Connect with our team of offensive security, AI security and pen testing experts at Black Hat Europe 2023. Learn More

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On-Premise Email Security is Here to Stay

The days of massive server rooms and having every employee all under one roof may seem like they are gone forever, but for a great many organizations, the on-premise work environment is still here and unlikely to be pushed out of service any time soon.

Let’s start off with a quick reminder of the importance of securing an email system. Email remains the number one attack vector favored by threat actors because it involves humans, who can be a weak link in any security system. These are the people that either willfully or ignorantly forget security protocols and open unknown emails and then click on links or attachments.

How prevalent are email-based attacks? The FBI 2022 Internet Crime Report listed 300,497 phishing attacks and 21,832 business email compromise attacks last year. Leading to respective losses of $52.1 million and $2.7 billion, and these are only the reported attacks in the United States. The true numbers are not known.

On-Premise Vs Cloud-based Email Security

After establishing the fact that email security should be every organization’s primary concern, what is the difference between on-premise vs cloud? The difference is obvious: location. On-premise software is installed and runs on an organization’s hardware infrastructure and is hosted locally, whereas cloud software is stored and managed on the provider's servers and accessed through a web browser or other interface.

There are benefits and negatives with each type of security, with the deciding factor often a matter of how much control an organization is willing to delegate to an outside authority. The final decision comes down to the organizations’ needs, capabilities, and perceived threat vectors.

For example, some governments might prefer to keep email security in house, such as Sweden and Saudi Arabia, and thus opt its security directly and SMTP sending through privately owned servers can be more cost effective.

Six Reasons To Consider an On-Premises Email Security Solution

  1. Enhanced Data Privacy and Control:

One of the primary benefits of on-premises email security is the ability to maintain complete control over sensitive data and personal information. By hosting email servers on-site, organizations have full authority over data storage, access, and encryption. This level of control ensures that confidential information remains within the organization's boundaries, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. Furthermore, on-premises solutions allow for stricter compliance with data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), providing organizations with greater peace of mind.

  1. Customization and Tailored Security Policies

On-premises email security empowers organizations to customize and tailor their security policies according to their specific requirements. Unlike cloud-based solutions, which often offer limited configurability, on-premises systems provide flexibility in implementing security measures. Organizations can establish their own encryption standards, deploy multi-factor authentication, and integrate additional security tools to fortify their email infrastructure. This customization ensures that security measures align with an organization's unique needs, mitigating risks and bolstering protection.

  1. Reduced Dependency on Third-Party Providers

While cloud-based email services offer convenience, they also introduce an inherent dependency on third-party providers. By opting for on-premises email security, organizations can reduce reliance on external entities and maintain greater autonomy. This self-reliance minimizes the potential risks associated with service disruptions, data loss, or breaches stemming from vulnerabilities in third-party systems. With an on-premises solution, organizations have direct control over the availability, uptime, and performance of their email infrastructure, thereby increasing overall resilience.

  1. Increased Defense Against Advanced Threats

Cyber threats, such as phishing scams, malware, and ransomware, pose significant risks to organizations of all sizes. On-premises email security solutions excel in combating these sophisticated threats. By leveraging advanced threat detection mechanisms and implementing robust filtering techniques, these solutions can identify and block malicious content more effectively. Additionally, on-premises systems allow organizations to deploy real-time threat intelligence, enabling prompt response and proactive defense against emerging threats.

  1. Rapid Incident Response and Investigation

In the unfortunate event of a security incident, on-premises email security solutions provide organizations with the advantage of swift incident response and investigation. Since all email data resides within the organization's infrastructure, security teams can immediately access relevant logs, conduct forensic analysis, and trace the origin and impact of an incident. This capability facilitates timely containment, mitigation, and remediation, reducing the potential damage caused by security breaches and ensuring a rapid return to normalcy.

  1. Cost Efficiency and Long-Term Savings

While the initial setup costs of on-premises email security solutions might appear higher compared to cloud-based alternatives, they offer long-term cost efficiency. With on-premises systems, organizations eliminate ongoing subscription fees, pay-as-you-go models, and storage charges associated with cloud services. Over time, this can result in substantial savings, especially for large enterprises with significant email traffic volumes. Furthermore, organizations can repurpose existing infrastructure, leveraging their investments in hardware and software, thus optimizing their overall IT expenditure.

The Trustwave MailMarshal Email Security Advantage

Whether or not an organization opts to go with an on premise, cloud or hybrid email security services offering Trustwave has a battle-tested with solution with an unparalleled track record of advanced protection against today’s sophisticated email-based threats, extensive policy controls, and in-depth data security and compliance management.

Here is what MailMarshal brings to the table:

  • Protects against ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC), phishing, malware, and zero-day attacks
  • In the 20-plus years since MailMarshal was introduced zero clients have reported ransomware infection
  • Has a 99.99% malware and exploit capture rate
  • 0.001% spam false positives
  • Powered by telemetry from 5,000+ global MSS/MDR clients and MLpowered algorithms
  • Offers granular control of internal SMTP traffic
  • Supported by Trustwave SpiderLabs elite threat detection security team.

MailMarshal also allows for easily established custom rules to scan email headers, body text, and attachments, then determine how to handle rule violations and prevent data loss. MailMarshal has built-in rules to enable compliance with GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and more. Trustwave MailMarshal inspects all outbound content, including encrypted emails and attachments.

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