Email is the backbone of business communication. According to a recent study by the Radicati Group, there are approximately 4 billion active email accounts worldwide, with one-quarter of those identified as business accounts that generate 100 billion emails per day.
Those email accounts have become increasingly important data sources. By some estimates, about 45 percent of an enterprise’s business-critical information is stored in its email system. Workers routinely rely on email as the repository for messages containing important information such as negotiation details, agreements and customer commitments. Contact information, product orders and client requests all come primarily through email at many small businesses. Mimecast found in a recent study that 86 percent of workers rely on email as a search tool to find documents or information from within their inbox or archive.
Email is also one of the most popular vectors for cybercrime. Experts estimate that 95 percent of targeted security threats originate in email. As a result, it is absolutely critical that organizations take steps to protect emailed data, filter spam and block viruses while maximizing efficiency and productivity.
Here are some steps organizations should take to better manage email and adequately protect it from potential threats and data loss:
Set size limits. Some organizations are likely to need their email programs to handle graphics, multimedia and other large files. Still, it’s important to set limits on the capacity of individual inboxes and the size of files that can be transferred. Asking employees to clear out their stored emails on a regular basis will help ensure the email system continues to run smoothly.
Protect against malware. Because email is a staple of nearly all businesses, it’s one of the easiest ways for hackers to infiltrate computer systems. Luckily, there are a number of solutions available to protect businesses from crippling viruses, worms and other malware. It’s important to keep these email security programs up-to-date in order to stay a step ahead of potential threats.
Filter out spam. In addition to blocking viruses and worms, it’s important to create filters that sift through incoming email and block spam. While some spam is harmless, it still slows down email systems by clogging servers with unwanted email. A spam filter will do the sorting so users get only the messages they need.
Perform regular backup and archival. Because email programs house the data most crucial for day-to-day activities, it’s important to back up this data regularly so that it’s protected against disaster or disruption in service. Archival moves older messages off the primary system, reducing the load while ensuring that messages can be retrieved for legal, regulatory or business purposes.
Without proper security, data archival and backup, an organization can suffer a business-crippling disruption if email service is lost or data is compromised. Atlantic-IT.net, your outsourced IT department, can help protect against spam and malware, implement a robust backup solution, and make sure users can get to the information they need in case of emergency.