What Is It and How to Select One for Your Business?

Remove spam and malicious software program with an SEG.

Emails have turn into an important technique of communication for companies. They’re additionally the weakest hyperlink for cybercriminals to goal. As technique of attacking emails develop, it’s important to make sure you take the required actions to safe your emails and enterprise. This is the place you’ll hear a few safe e-mail gateway

In this text, I’ll clarify what a safe e-mail gateway is and dig deeper into the advantages and drawbacks of its two sorts: on-site and cloud-based. I’ll additionally element the options it is best to look for when deciding on an SEG and how to match it into what you are promoting.

Before I am going into a lot element, let me first break down what a safe e-mail gateway is and the way it works.

What Is a Secure Email Gateway?

A safe e-mail gateway (SEG) is both a {hardware} or software program barrier between what you are promoting and the surface world sending you emails. You can describe a safe e-mail gateway as a bit of tech, digital or bodily. It collects all the emails you obtain, exams them for security, and solely then forwards them to the recipient. 

It finally protects all of your gadgets from malicious emails. These gadgets embody your computer systems, tablets, and telephones. It additionally prevents malicious emails from coming into the corporate. Without it, what you are promoting is extra probably to fall sufferer to phishing and ransomware assaults. 

Originally, SEGs have been bodily gadgets that served as devoted mail servers. Today, although, you’ll principally discover them as software program options. When trying for a safe e-mail gateway for what you are promoting, you’ll want to take into account all of your agency’s wants and capabilities. You additionally want to take the dangers into consideration. Once you full the evaluation, the method isn’t advanced in any respect.

Now, let me clarify the two kinds of safe e-mail gateway.

Secure Email Gateway Types

When deciding on a safe e-mail gateway, you may have 2 sorts to select from:

  1. On-site 
  2. Cloud-based

Each of those has its advantages and drawbacks that depend upon the kind of enterprise you may have.

Statistically, most firms will use a cloud-based system because it’s an simpler answer to implement and keep, particularly for a smaller firm. Huge firms can even use these options for authorized causes as they may blame a hack or breach on a third-party.

If you may have an organization devoted to, for occasion, buyer assist, knowledge safety, or any sort of economic administration, this answer gained’t be splendid. You’ll then want the next commonplace of safety.

For now, let’s see what each sorts carry to the desk.

1. On-Site Secure Email Gateway

You in all probability heard the saying: if you need one thing executed proper, you want to do it your self. That’s solely true, although, if you already know what you’re doing. The same precept works with on-premises or on-site safe e-mail gateways and e-mail safety on the whole.

This SEG could be a bodily gadget or a program working inside your organization’s server. It receives incoming emails and types them out. Once the server checks its threat checklist and scans the e-mail, it’ll both filter the e-mail out or ahead it to the meant recipient.

The finest examples of such gateways are the POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) packages, just like the AOL e-mail or the Microsoft Outlook laptop program. Here, the e-mail downloads to your server, and solely then does the SEG examine for safety points.

Conflicted if the on-site safety e-mail gateway is the one for you? Check out the next execs and cons desk. 

Pros Cons
Gives you extra management over what it could possibly defend you from. For instance, you possibly can forestall emails with phrases that signify harassment. Requires experience. You’ll want to rent somebody to overview, replace, and keep SEG every day.
Offers higher oversight, which expands your organization’s capabilities. For instance, you possibly can display screen and flag sure key phrases in emails.  Is costlier because it contains the prices of hiring staff to monitor it.
Gives you management over the updates. You can guarantee your threat checklist is downloaded often. Needs fixed oversight since liabilities in your e-mail safety can carry extra issues.
Allows you to program many options, like e-mail monitoring and integration with a CRM.
Is on-site SEG price it?
Screenshot of the mail icon on a mac with a red circle at the upper hand side and the number 3 in it.
You’ve received on-site safe mail!

2. Cloud-Based Secure Email Gateway

Most persons are acquainted with cloud-based e-mail gateway options with out them being conscious of it. Services like Gmail or Office 365 Outlook are good examples of cloud-based providers. These providers defend your emails and solely ship you messages after making certain they’re protected.

Cloud-based SEG provides the reins to a 3rd get together to safe your e-mail. Some emailing providers provide quite a bit when it comes to each safety and options, however you’ll at all times encounter some out-of-hand points.

Next, I’ll offer you a fast overview of the cloud-based SEG’s execs and cons. 

Pros Cons
Provides simple set up and use and has computerized updates. Doesn’t offer you management over e-mail safety. You can’t determine which updates to use or exclude.
Doesn’t want any tech information to keep it.  Grants third events entry to knowledge.
Is low-cost and modular. Doesn’t have customization.
Is accessible for distant groups. Any particular person with an web connection can get an e-mail and routinely get an SEG with it.  Doesn’t defend in opposition to cyberattacks focusing on the SEG supplier. 
Is cloud-based SEG price it?

I can’t, in good religion, let you know which kind of safe e-mail gateway is objectively higher. Your selection is determined by what you are promoting and the way it works. That stated, should you’re on the level the place you want to ask, a cloud-based service is likely to be the one for you.

You can use one thing like Office 365, use it collectively with OneSpot for engagement and you’ll have fast and environment friendly e-mail funnels. It’s objectively simpler for just about everybody besides folks creating safety software program. Next, let me information you thru what you want to look for when deciding on a safe e-mail gateway.

A screenshot of blurred home page on IOS device.
Email cybersecurity calls for will depend upon the character of what you are promoting.

6 Features to Look for in a Secure Email Gateway

A safe e-mail gateway may be very helpful for each enterprise. It’s not as equally helpful to everybody, although.

In some instances, you need one thing to examine should you’re receiving malware and take away spam out of your inbox. For some companies, like ones in IT, finance, and particularly fintech industries, leaving something to probability can spell catastrophe. You’d additionally need to have full in-house management over all delicate info.

A advantage of selecting out a safe e-mail gateway is that many of the core options you’re trying for are out there with all main selections

If you’re utilizing an on-site SEG, these options can even be up to you. If you’re utilizing a cloud-based/SaaS choice, you usually gained’t know if they’ve these options. Still, you may benefit from realizing what these options are. Here are the 6 options you will need to look for.

A graphic image of a blurred human's back with a close-up view of the laptop in front of him.
Pick the SEG options that suit your wants!

1. Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR)

The CDR is a bit of synthetic intelligence that may discern each digital and human languages. It scans an e-mail and deconstructs it fully. It then builds it up once more for you to learn it, however with fully new code. In impact, no malware will stay within the e-mail.

For instance, a human can’t see a distinction between symbols ‘’P’’ and ’’Р”, however a pc will know the second is a Cyrillic R. The similar factor occurs contained in the safe e-mail gateway the place the software program will change the digital knowledge fully however go away the message intact.

This course of will disable something malicious that may have been inside the e-mail, together with the visuals and attachments. The visible illustration and even protected hyperlinks will stay, but it surely’ll destroy all executables behind the code. You’ll get a clear e-mail with none safety dangers.

2. Message Authentication

DMARC (brief for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a really easy answer for area title spoofing. If a site has enabled DMARC safety, you possibly can’t obtain any emails pretending to come from the area however are malicious as a substitute.

In easy phrases, DMARC makes use of a small affirmation key a site sends like Google, Facebook, or irs.gov. This key checks if the e-mail is shipped from such an tackle or if it’s faux. If the e-mail passes the DMARC take a look at, it’ll present up within the recipient’s inbox. If it fails, it wouldn’t seem and the area proprietor can even get a notification.

The finest instance could be somebody spoofing an e-mail from Google. If Google didn’t have a DMARC, the cybercriminal might make a ‘’[email protected]’’ e-mail and goal you with a phishing assault. It can even ship you a message with open requests to ship your username and password. If you’re not paying consideration, you possibly can fall for it. 

DMARC makes such assaults unattainable. The course of protects you from falling a sufferer to spoofing domains, phishing, and unauthorized knowledge retrieval.

3. Post Delivery Protection

Post Delivery Protection, or PDP, refers to the safety code within the background of the e-mail server. This code works as a part of the safe e-mail gateway. In impact, it surveys all emails, together with those already obtained, primarily based on the most recent menace checklist it has.

In many instances, it’ll be unattainable for the e-mail gateway to detect malware within the e-mail. That’s as a result of the menace wasn’t added to the checklist on the time of receiving it. PDP makes the gateway work after the very fact and repeatedly checks all emails in opposition to the most recent menace checklist. If it finds one thing malicious, it’ll take away it from the inbox.

For instance, should you obtain a malicious e-mail with malware not acknowledged by the SEG, it’ll seem in your inbox. If you replace the malware checklist in a single day, although, you gained’t see the identical e-mail tomorrow morning. This means you defend your organization in opposition to rising threats.

4. Phishing Protection

Phishing is a typical sort of cyber-attack that has been very successful frequently.  This is why all good SEG options will need to have some sort of anti-phishing software program. An anti-phishing software program will establish malicious hyperlinks and take a look at them in opposition to a database.

Currently, one of the best sort of phishing safety is the one using two methods: allowlisting and blocklisting. If the hyperlinks inside the e-mail have malware, the e-mail itself gained’t seem within the recipient’s inbox. If it isn’t on the allowlist, although, a discover will seem to point out the hyperlink isn’t trusted.

That means, most individuals will not less than examine twice if the hyperlink they obtain is okay or if it is likely to be a trick. In return, you’ll defend your organization in opposition to phishing assaults

5. Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a characteristic that scans the emails you obtain and ship.  It, then, matches the scanned content material with available intellectual property, proprietary info, and delicate knowledge. The goal of this scan is to detect should you’re sending or receiving one thing you shouldn’t share/get.

In easier phrases, DLP protects the transmission of your knowledge to unauthorized events. For occasion, you possibly can’t share non-public recordsdata and banking info with emails exterior of the corporate or obtain them to any gadget.

DLP additionally helps you keep away from the dire penalties for the enterprise should you ever encounter a safety breach or human error.

6. Sandboxing

Sandboxing is a catch-all time period for options working contained in the safe e-mail gateway. These options additionally take a look at codes and hyperlinks included within the e-mail. This characteristic will make a safe surroundings to execute the file in or observe the hyperlink even when it isn’t a listed menace.

If this system detects zero points, the SEG will move the e-mail to the recipient’s inbox. If it detects a menace, although, it’ll take away it and add it to the checklist of threats. This characteristic is particularly necessary to defend the system from zero-day threats or any threats you continue to don’t know.

When deciding on a product, look for the checklist of options. These could come built-in should you’re utilizing a devoted gadget. If not, you’ll both want to program them or discover an internet service that features them within the provide. Ensure all 6 options, or not less than those essential to what you are promoting, can be found. You can then take a look at if the SEG you’re contemplating will match what you are promoting. 

Next, I’ll undergo the most typical enterprise attributes and how they will affect your selection.

A graphic image of a top-view of laptops and phones used by employees along with cups of coffee and office stuff.
Better have good outsourcing than do issues badly in-house!

4 Things to Consider When Fitting the SEG to Your Business

When assessing cybersecurity and the enterprise itself, you’ll usually really feel prefer it’s a struggle. It isn’t sufficient to know the menace. You additionally want to put together what you are promoting to defend itself in opposition to an assault. This applies to all gateways, together with e-mail. Here are 4 issues it is best to be mindful when becoming SEG to what you are promoting

1. Business Size

For a micro-business or a small enterprise, the query of which kind of SEG you’ll select is determined by:

  • Core enterprise
  • Number of staff
  • Reasonable choices for new hires

If the core enterprise you have already got features a cybersecurity specialist to develop, keep, and replace e-mail safety options, you’ll be significantly better off with an on-site gateway and server.

Large companies with tens or lots of of individuals progressively are additionally a extra enticing goal. At one level, it’s cheap to anticipate an assault. Public companies principally have such hassle with cyberattacks since their workforce doesn’t deal with cybersecurity.

You’ll need your lawyer, safety chief, and cybersecurity supervisor to resolve if it will be higher to outsource and have a customized SEG on-site. You additionally want to usher in expertise to make and keep it. Otherwise, use a cloud-based answer providing the options you need.

That stated, should you’re a non-tech enterprise and you may have lower than 10 staff, it’ll be too expensive to have somebody on board full-time to keep an on-site system. 

Pro Tip

  • Email safety is usually more about the people than the software program. Consider investing in coaching and consciousness the identical means you do in software program.

2. Communication Prevalence

A posh SEG solely serves its goal should you use it usually. If your staff don’t open or obtain emails in any respect, the chance of opening a malicious e-mail is zero.

That stated, should you’re in fintech or gross sales the place every worker opens dozens of emails daily, you will need to guarantee they don’t compromise your safety in the event that they let their guard down.

SEG removes all spam, informs you about any missed emails, and prevents you from even receiving emails which have viruses and malware. When you add this software program, you’ll save your self dozens of working hours. It’ll additionally prevent 1000’s of {dollars} in losses due to hacks.

Pro Tip

  • If your staff have many individuals contacting them, they gained’t discover an odd e-mail. In these conditions, you want a complicated answer. You’d higher pay further on the cloud, or use an on-site SEG when you’ve got the assets.

3. Operational Capacity

This circles again to the variety of folks and sort of enterprise I discussed above. The query right here is that if what you are promoting could make an on-site customized answer?

If the reply is sure, or when you’ve got a big enterprise the place another supervisor gained’t add vital price, then it’s at all times higher to do it your self. To obtain this, you’ll want a devoted SEG engineer and an in-house system. Otherwise, subscribe to another person’s set of options.

Pro Tip

  • If you don’t have already got a devoted cybersecurity software program developer, likelihood is your organization gained’t want one. Better to purchase good software program than to rent individuals who don’t have anything to do together with your department.

4. Private Business Information Segmentation

Finally, you may have to know if your organization can phase non-public enterprise info. You’d need to phase the elements of the enterprise speaking quite a bit, particularly with prospects, from the enterprise info you share internally.

Ideally, you’ll need your departments, like buyer assist and gross sales, indifferent. Your departments additionally shouldn’t have entry to the identical info.

If this isn’t an choice, most cloud-based options can’t provide sufficient safety. You’ll then want to make a customized answer that ensures no person can achieve entry to your organization’s server by means of buyer assist emails.

Pro Tip:

  • Separate gadgets for gross sales and buyer assist that cope with proprietary info often and can’t be divided from it. You can use contemporary gadgets for exterior communication and smartphones or tablets for inner communication.

Final Words

A safe e-mail gateway is quite common and you won’t even know you’re utilizing one. That stated, for a enterprise, extra safety is critical.

You have 2 SEG sorts to select from: an on-site or a cloud-based system. The former is costlier however provides you full management. The latter is more cost effective and easier and simpler to use. Still, you gained’t have a lot say about software program growth. In the tip, you possibly can’t assure to by no means obtain a doggy e-mail. You can do all the pieces in your energy, although, to defend what you are promoting from assaults by means of e-mail.

Do you may have extra questions on SEG? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections beneath.


Do I want a safe e-mail gateway for my enterprise?

Yes. Even micro-businesses that solely have just a few folks working ought to incorporate a safe e-mail gateway into their cybersecurity strategy. Basic choices are low-cost and will assist you defend your self from the ocean of malicious emails floating daily by means of the web.

How do I safe my e-mail?

If you personal a site, you possibly can make a secured e-mail out of your area. You can even create an Outlook profile that the corporate will management and get all protections included within the bundle. Additionally, you possibly can opt-in for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) with Outlook 365. In this case, you possibly can embody choices like sandboxing, knowledge safety, and phishing safety.

Does Office 365 provide a safe e-mail gateway?

Yes. You’ll obtain the EOP, or Exchange Online Protection, together with your Office 365 subscription license. You can even prevent users from permitting apps to entry knowledge to guarantee info segmentation. Additionally, you possibly can subscribe to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) which is able to permit extra security measures. It’ll even be a foundation for custom-made layered safety in opposition to high-level assaults.

Can I get hacked by means of e-mail?

Yes. Phishing assaults and e-mail scams are two of the most typical kinds of hacking on the whole. Most kinds of malware, spy ware, Trojans, and related kinds of malicious code in opposition to a enterprise undergo e-mail.

Should I’ve a safe e-mail gateway gadget?

Not essentially. Dedicated gadgets can permit simpler upkeep and oversight for probably the most superior customers. That stated, utilizing a cloud-based service or just mail gateway software program inside your present server is greater than sufficient for your enterprise surroundings.


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