Email protection tools are security tools designed to protect your email from malware and hackers. They include tools like Secure Email Gateways, anti-malware software and anti-phishing tools like the Cofense suite of products.

Most email protection tools sit on the gateway and monitor email coming into the network for known malicious attachments, URL links and other malware. Some use blacklist/whitelists to segregate email, but most use algorithms to parse for known malware signatures. Still others are looking for patterns to identify zero-day threats.

What is a zero-day threat?

Email protection tools have been available for more than 20 years now, and some, like Secure Email Gateways, are becoming commoditized as the push for vendor consolidation and cost savings pushes vendors to provide more value. 

In the past, most email protection tools were deployed on-premises, meaning the company installed its own appliances and maintained them themselves. Nowadays, more and more companies are moving to cloud-based solutions that are much easier to deploy and maintain. 

Some companies will provide managed services and the customer simply has to point their email gateway to the service to begin filtering email. Cloud-based products have made products designed for high-end enterprises available to mid-sized companies and they have been moving to these cloud services for a number of years.

There is no reason to go without email protection tools these days as they are often bundled in with other services like Microsoft does with Defender o365. Bundles are also available from Google and other providers. They are becoming more popular as customers see significant cost reductions and have fewer vendors to maintain.

Still, most email protection tools available in bundles can’t protect against things like zero-day and other emerging threats that haven’t been identified yet. In this case, it is best to spend money on solutions that have high-quality intelligence feeds that identify emerging threats before they can cause problems. 

This is where Cofense comes in. The Cofense Phishing Detection and Response (PDR) platform empowers organizations to use their strongest defense – people – alongside our automated response and intelligence technology to achieve the most comprehensive phishing response and detection available. Cofense’s PDR platform is designed to deploy as an integrated suite of products or delivered as a comprehensive managed PDR service through the Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC). Both options effectively stop phishing attacks and combat the savviness of attackers through a combination of people and automated technology to quickly reduce and remove the risk.

Email protection tools that focus on creating a human network that can report on emerging threats like phishing emails are very valuable for their ‘network effect’ that is, when one person reports malware, everyone in the network becomes protected against it immediately. It is this kind of intelligence that makes certain email protection tools more valuable than others. 

Email protection tools have been around for a long time and work to protect customers against a wide range of threats from spoofing to phishing and many types of malware. It is important to have the right kind of email protection tools to protect against the current known threats and unknown, or zero-day threats that are emerging. Good intelligence is always found in the best tools and that’s where customers are spending a good portion of their security budgets today.

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