Because email and collaboration are critical for your business, it is imperative that you have the right partner. When it comes to deploying Microsoft Exchange, businesses are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers. That’s because the cloud enables them to extend fully featured Exchange functionality without investing capital into extensive on-premise hardware and software deployments.
But not all clouds are created equal. As you consider hosted Exchange providers or even on-premise deployments, it’s critical to look beyond functionality and pricing to elements such as onboarding, support, back-end architecture and—perhaps most importantly—security.
There are many elements of hosted Exchange security, and a good hosted Exchange provider will excel at all of them. A good provider will also constantly evaluate and update their security tools and processes. This is especially important if you plan to integrate mobile devices into your Exchange environment, because mobile technology changes at an extremely fast rate; you’ll be relying on your provider to ensure the security of your environment keeps pace.
Why Does Security Matter?
A breach in email security can have both commercial and legal ramifications. Consider the example in which your email systems are infected with a highly destructive virus. In addition to infecting your own systems, a malware-infected email could infect a customer, a partner, or even a competitor. If the malware payload is delayed, you might spread the infection even before it compromises your own system.
The commercial implications alone could be significant. They could include loss of business-critical systems and data, extensive time and resources required to restore your operations, and lost revenue and missed business opportunities.
Worse, though, is that your organization could be liable for any loss suffered by a third party as a result of the infected email, even if it was spread unintentionally. If that third party happened to be a competitor, they would be even more likely to exercise their legal right to sue for damages.
Email Security and Continuity
A true test of any hosted Exchange provider is the tools they use address email security. Ideally, they should demonstrate a comprehensive approach that protects against both viruses and spam as well as encrypts your email, if necessary. Your provider should offer you a number of services, including:
- Anti-spam. Effective spam protection saves network bandwidth and improves email performance. What anti-spam protection is available from your provider? To what degree of granularity can users control their own spam settings and white/black lists? For administrators, compare what each provider offers in terms of flexibility and the control they offer across all spam settings.
- Anti-virus. How effective is the provider’s anti-virus protection? How do they proactively scan for, detect and eradicate viruses before they impact your email service? Is there any additional cost to you for this protection? How frequently are virus definitions updated?
- Protection for mobile devices. In some cases, a provider’s anti-virus protection extends only to their hosted Exchange servers. When that’s the case, what obligation does that create for you to protect end-user client devices in your organization?
- Data replication. How does a potential provider back up your data to guard against corruption or other threats to data integrity and business continuity?
- Encryption. Depending on the nature of your business, the level of encryption your provider offers may be a primary concern. At a minimum, the provider should offer message-level encryption as well as encryption of attachments to ensure your organization’s email is secure.
Hopedale Technologies employs a full suite of tools to protect against spam and viruses and encrypt your emails. These include:
- Anti-spam and anti-virus. Email Protection helps eliminate spam and viruses before they reach your mailboxes. This service is bundled with every mailbox to identify, quarantine and block suspicious email. This will give you peace-of-mind and frees you to focus on more strategic activities. It offers:
- Content and attachment filtering that helps intercept malicious and sensitive content
- Granular control over how emails are handled based on spam likelihood (inbox, subject tag, junk folder, delete)
- Content filtering based on predefined or customer-built criteria
- Link protection for inspecting URLs that a user clicks before allowing the page to load, which is especially helpful for protecting mobile device users against phishing attacks