An electronic mail is one of the most preferred modes of sending information across the world. Billions of emails pass between senders and recipients every day. These emails contain texts, videos, pictures, documents, and every other known form of content. Emails can be classified as professional emails, which are communicated between organizations, and personal emails. The transfer of these emails between the sender and the recipient occurs in a protected form through a secure email gateway service.
What Is An Email Gateway?
An email gateway is a kind of entryway that allows the emails to pass through. In reality, it is the email server that handles every passing email, whether incoming or outgoing, by acting as a gateway. The outbound SMTP server is responsible for letting out the outbound emails.
How Does An Email Gateway Work?
The email server scans every incoming and outgoing email passing through it. This scanning will also include every attachment that comes with the emails. This action is done to protect the servers and the recipient from malicious attacks. Email gateways not only work as pathways but also security walls. This defense acts as barriers that filter and allow only authentic communications and stop the phishing ones.
Why Is It Important To Have A Secure Email Gateway?
Data is the most critical asset for any organization. Malicious actors are on the prowl to steal as much information as possible to help them attain their objectives. The goal for these attacks is usually to extract knowledge for financial gains or to misuse identities. Despite all its sophistication, the virtual world’s defense has always been inadequate against a motivated bunch of phishing agents who are hell-bent on causing havoc.
Here’s a glance at how a secure email gateway works. It is, essentially, an amalgamation of a few technologies. They include a firewall stopping malicious intrusions, filters to check on the kind of content, and a scanning tool that scans attachments for viruses. A secure email gateway has to be the sentinel that guards the mailbox of the user.
Secure email gateways generally work at the network level. The mechanism of filtering emails is such that they do not affect the end-user or the devices. The advantage of doing this is that remote employees don’t need to be bothered and yet remain protected at all times. The machines are also covered at all times, and their performance is hardly affected. Secure email gateways are flexible enough to function from a cloud-based architecture. It would mean that a cloud platform will then provide email security.
Primary Functions Of A Secure Email Gateway
A secure email gateway has various functionalities. The essential ones are the following.
Blocking Of malware
A significant part of all emails received is infected with known malware. The secure email gateway will be scanning every email and, once satisfied, letting them through, thereby protecting it from the threat.
Blocking Of Virus
Quite like the blocking of malware, a secure email gateway will also scan for viruses. The contemporary sophistication of viruses means that email security has to be a top priority.
Filtering Of Spam
Spam filtering is one of the essential functions of a secure email gateway. Most of the processing power of the gateway is spent on clearing spam. Malicious actors focus on jamming the mailbox with irrelevant emails, and the gateway has to deploy advanced filters to prevent it and protect the user. Often, email clients also allow emails to be flagged, after which the sender is blocked.
Features Of A Secure Email Gateway
An email gateway does not mean merely relaying emails between senders and recipients. It is much more with functions incorporated to meet the time’s demands and provide solid security to the users.
Phishing protection is a primary feature of a secure email gateway. It is part of the anti-phishing services of any standard email gateway solution. Along with anti-phishing features, they also provide ransomware protection. These go a long way in guarding the user from malicious threats.
Secure Email Gateways have admin controls that have reporting features. IT Security teams require such reports to analyze and evaluate the tool’s efficacy in countering threats and challenges. Most secure email gateways have a centralized dashboard that provides all the data under a single umbrella. The report generation is highly automated, and this lets the admin the flexibility to use time efficiently instead of wasting it on producing reports.
While regular email gateways with basic features have protection for known malware and virus sources, the advanced secure email gateway is an all-rounder and provides 360-degree email security to its users.
A secure email gateway is much more than merely email forwarding or even email hosting services. It provides a complete solution to oversee the absolute protection of emails and keeping the user’s inbox safe and secure at all times. With the rise of phishing, especially spear phishing, it is essential to have a robust first-line defense against email-borne cyber threats.