Why a Secure Email Gateway Is Not Enough

August 12, 2021

1:00-2:00AM PST

Most businesses employ email as the common form of official digital communication. Email is also the number one method hackers use to get around your security, access your data, steal your money, and harm your reputation. As email systems have moved to the cloud, bad actors have grown increasingly savvy and sophisticated in Business Email Compromise attacks. Many companies still rely on their antiquated Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) to protect their state-of-the-art email infrastructure, but the SEGs are simply not up to the task. 

A SEG is a special server designed to safeguard the on-premise email servers of the organization and the users. All incoming and outgoing emails must pass through the email gateway server. SEG technology was designed to guard a specific perimeter. The cloud has dramatically changed that perimeter, and while SEG providers are doing their best to adapt, they are not keeping up with the constantly changing landscape of cybercrime.

Trustifi offers truly the next generation in enterprise email security. Called “Cloud-native API-enabled email security” (CAPES), Trustifi’s solution provides modern security measures for cloud-based email. Trustifi’s sophisticated threat protection stops malicious emails from entering your inbox better than any SEG. It is a reliable source of email security for enterprises and businesses of all sizes. 

How a Secure Email Gateway Works

A SEG provides hardware and software technology designed to help combat malicious email attacks. The SEG scans the content of all incoming and outgoing emails for malicious elements. The security services commonly offered by SEGs are content filtering, spam filtering, virus/malware blocking, and email archiving. Some SEGs offer additional security features, such as the ability to encrypt outbound emails as well as data loss prevention (DLP) services. 

Where Do Secure Email Gateways Fall Short?

SEGs were created specifically to protect enterprise-level on-premise email systems. In their day, they were effective deterrents to email-born cyber attacks. In today's world of cloud computing, however, using an on-prem security system to protect cloud resources is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. SEGs miss the mark with cloud-based email in the following ways:

Focused on traditional threats

Nefarious emails constantly penetrate SEG security. Virtually every company that has been hacked and made the headlines in recent years had a SEG. Yet the emails got through, and the companies suffered. Today’s cloud hackers are wise to the SEG strategies, and simply a little imagination enables them to devise new attack vectors that slip past the outdated SEG filters. SEGs are reactive by nature. They simply cannot keep up with the quickly evolving nature of phishing and other email attacks.

Lack sophisticated detection strategies

SEGs examine links and their targets for viruses. In the old days, that was sufficient, but no longer. SEGs cannot examine emails at the most granular level, which is where today’s advanced attacks are perpetrated. For example, a SEG cannot determine whether the sender of the email is a known and trusted source or a new contact for the recipient. SEGs leave it up to the diligence of the user to identify the questionable source of a suspicious email.

Not Agile

SEGs rely on reputation-based detection. In other words, did the suspicious email originate from a known threat domain or user account? Today’s cybercriminals can spin up new imposter email accounts, domains and websites in the blink of an eye. Detecting these sham attackers requires intensive, advanced email analysis and algorithms that SEG systems simply cannot provide.

Miss Imposter Emails

Hackers have devised clever ways to create imposter emails that masquerade as authentic, trusted senders. SEG filters are not sophisticated enough to detect the imposters and stop them from entering the system. Again, SEGs depend on watchful users to spy suspicious emails and validate the source. Too few users have the eagle eye it takes to spot imposters before it is too late.

Why Is a CAPES Solution Essential?

Companies are abandoning their on-premise email systems for cloud email infrastructure, such as Microsoft’s Office365 and Google’s G Suite. While these cloud systems come with an array of built-in security features, their capabilities must be augmented with advanced cloud based email filtering, i.e., CAPES. Trustifi’s CAPES solution adds important layers to the built-in protections of cloud email systems. 

First, Trustifi protects your outbound email traffic as the initial step in thwarting phishing attacks. Cyber criminals intercept unsecured outbound emails to determine who the employees typically communicate with. Because Trustifi encrypts output emails, attackers cannot learn about the recipients of your company’s emails and masquerade as believable imposters.

Trustifi’s second layer of protection is a shield between your email system and the outside world. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and dynamic engines, Trustifi readily identifies and blocks suspicious inbound emails from imposters requesting money transfers and confidential information.

The third layer in Trustifi’s protection strategy employs machine learning to profile the typical behavior of regular system users. It then watches for abnormal usage of the system that would be characteristic of a hacker who has penetrated the firewall and is trying to steal sensitive information. The system automatically notifies system administrators in real-time when it detects that a user account has been compromised.

A successful attack can cause a great deal of damage to a company, both in terms of finances and reputation. Every company, no matter the size, should implement a CAPES for their business that is best suited for them. A small cost can prevent your company from suffering a great loss. 

Trustifi can protect you against real-time cyber threats with real-time email security. By combining a variety of technologies, Trustifi's email security service provides businesses with levels of protection that can only be achieved by integrating advanced solutions including sandboxing, machine learning, AI, and predictive analytics. It doesn't matter if your business is dealing with a flood of phishing attempts, tons of ransomware attacks, or if it needs protection against the newest viruses, Trustifi security is your best choice. Contact a Trustifi representative today to learn how easily and affordably you can get the email protection you need.

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