CYBER SECURITY | 5 MIN READ
Consistent and automated data backups are a cornerstone of efficient business operations. When your network goes down, you may have to restore it to your most recent backup to avoid any data loss. But what about when your email server fails? That's where email continuity comes in. Keep reading to learn what email continuity is, a comparison of top brands, and more.
[Quick Summary] Email continuity redirects resources to a failover server in the event that your email server goes down to allow you to continue receiving and sending emails using your normal email address.
For more insight and see a comparison of top email continuity brands, keep reading!
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What is Email Continuity?
As an Atlanta-based Managed Service Provider, we assist our clients in installing comprehensive email continuity services among other hardware and software to secure their corporate data.
We aim to use our cyber security expertise to educate our audience about email continuity and arm them with the tools necessary to make informed business decisions. So what exactly is email continuity?
Email continuity acts as a backup email system to redirect resources to a failover server in the event that your email server goes down.
This allows you to continue receiving and sending emails using your normal email address. Then, once a connection with your mail server is restored, you receive a list of all the emails sent and received during the downtime.
Many email continuity services also include bundled email security features that help filter out spam, phishing schemes, and viruses.
Benefits of Email Continuity
- Data loss prevention− Email continuity protects against the chances of lost emails and bounce-backs, allowing you to access both live and historical emails.
- Business productivity− Email continuity services enable both desktop and mobile users to continue working and accessing both their mailbox and calendar as long as they have an Internet connection.
Top Brands Compared
The following comparison of top email archiving software providers Mimecast, Proofpoint, Barracuda, and SolarWinds has been sourced from a mix of customer and third-party product reviews.
Mimecast (Our Favorite!)
- Fast deployment− Achieve rapid return on investment with immediate effectiveness.
- Email server replacement length− Mimecast can replace an offline email server for up to seven days.
- Email updates− The system automatically detects when the primary email server becomes available again and updates the user with missed emails.
- Additional email security features− Mimecast's mail protection services come with additional features that root out spam, malware, phishing, and more.
- Additional integrations− Users appreciate that Mimecast's software has additional integrations with platforms such as Office365.
- Customer support− Some customers complain that the customer service can be unprofessional or ineffective.
- User interface− Navigation can be clunky, but updates have been made to the system that some customers have appreciated.
- Email server replacement length− Proofpoint can keep your email running through a failover server for 30 days.
- Additional features−Proofpoint's email continuity services also come with additional features such as email filters and email scanning.
- Customer support− Technical support has positive reviews from customers.
- Configuration options− The platform can be customized to meet a customer's needs.
- Initial learning curve− Product complexity requires an initial learning curve to understand how to effectively utilize the services.
- Expensive− Proofpoint's email continuity services are priced higher than other competitors in the market.
- User interface− The interface is a bit outdated, unresponsive, and incompatible with the Google Chrome Web Browser
- Complex deployment− Initial configuration is complex and involves a lot of moving parts, which has driven some customers to finding professionals to install the services.
- Easy deployment− Users liken these services to "plug-and-play" for their ease of deployment.
- Additional features− Barracuda's email continuity services come in a cloud-based package that also has additional features such as email protection.
- User-friendly interface− Customers appreciate the clean interface and management console.
- Promotional messages− Customers have no options to block Barracuda promotional messages.
- Machine learning capacity− The machine learning part in Barracuda's system is underdeveloped, which means users may have to "train" the system to effectively keep out unwanted emails.
- Customer support− SolarWinds' quick live support has been positively reviewed.
- Customization− Users have multiple options to configure the platform as they see fit.
- Additional features− SolarWinds' Mail Assure package comes bundled with additional email security features such as phishing monitoring, email archiving, and data loss prevention.
- No mobile version− Customers wish that SolarWinds would have a mobile version
- Poor content filtering− Customer have negatively reviewed SolarWinds' ability to accurately filter for spam and spoofing emails as a part of their larger email security package.
- Initial deployment− It was pretty tricky to get set up initially. A fair bit of configuration tweaks were unclear and not well documented
Which One is the Best?
Any of these brands could be a good fit for your business. When evaluating various email continuity providers, look past price to really examine which features your business needs and which it simply wants. The right provider will have a healthy balance of both.
Additionally, examine their customer service offering. While a software may seem appealing, if issues arise and customer support is lacking or non-existent, that could severely hinder productivity within your business.
Other Ways to Protect Your Data
While email continuity services can protect email data from being deleted or lost during a server crash, your data is still not protected from malicious phishing emails or those containing malware and spam.
Email filtering is a software that independently analyzes incoming emails for red flags that signal spam/phishing content and automatically moves those emails to a separate folder.
Most major email providers have spam filters built in that move questionable emails to a "Junk" or "Spam" folder. Sometimes, these folders have a setting enabled that automatically deletes all emails in this folder after a specified period.
Spam emails are usually more of an annoyance because they're trying to sell you a product or persuade you into taking some type of action like donating to a cause.
On the other hand, phishing emails pose more of a danger to the security of your personal information. Once personal information such as account logins or credit card information is taken, your personal accounts can be hacked or you can become a victim of financial fraud.
There are platforms whose services can be used to monitor for and flag phishing emails. These filters add an extra layer to your email security than just having spam filters enabled.
Educate Employees About Phishing
Phishing schemes are one of the most common vectors for data breaches. All it takes is one employee falling for a phishing scheme, which is why employee phishing education and testing are key.
Educating employees about cyber security from the day they're hired helps build a company mindset around the importance of cyber security.
Educational pamphlets or short courses on cyber security can be used the first week of employment for new hires to get them up to speed on your company's cyber security policy and educate them on security topics they may not have previously known about.
Monthly company cyber security newsletters can serve as an informative and engaging way to constantly educate your employees about the latest cyber security threats as well as a way to share tips on staying safe online.
Phishing tests are fake phishing emails that are sent to all employees with the goal of seeing which employees fall for the attack by clicking on links or downloading files that are embedded in the email.
If employees fall for these phishing attempts then you can send them through cyber security training, again. We recommend conducting this test quarterly.
Managed IT Services
While email continuity services are a great way of protecting your email data in the event that a server goes down, the rest of your network's data needs to be secured too.
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can work with your business to implement and monitor a layered approach to cyber security.
Usually, an MSP's first task will be to perform a network audit to identify security gaps and build a roadmap to success. This roadmap usually involves securing your current infrastructure and installing new hardware and software when necessary.
Once your network is secured, MSP's will use a variety or remote monitoring platforms to quickly identify and remedy issues that arise, such as network downtime and cyber threats.
As a metro-Atlanta based Managed Service Provider with healthcare clients, our diverse offering includes:
- Network monitoring− Consistent observation of all parts of your network ensures that any issues are swiftly identified and mitigated
- Cyber threat prevention and education− Layers of the latest technology neutralize threats while courses and phishing tests teach employees how to secure company data
- Data security− BCDR plan implementation and data privacy regulatory compliance ensure that data is backed up and data loss is minimized
- Network Operations Center− 24/7 assistance from a help desk with higher satisfaction ratings than Amazon and Ritz-Carlton customers
- Project management− Get assistance planning office expansions, moves, remote transitions, and more from qualified experts
Email continuity services better secure your data in the event that your email servers go down. Use this article as a conversation starter about email security in your office.
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