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When Email Goes Wrong – Protect Yourself, Your Data and Your Reputation

When Email Goes Wrong – Protect Yourself, Your Data and Your Reputation

I don’t know about you, but I will only assume a few things, and one of them is that you must hate junk email, viruses, SPAM and anything that can endanger the availability and integrity of company information.  Let’s face it, in today’s technology world email and digital communications are the prime ways you reach your customers, and vice-versa.  What if they started getting junk mail from you or other employees?  What if one of those junk emails causes your customer to get a virus, and that virus compromises their systems and starts spamming their customers and contacts?

I’ll tell you what…you not only just lost a customer, but when they send an email apologizing to all of their customers and contacts that received the spam emails, you’ve lost those potential customers too.  When something bad happens, word spreads and so does digital communications.  It spreads fast, I mean really fast…at the speed of electricity!  It take a very long time and a strong investment in dollars to gain a customer, loosing them can happen in seconds.

Some of you I’m sure think that; “if we got a virus and spread something like this to a customer, they would understand.  After all, there is so much spam an dunk out there, gaining control is impossible.  So, we wouldn’t be affected much, if at all.” I truly hope nobody thinks this way, especially today, but your reputation is everything you have and all you need to succeed. A reputation is built on quality service, products, processes, business processes and technology. In fact, I bet technology is responsible for more than 50% of your company’s success. There is probably very little you can do as far as a business without technology. I’ll go one step further – I’m sure your excellent technology is also something you brag about and make a topic of conversation with customers and colleagues as well.

With everythinig hinging on your technology implementation, your reputation can quickly be ruined, or a least tarnished, when a disaster like a virus or spam infection happens. It’s time to manage email and to control your exposure to the technology outside of your organization.  So how do you do this?  Well, for this post, we’ll address the email items, we’ll get more into general security on another post.

Protection over what you can’t control seems like a task larger than you can address or afford truly appropriately.  I assure you, it doesn’t cost as much as you may think.  When we implement perimeter security for our clients, email is one of the primary points addressed.  We put together a 3-point protection scheme.  Email, whether inbound or outbound, is protected in 3 ways:

  1. Scan and filter email before it gets inside your network, and on its way out to it destination.
  2. Scan and filter email as it crosses into and out of your network’s edge – at your router or firewall.
  3. Scan and filter email as it is handled by your email server, workstations and other Internet network resources.

On my next post in this series, I’ll discuss potential solutions, products and services to consider for all 3 of these protection methods. 

Stay tuned!

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