Protect your Email via Secure Desktop
So you have been tasked with securing your organization’s email services.
There are quite a few guides available on the Internet and in different computer bookstores that can take you through the basics – and if you are ahead of the game you may have already done your homework.
So you have looked at your email server, or servers, and taken the recommended steps of:
- Installing a commercial email security solution,
- Updating the server’s operating system,
- Patching all required software,
- Turning off all unnecessary services,
- Configuring your email server to sit behind the external firewall,
- Encrypting your email storage,
- Setting a back up schedule,
- Testing the recovery portion of your back up,
- Training your users on your company email policies.
Confident that your email services are now secure, you can roll up your sleeves and attack the next item in the pile of projects that is sitting on your desk, right?
Not just so fast. Unfortunately, there is still quite a bit of work to do.
What am I missing?
Like any other computer service, email requires many different users to share information with the email server or cluster of servers. Each user connects via a desktop computer, a laptop, tablet, or smart phone; as result, there is a two way communication going on between them where data is exchanged. Can you see where we are going with this?
That’s right. Even if the servers that drive your company’s email are secured, there still remains that one variable that is often the root of so many security problems – the user.
If just one of those many users connects to the company’s email servers with an unsecured or infected device, it could mean disaster for your organization’s email. Considering the fact that email is still the preferred method of business communication and you could have some serious problems on your hands.
Securing the endpoint
Your company can buy the top of the line security tools, train users until they can recite policies in their sleep and keep everything under a watchful eye, but all it takes is one zero-day vulnerability to be exploited on a device that a user connects to your network with and you can consider yourself compromised.
You see, attackers know that the weakest point in any organization is the user and his or her computer. Servers are often guarded with firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention devices, and diligent operators. The low hanging fruit is the user so that is where the attackers concentrate.
Training is always considered the best way to enforce security in an organization. The thought is that if people are aware of what the threats are and what they can do to stop them, then most attacks can be mitigated. We know that’s not the case. Training and education works, but only so much. Instead of being looked at as the solution, it should be considered a part of a larger plan to stop threats against your email. Other elements of the overall strategy should include:
Check your computers for malware
No solution is going to stop 100 percent of all malicious software from infecting computers on your network. However, having a solution in place that constantly scans your network devices for malicious software is a crucial part of your overall security because believe me, something is better than nothing. However, this means running anti malware software that will be automatically updated. Even better, make sure you can configure the solution so that users can’t opt to postpone the updates.
Update the OS and all software
After you have tested the updates and patches published for your computers’ operating systems and software, make sure that they are installed. Most patches are released to fix problems and plug up exploits found in the software code. Not updating your machines leaves them open to attack.
Update the browser
As email moves to the cloud, it is essential that the browser used in your organization is updated as regularly as any other software. This includes any plug-ins or extensions used by the browser. Even if you are still hosting mail services yourself, websites continue to grow as a method of delivering malware to computers, using a secured browser is essential to protect users from being infected by seemingly harmless sites that they visit.
Email security is not easy. As with any other portion of your infrastructure’s security, it takes diligence, knowledge and skill. However email security cannot be avoided because it is simply too hard of a task to complete. You can certainly look into solutions that help ease the workload and make up for any deficiencies when it comes to this job Credit: themailadmin