What is Outbound Email Filtering?
Everyone knows what spam is. Whether it’s malicious attempts to steal banking passwords, an email trying to mine personal information, deceptive email encouraging us to download a virus, or aggressive junk mail begging to sell us products we have no interest in, we’ve all had to deal with spam emails. To avoid getting spam, we all use email software, apps, or services in our personal lives that provide inbound email filtering as standard. You only have to check your spam folders to realize that spam often comes from legitimate websites and servers. As an IT professional, the last thing you want to discover in your spam folder is junk mail from your server or a website that you manage.
Outbound email filtering scans all email leaving an entity, identifies spam, and prevents it from reaching the potential recipient. Good outbound email filters do more than scan email content and titles. They can determine if the spam generated is from the actual user or if there has been a security breach while also tracking the long-term activity of an end-user.
Producing outbound spam can be the result of numerous actions. There is a slight chance that you have a client who uses your services maliciously. However, most outbound spam is the result of outside security attacks. The three most common security attacks that lead to outbound spam are viruses, a compromised account, and security attacks of an open relay due to a misconfigured email server.
Spam is rapidly becoming one of the most common ways to distribute malware and viruses. After they are downloaded, viruses can automatically email a script to everyone that a computer has emailed. Hackers can also use the data collected from one email account to find additional unsuspecting email addresses.
A client’s password can become compromised in several ways. Perhaps they use the same password for multiple services or were tricked into sharing information on a social media thread. Once it is compromised, hackers gain access and use the compromised accounts to send spam from a user’s legitimate address.
Spoofing occurs when a misconfigured email server is compromised. After discovering the error, malicious users create fake accounts to send spam from an unsuspecting server.
The last thing any domain owner or server wants to deal with is outbound spam. Even if recipients quickly accept an apology, and even if it is swiftly resolved, the computers of the spam recipients may be unknowingly compromised or infected.
If you are a small or medium-sized business, the survival of your organization is directly connected to the reputation that you create in providing excellent service and building positive relationships with your clients and partners. Spam email coming from your addresses disrupts the reputation of excellence that your business works so hard to create. Particularly bad scenarios could even involve a VP or board member mistakenly emailing spam. Even worse, outbound spam can lead to downtime at work.
If your IP or domain name is compromised, it will be quickly added to a blocklist. This will cause downtime, as legitimate emails will not be sent until the block is removed. Getting an IP or domain name removed from a blocklist can take days, or even weeks, jeopardizing an organization’s workflow.
By making simple changes to your server configuration, all outbound email is relayed to MX Guardian. Our cloud-based service inspects each outbound email for malicious content. All legitimate mail is sent out to the recipient’s mail server from one of our trusted IP addresses. Meanwhile, spam is quarantined, and the sender is notified so that immediate actions to resolve the issue can be enacted.
Additionally, all outbound email is logged and stored for 30 days. This gives your team the tools to understand the scope of emails that leave the organization. For business purposes, you can verify and confirm that an email was delivered. It also allows you to generate and access reports and statistics regarding email sending patterns, which is an essential tool when defending your organization from spoofed accounts and hackers.
The experts at MX Guardian are always here to assist with your email security needs. Our offices are open seven days a week, and we’re always happy to help small and medium-sized businesses who manage their own email infrastructure and need our help. With over eight years of experience, you can count on us. Contact us to start the conversation with one of our consultants today.