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Is your email security out of date?

A recent study has concluded that 91% of all cyberattacks start with a phishing email, and the average cost of a successful phishing attack for UK companies is £245,000. As these attacks become more sophisticated, impersonation and account takeover attacks via business email compromise (BEC) are increasing and causing direct financial loss, as users place too much trust in the identities associated with email. 

It has become increasingly important for organisations to adopt robust email security solutions, however many are still using traditional legacy security solutions and have not reviewed them inline with the cloud strategy. While Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) have traditionally been the go-to choice for many businesses, Integrated Cloud Email Security (ICES) solutions have emerged as a more advanced and effective option.

As organisations continue their journey to cloud, an estimated 83% have migrated their email to a cloud hosted solution. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2023, at least 40% of all organisations will use built-in protection capabilities from cloud email providers, breaking down the traditional multi vendor security approach rather than using secure email gateway (SEG)… But why?

In this blog, we will explore the key reasons why ICES solutions are better than SEGs for safeguarding your organisation’s email communications.

Seamless Integration with Cloud Email Services

ICES solutions are designed to work natively with cloud-based email services such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. With over 300 million active users on Microsoft 365 alone, the need for seamless integration is more vital than ever. This ensures that email security features are applied uniformly across all users, devices, and locations. In contrast, SEGs may require additional configuration and customisation to work effectively with cloud email services, which can increase complexity and the chances of misconfiguration.

Real-time Threat Detection and Analysis

As cloud-based solutions, ICES platforms benefit from continuous updates and real-time threat intelligence, as well as advanced detection capabilities which closes the gaps where legacy, rule-based detection or current Microsoft tools fall short. This allows ICES solutions to stay ahead of emerging threats and provide comprehensive protection against new attack vectors. SEGs, on the other hand, may rely on periodic updates and could potentially lag behind in addressing the latest threats. Additionally, ICES solutions can also monitor and analyse outbound emails to prevent data leaks, maintain regulatory compliance, and protect your organisations reputation.

Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning

ICES solutions often employ advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to detect unusual communication patterns and block sophisticated email-based attacks. In addition, ICES solutions can warn end-users of potential misdirected emails or instances of sensitive data loss. These technologies enable ICES platforms to identify and block phishing attempts, Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, and other advanced threats that traditional SEGs might struggle to detect. In the past year alone, BEC scams accounted for over £138m in losses (Source: Info Security Magazine), demonstrating the importance of advanced threat detection capabilities.

Simplified Management and Reduced Complexity

With ICES solutions, organisations benefit from a centralised management console that provides a unified view of their email security landscape. A study by Enterprise Management Associates found that organisations using a single, centralised security management platform experienced a 45% reduction in security incidents (Source: EMA). This makes it easier for IT teams to monitor, manage, and enforce security policies across the business. SEGs, in contrast, may require additional management overhead, as IT staff may be unaware of the latest threats and have to implement manual remediation fixes.

Scalability and Flexibility

As cloud-based solutions, ICES platforms can easily scale with your organisation’s growth. They also offer greater flexibility in terms of deployment options and configuration, making them more adaptable to the unique needs of your organisation. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud, and edge delivery options (Source: Gartner), making the scalability and flexibility of ICES solutions even more crucial.

Built-In User Awareness Training

ICES solutions often provide built-in capabilities such as user awareness training, which can be crucial in mitigating email security risks. By educating employees on how to recognize and respond to phishing attempts, malicious links, and other threats, organizations can significantly reduce their vulnerability to email-based attacks. Traditional SEGs may not include such comprehensive training features, requiring organizations to invest in separate training solutions.

While Secure Email Gateways have served organisations well in the past, many organisations have overlooked the importance of modernising their email security inline with their cloud transformation programmes. Integrated Cloud Email Security solutions offer numerous advantages in terms of integration, real-time threat detection, advanced analytics, simplified management, scalability, and built-in user awareness training. 

As businesses continue to adopt cloud services and face increasingly sophisticated email threats, ICES solutions provide a more comprehensive and adaptive approach to securing email communications.

If you’d like to understand how to address your email security, please feel free to reach out and we can understand your current solution and challenges and provide a solution that meets your business requirements.

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