The many pieces of a successful Email Continuity program

AnubisNetworks By AnubisNetworks • April 24, 2024

In today's digital age, email serves as the lifeblood of communication for most businesses. Yet, many organizations overlook the critical importance of email continuity and establishing a comprehensive retention strategy.

Understanding Email Continuity

Email continuity stands as a pivotal solution tailored to preserve a company's emails in their original state, ensuring effortless retrieval for day-to-day operations. It basically means your email is accessible and operating at all the times, and comprises the following parts:

Email (Exchange) Service

The main part of an email ecosystem is the mail server, which allows for sending and receiving the emails from and for your organization. It has storage and user management as part of it. Currently, the largest solution in the market is Microsoft's Exchange. This gigantic and highly complex system is made acessible to millions of companies worldwide. It is also the most attacked and vulnerable system in the world, with many exploitations being carried out on a regular basis. 

What is expected from this system, from a Continuity perspective, is that no emails are lost, no users are left out of the system. 

Email Clients

The emails are made accessible to your employees by accessing each users' inbox, via web browsers, software (such as the outlook) and mobile apps.

The email continuity relates to being able to use these systems, which means that both the software needs to be operating and the email server needs to be synchronising emails with such clients. 

Email Security

In today's world, the amount of email threats reaching an organization is permanent and highly capable of harming an organization, either due to malware included in the email communication or by deploying fraud tactics related to social engineering (for example, phishing or Business Email Compromise). More advanced organizations rely on dedicated email security systems to filter out dangerous emails (both inbound and outbound) and also to maintain a greater control of users and messages, before a subset of the email messages directed to the organization reaches the employees.

The email continuity regards having such systems active and running, never interrupting the email flow and, even more, holding the messages in case the Email Exchange server is unavailable.

The Email Exchange services possess some security features and, in some cases, even advanced security features. However, if Security occurs at the same place as storage, email continuity may be compromised.

 

Email Relay

If security is focused on the messages aimed at harm your organization, another aspect is the ability to deliver emails to other organizations. Which also require proper continuity and control.  The outbound abilities of Emails servers are usually standard and extra software pieces, focused on deliverability of large volumes, control of internet reputation and management of recipients (for example, ensuring they exist and are willing to receive the messages).

Email Archiving and Emergency Mailbox 

A key aspect in Email continuity is to guarantee  a backup to primary email storage, guarantying that emails are stored as long as necessary, and also offering a readily accessible alternative to empower users to execute essential email operations during temporary email service failures.

Such solutions are very useful considering the email exchange services downtime, a concern even for cloud-based servers, poses risks of data loss and service unavailability, as evidenced by incidents involving major providers like Microsoft's Office 365 and Google Workspace. 

These solutions also ensure companies have immediate access to all historical emails sent or received, ensuring comprehensive visibility and compliance with regulatory mandates.

 

 

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