Spam emails have evolved from being a nusiance to being a security threat, that can put individuals and businesses at risk of malware. Dealing with spam is frustrating, expensive and time consuming. For businesses, spam can be potentially harmful, with cyber attackers using spam email to spread malware to business users. For these reasons, it’s hugely important that anyone relying on emails has a strong anti-spam filter in place.
Anti-Spam filters categorize all inbound and outbound email traffic to determine whether it is safe to be delivered, or malicious and therefore should be blocked. Email filters sort emails into categories like spam, grey-mail, viruses and phishing attacks, which informs whether the emails should be delivered to users or not. The anti-spam filters we will filter in this article are all cloud-based solutions. We will cover on-premise solutions in a different article.
Not all email spam-filters offer the same functionality, some
are simplified for email accounts that need to block spam, but don’t need the
highest level of threat protection. Others are for enterprise users, that need
strong defences against cyber-attacks to protect their users and data.
This article will cover the best anti-spam email filtering solutions for a range of use cases. The top Email Anti-Spam Filtering solutions includes:
- Proofpoint Essentials | Mimecast | Barracuda Essentials | Symantec Email Security Cloud | Cisco Email Security | Forcepoint Email Security | Cloudmark Safe Messaging Cloud
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Proofpoint Essentials is a market leading Secure Email Gateway platform for small and midsized organizations to protect their emails. Proofpoint Essentials comprehensively filters malicious emails, including spam, malware and phishing attacks, and gives IT admins granular controls over email messaging. Proofpoint Essentials also includes email archiving and encryption. Proofpoint is the world’s largest email security vendor, protecting over 100,000 organizations globally from email threats.
Proofpoint offers powerful threat protection features. They offer market leading spam filtering, with a service level agreement that they will block >99% of spam email. Proofpoint also filters content within emails, including adult content and marketing content that they classify as grey-mail. SE Labs found Proofpoint had the highest overall accuracy rating (98%) of all of the email security vendors they tested. Proofpoint saves IT departments time by allowing end users to manage their own email quarantines. Users can view an archive of all their past emails, allow emails to be delivered that Proofpoint has classified as save, and block nuisance senders. Proofpoint Essentials is an ideal platform for businesses looking to protect their emails from spam and malware threats.
Mimecast is an enterprise secure email gateway that provides a high level of protection against email threats. It’s designed to stop malicious emails, including spam, targeted attacks and phishing attacks. Mimecast’s email filtering solution includes DNS authentication, protection against Impersonation attacks, attachment sandboxing, URL protection and a full threat intelligence dashboard and threat feed. Mimecast also offers encryption and archiving for a full email security and compliance solution.
Mimecast provides strong, multi-layered threat protection to combat malware viruses and spam, as well as targeted email attacks like phishing. Mimecast promise to deliver 100% protection against malware, with 99% anti-spam detection. Mimecast offer tools to remove graymail and mailing lists, with both admin and end user controls. They also offer advanced features like Content Control and DLP, which protects important company data. Mimecast is powered by their threat intelligence team, a global analyst network that using information from billions of emails monitored monthly. Mimecast is available as both a cloud-based and on-premise solution and is available to business customers.
Barracuda Essentials is a comprehensive email protection solution for small and midsized businesses. Barracuda provides protection against threats like malware and spam, as well as more targeted attacks like spear-phishing and ransomware. The platform also offers email archiving and encryption. Barracuda delivers inbound-email filtering, with URL protection and attachment sandboxing alongside spam filtering. Barracuda also offer automated incident response and remediation, so admins can easily remove malicious emails from inboxes.
Barracuda Essentials offers a range of both inbound and outbound threat protection features for businesses. Using their enterprise threat intelligence data, Barracuda identifies spam email domains to block spam email and grey-mail. They also offer phishing protection, malware protection and link protection to stop email-borne viruses. Barracuda also filters outbound emails, to stop your domains being used to send out spam emails. Barracuda Essentials is a fully-cloud based email protection platform. Barracuda’s Essentials platform also integrates with Sentinel, which is Barracuda’s advanced platform for stopping phishing and spear-phishing attacks in Office 365. This makes Barracuda a strong option to consider for organizations looking for phishing protection alongside email filtering.
Symantec Email Security.Cloud
Symantec is a market leader in enterprise email security solutions, often named as a top vendor by market analysts Forrester Symantec are focussed on enterprise organizations, providing protection against advanced email attacks including zero-day malware and business email compromise attacks. Symantec uses isolation technology to protect users from phishing, credential theft and ransomware, alongside spam filtering and user awareness. Symantec operates one of the world’s largest intelligence networks, which powers their threat protection technologies.
Symantec uses sandboxing and behavioural analysis to provide protection against new and emerging malware and ransomware threats. Symantec also provides defense against phishing attacks, with URL protection, impersonation controls and isolation technologies that open links in read-only mode. They use anti-virus engines and reputation analysis to block malware and spam threats. However, in 2019 Symantec was acquired by Broadcom, which has led to questions about the future of the service. Symantec are focussing on their endpoint, web and DLP products, and are focussing more on larger enterprise customers.
You can read more about the Symantec acquisition here: https://www.expertinsights.com/insights/should-you-consider-leaving-symantec-email-security/
Cisco Cloud Email Security
Cisco provides inbox protection against threats like malware, business email compromise and phishing attacks. Cisco protects against advanced threats with attachment protection and URL scanning, as well as protecting against outgoing email threats with email encryption and data loss prevention. Cisco is primarily used by mid-sized to large organizations, and can be delivered as an on-premise application or used with cloud based email platforms like Office 365 and G Suite.
Cisco provides powerful spam protection, using Cisco’s Context Adaptive Scanning Engine. This engine examines all the content within an email message such as call to action, domain and message content, and uses this information to block spam emails from being delivered to users. Cisco also use reputation filtering to filter 9-% of spam before it can enter your network. Alongside spam filtering, Cisco provides advanced protection against threats including phishing attacks, domain impersonation and grey-mail, giving end users the functionality to block email senders and remove themselves from nuisance mailing lists.
Forcepoint Email Security
Forcepoint Email Security is a secure email gateway that filters spam, blocks malware and stops business email compromise attacks. Forcepoint provides a range of controls to protect emails, including protections against unsafe attachments, email encryption, acceptable use policies for emails and security awareness training. Forcepoint is one of the leading enterprise email gateways, offering a 99% SLA on spam filtering effectiveness.
Forcepoint provides real-time protection against emails threats, and allows users to quarantine, block or remove malicious or unwanted emails straight from their inbox. With advanced malware detection capabilities Forcepoint is able to block advanced, zero-day email threats from users inboxes. Forcepoint also provides integrated security awareness training and data loss prevention. Forcepoint is available as a cloud based, on-premise and hybrid solution, and is commonly used to provide superior email filtering for organizations using Microsoft Office 365.
Cloudmark Safe Messaging Cloud
Cloudmark is a standalone spam filter that is used by service providers. It provides organizations with comprehensive email and messaging security solution that integrates seamlessly into any existing infrastructure. It identifies and proactively responds to malivious activity and remediates compromised systems, allowing service providers to protect their customers from known and emerging threats. Cloudmark protects 1:8 mailboxes worldwide and is owned by Proofpoint.
Cloudmark Safe Messaging Cloud provides inbound and outbound messaging protection from spam, phihsing, ransomware and malware. It utilizes Cloudmark’s global threat network to accurately filter malicious emails. This network captures data from billions of messages daily for increased protection accuracy. Alongside network forensic analysis, Cloudmark provides automated detection and remediation of compromised accounts. Cloudmark also provides robust analytics and reporting, with real-time threat intelligence data to help streamline the discovery and remediation of malicious attacks. Cloudmark is not sold directly, but integrated with the Proofpoint Essentials platform. It is designed for hosting companies that need a solution to protect the mailboxes on their hosted platform.