Feeds

Email security: Where are we @?

It's trouble, but we love it anyway

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Reg Guide Email is no longer an option in the business environment. Like many technologies that have grown by individual demand rather than organisational imposition, email crept up on corporations by stealth, becoming an essential tool before anyone cared to notice.

Which is a shame, because it's pretty rubbish really - in security terms, at least. Email is the IT equivalent of the ferret – useful in its place but never quite to be trusted, capable of the unexpected even when treated with respect. Email was invented at a time when computers existed in closed environments, and it has thus far proved itself ill-prepared to cope with the brave, new yet dangerous, interconnected world.

But still, we use email. We have no choice, because so does everyone else - even to pass messages around the office rather than standing up and asking questions over the tops of partitions.

Of course, email enables a great many things, but equally it needs to be handled with care. It's not just that it can act as a carrier for viruses, Trojans, and other malicious content (malware), there are the issues of unsolicited messages (that can be connected to phishing attacks), unacceptable use (think: sending dodgy images to one's mates), and fraudulent communications, as it is all too easy to set up an email account in someone else's name.

While there are technologies to help protect email from the worst of the threats, we need to co-ordinate such deployments with our own efforts – things like awareness training, and the simplest of protective measures (setting a PIN code on your mobile device, for example), go a long way towards reducing the risks.

If you want to know more take a look at our email security primer, which collates the best of our experience from the field. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.