This year, the world’s population is expected to send over 306 billion emails every day—and that figure is projected to rise to more than 347 billion emails on a daily basis by 2023. While email has held its own in an emerging market of workflow management software and instant messaging platforms, the sheer volume of emails sent per day can make it an inefficient way for your managed services provider (MSP) clients to do business.
To complicate matters, spam makes the job of sifting through the sheer number of emails even harder. In fact, with more than half of those 300 billion-plus emails are considered spam, most of the communications we get do nothing but clog our inboxes, take up valuable space on business servers, and waste our time. On top of this, spam emails are one of the most common vectors for cybercriminals to attack business networks—either through malware, ransomware, or social engineering attacks.
In response, businesses need to invest in anti-spam solutions that can effectively keep their teams’ inboxes clear of unnecessary—and potentially harmful—emails. As an MSP, you should have the proper anti-spam tools at the ready to support your customers’ businesses, protect them from digital threats, and save them on their IT spend in the process.
With hosted anti-spam solutions, MSPs can offer their clients these benefits. As we’ll discuss in greater detail, hosted anti-spam solutions offer an agile platform with which to filter out unwanted and unhelpful emails without breaking the bank, taking up space on servers, or requiring work-intensive installation, updates, and maintenance.
What are the advantages of hosted anti-spam?
While there are a number of anti-spam solutions on the market for MSPs and other businesses to choose from, hosted anti-spam options have become increasingly popular. Hosted anti-spam solutions deliver sophisticated anti-spam protection as a service from a third-party IT expert. Like other “as a service” products, this model provides MSPs and their clients with a level of strategic agility, allowing them to pay for only the protection they need depending on the size and scope of their organization and partnerships.
Beyond this flexibility, hosted anti-spam solutions offer other critical advantages. For example, working with an off-site provider for anti-spam needs helps free up essential bandwidth and other IT resources for your business’s core competencies. These platforms also often provide comprehensive email archiving and email continuity capabilities, helping ensure your teams’ email accounts are available to them despite connectivity issues, network failures, or other disruptions to business continuity.
How do you know if you need a new anti-spam solution?
Business leaders considering an investment in a new anti-spam solution should evaluate how their current options are coming up short and what operational pain points they’re looking to resolve. By undertaking this kind of analysis, key decision-makers—both in your MSP team and in your clients’ teams—can be sure they’re getting the best anti-spam solution for their particular needs. Start evaluating your current anti-spam practices and considering alternative options by asking yourself the following questions:
- How much space does your current anti-spam operation take up?
If your method is hogging considerable server space, a new anti-spam solution can free up more IT resources.
- How effective are your present anti-spam efforts?
Even platforms that claim to filter out 97% of spam emails successfully can let in too many for your teams to easily manage on a daily basis. If employees or customers are complaining about an uptick in unnecessary emails, it’s time to evaluate other options.
- What is your present cybersecurity posture?
If you’re concerned about potential threats from malware, ransomware, and social engineering attacks—or, worse, if you or any of your customers have fallen victim to any of these types of attacks recently—a more aggressive anti-spam platform can help shore up your defenses.
- Think about your technicians’ workflows.
Less sophisticated anti-spam solutions can require considerable upkeep, from manually updating lists to looking for false positives. If you need your technicians working on more substantive projects than the minutiae of anti-spam, it’s likely worth looking into a new solution.
- How might you be able to utilize your IT spend more effectively?
If you’re overspending on anti-spam operations that require hardware and software that you don’t otherwise need or that’s eating into your capital expenditures budget, consider different options. With a hosted anti-spam solution, for example, you can save money on expensive hardware, free up resources, and move operations offsite.
How does anti-spam work?
Cybercriminals, nefarious organizations, and other bad actors are constantly developing new ways of bypassing traditional anti-spam measures. This means effective anti-spam software needs to be rigorous enough to anticipate these developments and filter out even the most advanced forms of spam emailing. For decision-makers considering which anti-spam solutions are aggressive enough for their needs, it helps to understand how anti-spam works in the first place.
The best anti-spam platforms rely on a number of strategies to block incoming and outgoing spam. For example, Domain Name System-based Blackhole Lists (DNSBLs) analyze the IP addresses of emails against those of proven spam originators. Depending on the results of this analysis, DNSBLs will flag messages for outright rejection or some kind of further review. Similar methods, such as sender policy frameworks, combat social engineering attacks by checking emails against domain names from each message’s point of origin. However, the most effective solutions will include both anti-spam and antivirus capabilities. This enables them to combat spam and other email borne threats such as phishing, malware, and ransomware.
Additional methods look at the content of emails to rate the likelihood of messages being considered spam depending on keywords or questionable phrases, evaluate the destination addresses of emails to make sure their purported recipients exist, and filter based on URLs known to be a source of malware.
Choosing the right solutions for your MSP
For MSPs ready to invest in email solutions that meet their clients’ needs, it’s crucial to have tools designed for the way you work. By moving to a hosted anti-spam solution, you can offer the best protection for your clients in a seamless and affordable manner.
SolarWinds® Mail Assure provides MSPs with a powerful cloud-based solution for email threat protection, email archiving, and email continuity services. From Mail Assure’s Intelligent Protection & Filtering Engine to its real-time pattern threat recognition and machine learning technology, SolarWinds has assembled the tools MSPs need in one streamlined solution.
Mail Assure’s robust filtering technologies will help ensure spam gets thrown out before it even touches your inbox—but from there, you may still need a tool to help you segment your mailbox into relevant groups for the sake of efficiency. If you’ve decided on a hosted anti-spam solution and want to offer something to your clients that will help them take further control of their inbox, consider Clean Email.
Clean Email is a leader in email management software that offers a web-based bulk email cleaner so you can apply powerful rules and filters to your inbox. By segmenting your mailbox into groups, you can bring important and urgent emails to the top of your list or explore smart views of your inbox for efficiency.