8 Capabilities That Organizations Need to look for in a Secure Email Gateway

Rui Serra By Rui Serra • December 12, 2022

The positive impacts of strong email security can be far-reaching, affecting everyone in your organization that uses email – including your employees, clients, customers, suppliers, and executives. Here are 8 capabilities that organizations need to achieve a secure email gateway (SEG). 


Because many stakeholders benefit from email protection, a robust strategy to secure your email gateway should be a priority. Here are eight capabilities that organizations need to achieve a secure email gateway (SEG).

1. Multiple protection layers and techniques

As advanced as technology is now, there is no single feature to achieving complete email gateway security (even if that feature is named AI). You'll need to assess content, reputation, SMTP protocol, Authentication, and of course, links and attachments. So from code scanners to malware sandboxes or DMARC verifications, all the security modules combined will set the best strategy.

don't choose solutions which are focused on one technique or from a single vendor, and if you do, make sure to combine it with other security layer. 

And finally, understand which tools are more susceptible to being attacked - Exchange, of example, is the number one victim, so it is often advisable to protect it with a distinct, segregated system.

2. Increased user awareness

Educate employees and other email users in the organization, including leadership, about the crucial roles they play in mitigating cybersecurity risks. Everyone in the organization should be trained to recognize the signs of a potential attack and the latest schemes being executed by cybercriminals. They should also learn about the impacts and costs of a breach, which can result from one careless link that takes them to an unsafe URL or automatically installs a debilitating virus in their system.

3.Domain and brand protection

Protect your brand from spoofing and impersonation by being proactive about regular domain checking. Defend yourself with protection techniques such as Domain-based Message Authentication and Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), as well as MTA-STS, SPF, DKIM, and many other parameters.

4.Inspect internally-generated emails

Malicious links, malware, and the exchange of sensitive data don’t always occur externally; they could be happening within your system. The best email security solution is to ensure the SEG has the capability to both automatically and manually remove malicious or compromised emails before they are delivered.

5.Consider a segregated environment

Understand the diferences between scanning at the mailbox, in the perimeter or in the cloud. All have their advantages and disadvantages but ultimately, you'll want the threats eliminated before one of your employees click on their email. If you're going for more than one tool (see number 1, above), consider a cloud based system where the threats can be contained before reaching mailboxes. 

6.Operationalization is as important as security.

 The best SEGs are fully operated by your admins. Total visibility on the messages, the filters, and the users, and all the configurations available to be set up by your team. Stay away from "magic happened and threats disappeared" and from "We've done your configurations for you, and you can't see or change these - as they  are standard for every org".

7.Resiliency and Backup capabilities

Better security, resilience, and continuity means that you'll have a secure environment, but also one that does not prevent you from working. Make sure the robustness of your solution does not lead to downtimes, and to emails being lost or inaccessible.

8.SEG analytical testing ability

The best SEG solutions have the ability to conduct critical testing and analysis that allows organizations to improve their protection techniques. When replacing your existing SEG with a next-generation SEG, identify how the new solution enhances your ability to defend against threats and evolving attacks. 


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