Despite several new communication channels and methods popping up in recent years, email continues to play a critical role in business communications and operations. Email is ubiquitous, used for both business-critical messages and informal communication, and it continues to be required for subscription to almost all online services and collaboration tools. However, although email is one of the oldest digital communication channels and is in widespread use across the globe, it remains a potentially vulnerable channel and a popular target for cybercriminals.
To help ensure email continuity and effective mail protection, it is crucial that businesses are using a secure email gateway and are leveraging enterprise-grade email continuity tools. This article will discuss the importance of mail protection for MSPs and recommend a few features you should prioritize in your search for an email continuity solution.
The importance of mail protection
Given the continuous and exponential rise in the number of social media platforms and communication channels, each of which could be competing with email platforms, one might guess that use of email channels is declining. However, although email might not be growing as quickly as other communication tools, it remains an essential tool for businesses and consumers alike. In fact, consumer and business emails that are sent and delivered per day will add up to more than 347 billion by the year 2023.
Demand for online services and collaboration tools is also on the rise, with rapid growth in the last year caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns implemented across the globe, there has been a massive increase in email traffic, which has exacerbated the challenges of email security. Savvy cybercriminals have implemented a number of new tactics designed to exploit the increased use of digital services, with many businesses and consumers have reported an increasing number of suspected phishing attacks and spam emails.
With use of email as a communication channel continuing to thrive—and cybercriminals innovating their cyberattack techniques as a result—it is crucial that businesses have the appropriate measures and mail protection tools in place to protect their email activities.
The role of email continuity
Email security plays a critical role in ensuring mail protection and preventing cybercriminals from exploiting your email accounts and communications. While email security helps prevent an attack or outage in the first place, email continuity acknowledges that downtime is sometimes inevitable.
In the event of an outage, email continuity helps ensure emails remain accessible, even if the primary server is down. Without appropriate email continuity measures and solutions in place, outages could have a significant impact on business, costing your customers their revenue, their productivity, and their reputation. As an MSP, you simply can’t afford to have your customers blame you if they lose access to their critical email services.
Without appropriate email continuity, you may risk the following:
- Business interruptions
- Time lost
- Business lost
- Failure to meet SLAs
- Damaged brand reputation
- Reduced customer loyalty and satisfaction
- Reduced productivity
To avoid these risks, MSPs should invest in an email continuity solution, which should form part of your wider email security strategy. This will not only help protect your revenue and reputation but can also boost employee productivity and customer satisfaction—all of which are essential to the ongoing success of your business.
Key email continuity and mail protection features
Utilizing a secure email gateway should, of course, be a priority for all businesses. But in a market saturated with email continuity and mail protection tools, knowing which features to prioritize and choosing between options in your search can be a challenge. To help you make the right decision for your MSP, here are some of the most useful email continuity and mail protection features to look out for:
EMAIL QUEUE SUPPORT
Queue support should ideally be a minimum of 14 days. As an example, if your solution offers 10-day queue support, this means the tool will continue attempting to deliver email and store emails in an incoming delivery queue for up to 10 days while the primary service is offline.
INTEGRATION WITH WEB-BASED NETWORKING TOOLS
Web-based networking tools allow you to diagnose issues proactively and provide increased visibility into downtime and outages. While email continuity is important during an outage, networking tools may be able to help you diagnose and troubleshoot the issue to restore operations. The data insights provided by web-based network tools can also be leveraged to improve email continuity, as well as mail protection.
FULL FALLBACK MX SERVICES
Backup Mail Exchange (MX) systems function as a secondary mail server solution when your existing email service is disrupted, for whatever reason. The MX record specifies the email server that should handle emails in any given domain, and having a backup MX service helps make sure that mail is routed to a secondary server if something happens to the primary server. This helps ensure that emails continue to be delivered in the event of an outage and is a very important part of forming a successful and reliable email continuity strategy.
A CUSTOMER PORTAL
A web-based portal that allows users to continue to send and receive email during outages and downtime is crucial, ensuring that that daily business operations can continue without disruption. Customers should be able to access their inboxes from a web-based console to make sure their business operations don’t have to come to a standstill.
Choosing the right mail protection and email continuity solution
SolarWinds® Mail Assure is a comprehensive solution that combines mail protection features with email continuity features, helping prevent issues from occurring and safeguarding the system in the event that something does go wrong. In short, Mail Assure accounts can help ensure that productivity isn’t disrupted.
The Mail Assure email continuity features are especially extensive, and include all the utilities mentioned in this guide as priorities. This tool provides 24/7 hosted email continuity through a web-based console, so customers don’t miss an email. With a network of high-availability, global data centers, Mail Assure helps ensure business productivity is uninterrupted.
Key email continuity features include:
- 60-day email queue support
- Web-based access to email quarantine and archived emails at all times
- Immediate action during an outage, so that users can still log in, send, and receive emails
- Integration with web-based networking tools
Email continuity isn’t the only area of email security in which Mail Assure thrives. For example, Mail Assure also includes encrypted long-term email archiving to prevent data loss. With encrypted email archiving, you can retrieve old emails at any time. This is especially useful if messages get accidentally deleted. Mail Assure lets you store archived emails, eliminating customer data loss and leveraging advanced encryption to help ensure the archive can’t be exploited by hackers.
Another benefit of using Mail Assure is that it offers seamless Microsoft 365 integration through an add-on, enhancing your mail protection experience by extending it to the Microsoft 365 environment. With so many companies turning to Microsoft 365 for their email services, this is an especially useful feature to offer to modern customers. Mail Assure email continuity features also apply to Microsoft 365 helping ensure it is still accessible during an outage.
Getting started with Mail Assure
As this guide has discussed, email doesn’t seem likely to go away or fall out of popularity any time soon. Demand for online platforms, collaboration tools, and online shopping continues to rise, but they aren’t set to replace email. Rather, email is a crucial part of almost every online platform, service, or subscription. Because of this, email isn’t declining, but growing—and your MSP’s email protection and continuity offerings should do the same.
To help ensure maximum email security for your business, Mail Assure is able to process email data sourced from more than two million domains, helping you safeguard against even emerging threats. This utility is highly dependable, with a 99.999% filtering accuracy. Mail Assure also includes real-time pattern threat recognition technology, which includes impersonation and anti-phishing capabilities. This solution offers support for DKIM, DMARC, and SPF, enabling you to take every measure possible to establish robust email spoofing prevention.
To do their jobs effectively, businesses rely on the email security, and they depend on MSPs to safeguard their email platforms. Mail Assure provides an enterprise-grade, highly sophisticated approach to mail protection, leveraging some of the most advanced tools to help ensure that your emails are more secure. Machine learning and collective threat intelligence help you prevent viruses, spam, malware, spear phishing, ransomware, social engineering attacks, spoofing, business email compromise, impersonation, and other email-based attacks.
If you’re looking for a mail protection and email continuity tool that is reliable, user-friendly, and comprehensive, we believe SolarWinds Mail Assure is an excellent option. Access a 30-day free trial here.