The importance of Email Filtering in the fight against phishing

Email filtering is an essential tool to help prevent malicious and infected emails from getting into your mailbox and it massively reduces the risk of being the victim of a phishing attack.

Our Email Firewall service has been a “standard issue” for the vast majority of customers for years.  It does an excellent job, but as always in IT things change, evolve, and improve – and our Email Firewall service should be no exception.  With this in mind we’re delighted to announce the introduction of a brand-new feature: Link Protection.

If you already have our Email Firewall service, this will be enabled automatically for you free of charge on the 13th of April 2022.  If you’re subscribed to service alerts on our Status Page then you’ll also receive a reminder on the 6th of April, and confirmation once the work is completed on the 13th.  If you want to know more about our Status Page and how to subscribe, please check out our previous post about this.

If you don’t have our Email Firewall service, are unsure or want to explore how it stacks up against your existing solution please do speak to us about it today.

What is Link Protection?

Historically email security products have only really looked for security threats within emails at the point they are received.  If you received an email with a phishing link that wasn’t known at the time, then you’d be able to click on that link in the future as much as you like once it’s inside your inbox.

What’s different about Link Protection is that it protects you every time you click.  The system scans the link destination, checks it against industry anti-phishing lists, and uses AI to determine if the link is safe or not.  If it is, then you’re automatically redirected.  If not, then you see a block page.  Other than the extra second or two it takes for the scanning – it’s seamless.

Why do we need it?

Cybercriminals continue to adapt and find new ways to compromise your business and IT providers continue to look for new ways to protect your network from these attacks. The human factor is always the weak spot – quite often by clicking links on phishing emails – so having this improved line of defence for your email is crucial.

Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 96% of phishing attacks arrive by email. That’s compared to 3% carried out on malicious websites and 1% on your phone, by a voice call (vishing) or text message (smishing). Symantec research suggests that in 2020, one in every 4,200 emails was a phishing email – partly down to cybercriminals taking advantage of lockdowns. So there’s plenty of phishing scams in the sea…

Security is about layers of protection.

Having the right email filtering service protecting you is one part of a good approach, and we also recommend security training to teach your staff what to look out for in scam emails.

How will I know when it’s turned on?

When it’s switched on, you’ll start to notice links in your emails look a little different.  As an example, if you were to receive a link to the Wessex IT website – before it would look like this:

And after it will look different, and much longer.  Like this:

It works just the same though…

Stay ahead of the game

Our email filtering service gives you additional peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to reduce the risk of your team falling foul of a phishing scam. Our aim is to always look out for clients and keep them ahead of the game.

The good news is that if you have email filtering as part of your service with us, we will be turning this enhanced feature on over the coming weeks at no additional charge.

If you don’t have our Email Firewall service, are unsure, or want to explore how it stacks up against your existing solution please do speak to us about it today.

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