Securing Your Business By Guarding the Most Common Access Point, EMAIL.

Securing your business might not be as simple as returning an errant set of keys to your forgetful employee. It definitely starts with locking down all possible entry points; physical and virtual. You need to install security devices and software at every point on your network by which someone from the outside could gain access to your company data. For most businesses, the first place to start is email security.

Results from the recently released Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report indicate the need for increasing vigilance in battening down the email hatches. The study found that companies of all sizes are struggling to secure networks that are increasingly mobile, especially as more employees use their personal smartphones to do business-related tasks, such as checking work email. Also, social networking sites like Facebook (and the games played on those sites) increasingly expose users to dangerous spam emails and nefarious websites. In addition, the Cisco report found that the amount of spam sent around the world will increase 30 percent in 2010 compared to last year, with the U.S. being the country originating the largest amount of spam.

Have you found all of the possible entry points by which a cyber criminal might gain access to your company’s critical information?

Securing your email protects your network email security is paramount. Businesses like yours rely on email to communicate among employees as well as with customers and partners, but it can allow anyone in the world to drop dangerous data into your business network. Hackers love to wreak havoc on networks by mass emailing spam and viruses, which can disable servers and PCs. And those disruptions caused by spam and viruses can cost your company in lost productivity and revenues as well as damage your reputation with customers.

There are two types of security solutions that every small business needs to protect its email and networks from spam and viruses: anti-spam and anti-virus software. Anti-spam software (also referred to as spam blocker) stops unwanted emails at the server and prevents them from being delivered to users’ inboxes. Anti-virus software recognizes the code that was used to create a virus and then stops the virus from spreading across your network from a PC or server that was infected via an email or website.

You have more choices than ever when it comes to deploying these types of security solutions. PSS Enterprises offers both anti-virus and anti-spam software either as individual products or bundled together with other Web security tools.

How anti-spam and anti-virus solutions work:
Anti-spam and anti-virus solutions sit on your network between your firewall and your email server, or on the email server itself, and scan all incoming traffic before forwarding it to users’ inboxes. These solutions work by identifying dangerous data in incoming messages and separate them from the rest of your email traffic so that the infected messages can’t be acted on by unsuspecting employees.

Any anti-spam software will include a quarantine feature that lets PSS Enterprises create a safe place to filter and store emails that might not be spam, such as newsletters from reliable sources, but that raise the spam filter’s flags. In general, an anti-spam solution should provide plenty of flexibility in setting spam filters to catch spam coming into the server. The anti-spam software also should block spam-related threats like phishing attacks, which use email to get users to reveal sensitive information, such as user names and passwords.

Anti-virus software should be installed on every workstation, laptop, and smartphone that has access to your network in addition to an anti-virus gateway installed on or near the email server. The anti-virus program will be regularly updated by PSS Enterprises with new, known virus signatures.

Your anti-virus solution should provide different options for handling infected email, including quarantining and deleting the messages. Don’t just rely on the software to catch viruses as they come in, though. Make sure employees are conducting regular scans of their computers in case any malware has made it past your defenses.

Email security is critical to the well-being of your business. All businesses are just as likely to be attacked by hackers with viruses and other malware just as larger companies, and the losses can be significant. In Symantec’s recent 2010 SMB Information Protection Survey, 50 percent of respondents said they’ve suffered losses due to cyber attacks, including network downtime and theft of corporate and customer financial data as well as identity theft. Hackers count on small businesses assuming they’re safe, and that’s another point of entry cyber criminals can exploit to their benefit.

What steps have you taken to secure your company’s email?

Contact PSS Enterprises today at 1-800-285-2448 for your free site evaluation.


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