Sunday, September 12, 2010

Email Security on Computer

Email is a prime means of communication for business purposes that is quicker and cheaper. It brings with it the necessity to make one's corporate messaging system as secure as possible.

Different E-mail threats:

A variety of different elements weaken your corporate email system and while some are widely known - such as email viruses - others tend to be ignored. Emails carrying offensive messages or confidential corporate information can create immense inconvenience and expense for a company that has not equipped its mail server with the appropriate tools. Some companies lull themselves into a false sense of security upon installing firewall. More targeted measures are needed to counteract this and other security loopholes in a corporate network.

1. Threat of information leaks: Organizations often fail to acknowledge that there is a greater risk of crucial data being stolen from within the company rather than from outside. FBI statistics, for example, reveal that among Fortune 500 companies, most data thefts in 1998 were by internal users. Again, research results carried in PC Week in March 1999 report that, out of 800 workers surveyed, 21-31% admitted to sending confidential information - like financial or product data - to recipients outside the company by email.

2. Threat of emails containing malicious or offensive content: Emails carrying sensitive information, or unsolicited mail messages sent out by corporate users are not the only problem a company has to tackle with regard to employees' email use. Under British law, employers are held responsible for emails written by employees in the course of their employment, whether or not the employer consented to the mail. The insurance company Norwich Union was asked to pay $450,000 in an out-of-court settlement as a result of emailed comments relating to competition.

3. Threat of spam: About 90 per cent of email users receive spam - or unsolicited commercial mail - at least once a week, a survey conducted by the Gartner Group shows. The research results, issued in June 1999, revealed that almost half those surveyed were spammed six or more times a week. The study surveyed 13,000 email users. Spammers can use a corporate mail server to send out their unsolicited messages, often bringing trouble upon the unwitting organization. Virgin Net recently underwent such an experience when one of its subscribers apparently used its network to send out 250,000 junk messages.

Email Security tips:

The security menaces are many, but effective solutions do exist. The first step to enhance security recommended by cyber-security consultants is the formulation of a corporate email policy document. This is used to inform all members of the organization which messaging practices are deemed unacceptable.

Corporations may choose from a selection of email security packages. Some solutions are created to tackle a particular menace alone while others contain a convenient bundle of tools to deal with the various hazards. It is up to each organization to select the software that best suits their needs.

An efficient anti-spam tool will pick up words and phrases that usually appear in unsolicited commercial emails and block the unwanted message from entering the system. While preventing inconvenience to recipients, this saves the corporation time that employees would otherwise have wasted reading and deleting junk mail - paid work time that could be better applied.


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