solutions, and governing bodies can develop compliance requirements.

3.      Do I have the internal resources to manage my email security?  True, setting up an email account is a relatively easy task but securing it is a 24/7/365 vigil.  It’s vital to understand what’s already on your IT security staff’s plate as very often, he/she is also managing the network, desktops, telephony and help-desk.  Are you already making compromises?

How you answer these questions will determine whether or not you should engage a Managed Hosted Email Security vendor and which solution(s) to consider.  Clearly, you’re faced with a myriad of choices and it’s important to weigh all available options.

But remember, not all Managed Hosted Email Security solutions are created equal.

Cost isn’t always a differentiator.

Be prepared to ask questions and qualify the solution.  Is the solution you’re considering fully managed?  How do they protect you from zero-day attacks?  How often is their solution updated?  What is the scalability?  Endeavor to fully comprehend just how they’ll be protecting your email assets.  Be honest, is the protection they’re providing better than what you could deliver yourself?  This is where cheaper is usually not better. It’s a case wherein if you pay peanuts, you (more than likely) get monkeys.

The right Managed Hosted Email Security solution will provide you with a stronger, more resilient level of security than you currently have.  It’ll create operational efficiency for your staff and increase productivity.  And, ultimately, it’ll allow them to better align with and support the growth of your business objectives.

(published on CB Insight)