Email security is, in one sense, something that runs in the background. Users benefit from encryption and authentication technologies. Gateways are basically the star of the show, supporting compliance with regulatory and security policies, for example. But the complexity of those same traditional security practices might also slow productivity as they drain system resources.
Considering today’s dynamics where remote access and mobile computing are shaping the norm more so than in-office networked environments. Productivity has never been more critical. Security solutions must be re-examined and modernized to support greater efficiency, leveraging the unique benefits of the cloud in order to deliver a greater base of capabilities.
Take the experience of David Santistevan, president at Concentrics, a Denver, Colorado-based solution provider that has first-hand knowledge of what can and should be done. His company is among a growing number of MSPs and VARs that are reimagining email security with what Santistevan said at first struck him as counterintuitive, contrary to what he perceived possible or, frankly, relevant.
“The traditional or typical view is the use of gateways that essentially apply a ‘back-and-forth’ type of approach to encryption through mail servers,” Santistevan explained. “Over the past year, we learned about and took a different methodology and solution to our customers, enabling a more feature-rich means of protection with deeper value. In the past, for example, if someone hit the send button on an email, they’d pretty much be out of luck.”
If you’ve ever attempted to retrieve or recall a message, you probably know how time consuming and futile that can be.
However, new cloud-based capabilities are now available wherein the message’s content can be modified any time prior to being opened. Attachments can be changed. Mistakes in the making through email communication may actually be averted. Concentrics is deploying these new email security functionalities, replacing other solutions that were more dependent on standard gateway-based approaches.
“We’re always looking to add new value anyway we can,” Santistevan said, noting they cover many vertical markets where regulatory compliance is critical and violations enormously costly: legal, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and construction. “Solutions designed for service providers and business customers really deserve more attention. Even at the developer level, such thinking makes a material difference,” he added.
Modernized cyber security can increase productivity, generate upsell opportunities
Productivity is ultimately at stake in a market where email security is used only as a first line of defense. When an end-customer recognizes they can cost-effectively create more efficiencies with email security, it opens new opportunities for partners to discuss additional collaborative projects that may not otherwise have occurred.
Imagine the example above pertaining to, say, highly-sensitive data inadvertently contained in a spreadsheet attachment to an email already sent on its unmerry way to violate internal security protocols. Instead of outright panic, which did occur at first in this very real scenario, Concentrics “saved someone’s hide,” according to Santistevan.
Concentrics’ team deftly assisted the client to simply change the email and its attachment residing in the pre-determined secure cloud location allowing such adjustments. The original message was never opened.
“Customers gain greater control, including expiration settings that can be modified at any time with respect to any message’s continued relevance,” Santistevan added. “The overall broader range of email security features and functionality is also possible at price points comparable to, if not lower than, the more standard gateway-based solutions.”
Visibility inbound, outbound, and internally
Every channel business understands the customer’s primary email security expectation centers on blocking the bad stuff. Getting deeper value on this front is likely secondary and almost has to be seen or experienced to believe. When done right, the customer is more likely than not to translate these accomplishments into another reason to retain or appreciate their solution provider.
Here are four steps to optimizing client email security in the “computing-and-communicating-from-anywhere” era:
- Engage partner-friendly or partner-centric providers committed to MSP and VAR success
- Enable rapid deployment with focus on core protection capabilities and added value
- Ensure phishing and malware attacks are blocked before they reach email targets
- Expand detection capabilities through advanced threat intelligence transparent to end users
Santistevan advises channel companies to forget what they have previously thought about email security and reimagine what it can mean to end-customers. This new approach provides another way to differentiate at a time when most companies seek longer-term business and deeper relationships. Email security can now contribute to this loftier overall goal, yet without the need to add new resource requirements, costs, or complex training burdens.