Everyone who has a PC or device of any kind can suffer at the hands of scammers, hackers and social engineers. Attackers are after user data, compromising their privacy and often their livelihoods.

When it comes to small businesses, organizations are targeted more often than most owners realize. Of those companies that do fall victim, 60% of small businesses end up failing within six months of the attack due to the financial loss and fallout.
Many of these attacks come in the form of email phishing attempts. Email spam filtering solutions are the number-one best way to stop the bulk of these fraudulent messages from ever coming in.

Email spam filters also block the obnoxious, unsolicited messages trying to sell everything under the sun. Even marketing messages that aren’t fraudulent can still be annoying, and blocking them altogether helps organizations stay on task in their day-to-day.

Defining Email Spam Filters

Email filtering solutions work to siphon off all inbound email traffic that has the highest likelihood of being harmful or an unwanted ad.

The filtering solution then classifies inbound and outbound messages into different spam categories that never even hit the recipient’s inbox. The filtering includes complex message classification to reduce the possibility of legitimate messages getting blocked.

Typical categories that an email filter uses include:
• Spam
• Malware
• Adult content
• Bulk message
• Virus
• Impostor
• Suspicious links

Two Types of Email Spam Filtering

Email spam filters can be implemented in a cloud-based service or in an on-premise device.

Some industries prefer on-premise email filtering solutions to meet strict compliance requirements or to keep their data storage totally internal.

For an on-site solution, a physical appliance is used along with software installed locally on each device. These email filters require ongoing maintenance by an IT team.

Cloud deployment email spam filtering is a more popular option for most small businesses. These solutions are faster and easier to implement.

Deploying a cloud-based email filtering solution also means that an organization has access to the tech team that developed the solution itself, meaning the to-do is not on an in-house IT team to solve problems or perform regular filter maintenance.

The 6 Components of Spam Filtering

Whatever email filtering option an organization goes with, these are the six core components of the best email spam filtering solutions:
1. Reputation-based email filters that filter out known spammers and approve trusted senders based on worldwide reputation databases.
2. Safelisting, allowing an organization to indicate which senders are always trustworthy.
3. Blocklisting, allowing an organization to indicate which senders are definitely spam (or something more dangerous).
4. Temporary blocklisting (also called “graylisting”), allowing an organization to temporarily reject emails from senders.
5. Anti-virus components to protect against new and existing viruses that come hidden in messages.
6. Content analysis where the content of a message is used to determine whether the message contains certain words or attachments that an organization doesn’t want to let through.
Features like content analysis get smarter over time, too, the more messages a software analyzes.

The first step for any organization is to find the solution that works for its needs. Contact your team of proactive IT professionals to learn more.