What is an email server?
An email server (or mail server) is a computer system that handles the delivery of email over a network. While sending and receving emails seems simple and instantaneous, there are actually a number of complex mail server transfers between one user's outbox and the intended recipient's inbox. As email continues to be the backbone of modern business collaboration, it's crucial that every organization takes measures to secure email servers and prevent debilitating cyberattacks.
Ways to secure your email server
Email server security, like any other type of cybersecurity, is an ongoing effort that requires adaptation to new threats, and regular updates to stay ahead of potential risks. Here are some universally recognized ways to secure and email server:
- Avoid Open Relay Configuration
- Implement Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
- Implement DomainKeys Identified Email (DKIM)
- Implement Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC)
- Block malicious senders with reverse DNS
- Use domain name system blocklists to block malicious emails and domains
- Use a spam URI real-time blocklist to block malicious URIs
- Block phishers and spammers with a local IP blocklist
- Implement Transport Layer Security
Why a secure email server is important?
Most businesses use email as their main communication channel – inside and outside of the organization. Often times, corporate email traffic contains sensitive information, and therefore has to be secured. Therefore, securing corporate email servers is a main component of an organization’s cybersecurity.
What security features should a secure email server have?
A secure email server should have the following security features implemented:
- Phishing protection
- Multi-factor authentication
- Strong passwords
- Email filtering
- Antivirus protection
- Attachment scanning
- Data loss prevention software
- Link scanning
- Access control
- Link scanning
Managing your email server
Your organization runs on email, making your email server one of your most critical pieces of technology. Keeping your mail server secure and available must be a top priority for IT, but the challenge of protecting your server becomes more complex by the day.
Email is often the first line of attack for hackers and malicious individuals seeking to breach your organization's security. From phishing threats and zero-day attacks to malware and viruses, most hacking attacks today begin with email, and the threat landscape is constantly evolving.
Managing your email server for 100 percent availability can be a difficult task as well, as service outages and planned downtime interfere with email continuity. And as the volume of email flowing through your organization grows exponentially, effective email archiving is essential for lightening the load on your mail server.
You can solve these challenges easily and cost-effectively with Mimecast's all-in-one solution for email management, delivering best-of-breed services for security, continuity and archiving. As a fully integrated, cloud-based subscription service, Mimecast reduces the cost and complexity of managing and protecting your email server.
Comprehensive security for an email server
Mimecast’s cloud-based email security system is simple to deploy and easy to manage, providing always-on and always up-to-date protection, avoiding the complexity and cost of traditional solutions.
Our massively scalable mail transfer agent offers multiple layers of malware and spam protection to serve as your email bridgehead in the cloud, stopping known and emerging threats before reaching your network.
Mimecast's secure email solutions include:
- A Secure Email Gateway that relies on multi-layer detection engines and threat intelligence to provide 100% anti-malware protection and 99% anti-spam protection.
- Targeted Threat Protection that defends against advanced attacks by scanning links and attachments within email in real time, blocking access to suspicious websites and sandboxing suspicious attachments.
- Secure Messaging services so users can send protected messages without the need for special knowledge of encryption or additional hardware and software.
- Content Control and Data Loss Prevention services that scan all email and file attachments to stop data leakage and support compliance.
- Large File Send, a file transfer service for sending and receiving files up to 2 GB in size without needing third-party file sharing services.
Large File Send, a file transfer service for sending and receiving files up to 2 GB in size without needing third-party file sharing services.
Archiving and continuity services for your mail server
To simplify management of your email server, Mimecast also provides services for:
- Email archiving. Mimecast Enterprise Information Archiving provides a secure, perpetual archive in the cloud for storing email. Mimecast archiving enables you to lighten the load on your email server by moving messages to the cloud archive while allowing users and administrators to search email archives and retrieve messages from any device.
- Email continuity. Mimecast Mailbox Continuity provides access to live and historic email and attachments, even when your mail server is down due to service outages or planned downtime.
Learn more about managing your email server more effectively with Mimecast, and about Mimecast solutions to support Office 365 cloud email.
Email Secure Server FAQs
How does a secure email server work?
A secure email server employs various technologies and practices to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of email communications.
- Secure protocols, such as TLS and end-to-end encryption, to protect data in transit
- User user authentication mechanisms, such as 2FA and MFA to prevent unauthorized access
- Digital signatures to verify authenticity
- Anti-spam, malware and phishing measures to protect against harmful and malicious content
- Access control to limit permissions
- Access control to limit permissions
- Firewalls and intrusion detection systems to prevent unauthorized access
- Logging and monitoring to track events for anomalies
What is the purpose of securing an email server?
Securing an email server is a fundamental part of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. A secure email servers helps defend against email-borne cyber threats, such as phishing and malware, and helps prevent data breaches.
A secure email server ensures that email communication takes place in a confidential, unaltered, and authentic way.
How do secure email servers protect against phishing attacks?
A secure email server should be set up with the necessary security tools to scan all inbound emails in real-time, searching for specific signs of fraud in the header, domain, and content of each email message. It should also have the capability to scan all URLs within incoming and archived emails on every click and open websites only if they have been determined to be safe.
Can I access my secure email server from multiple devices?
When a secure email server is set up with the correct security tools, it can be accessed from any device anywhere. It should allow administrators to configure and monitor their accounts as needed in order to:
- Manage user accounts and role-based permissions
- Create or amend policies
- Reviewing logs to track user activity
- Troubleshoot email delivery to determine why an email has been delayed or failed delivery