Email security involves a lot of buzzwords. What do they mean?
For a glossary of common email security terms, see Glossary of Terms Related to Spam Filtering Technology.

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What is Email Guard?
Email Guard is a spam filtering service and email security solution designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Email Guard combines the world-class cloud infrastructure and services of top data security companies with proven on-premises security gateway hardware to protect inbound and outbound email against spam, viruses and other email-borne threats and also offers outbound data protection via content filtering and encryption. In addition, Email Guard's centralized monitoring, management and reporting tools help you administer and troubleshoot your email system and define and enforce corporate email policy.

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What is the danger of email-based attacks?
About 70% of email is spam. 3% of emails have malicious attachments. 91% of successful hacks begin with email attacks. Spam lowers productivity. Viruses and advanced persistent threats (APTs) can steal and information and money, and shut down your network. Poorly secured email systems can violate government regulatory requirements and industry standards and expose you to litigation.

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What is the architecture of Email Guard's security solution?
Email Guard uses a hybrid architecture that includes cloud-based resources as well as on-premises email security gateway hardware. The Cloud Protection Layer prevents 95% of spam and the vast majority of viruses and other malware from ever reaching your security perimeter. The on-premises security gateway appliance provides deep, multi-level inspection for inbound threats including spam embedded within images. The security gateway also offers spam and virus protection, policy based content filtering, rate control, and cloud-assisted encryption for outbound email. In addition, Email Guard's architecture provides centralized web-based administration with comprehensive monitoring  and reporting plus options for role-based management delegation. A cloud-based Update Center enables zero-hour defense against newly discovered threats and keeps the Cloud Protection Layer and the security gateway up to date without management intervention.

For a detailed discussion of Email Guard's architecture, see Email Guard technology and architecture.

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Why does Email Guard use a hybrid design with cloud services and on-premises hardware?
The combination of cloud-based and on-premises resources used by Email Guard provides better security, performance and resilience than would be possible with a one-dimensional architecture. For zero-hour security, the cloud-based Update Center provides 24x7x365 monitoring of worldwide threats, develops defenses, and distributes updates in real time to Email Guard's local security gateway appliance. In addition, the Cloud Protection Layer blocks the vast majority of spam and malware before it ever reaches your security perimeter, which enhances both security and system performance. Security and performance are also improved by the ability of the purpose-built local gateway to perform deep analysis of email traffic, including image scanning, before traffic reaches your email server. To stabilize performance, the local security gateway offers rate control for inbound and outbound email. For resilience, Email Guard's Cloud Protection Layer offers spooling. If your local data center goes down, spooling allows you to store all your inbound email in the cloud for up to 96 hours or direct it to an alternative destination while you fix the problem.

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What email-based threats does Email Guard block?
The Email Guard security gateway provides consecutive security filters that include Denial of Service (DoS) and security protection, rate control, IP reputation analysis, sender authentication, recipient verification, virus protection, user-specified policy enforcement, signature analysis, intent analysis, image analysis, Bayesian analysis, and spam rules scoring. This results in fast, comprehensive email protection against spam, viruses, spoofing, phishing, directory harvest, and spyware attacks. For a glossary of these and other terms used in email security, see Glossary of Terms Related to Spam Filtering Technology.

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What is Progent's role in delivering the Email Guard solution?
Progent can help you plan your Email Guard deployment, recommend security gateway hardware appropriate for your expected workloads and security requirements, configure your gateway, integrate Email Guard with Exchange Server or any other email platform, define and configure policies for inbound spam and outbound content filtering, set up and test outbound encryption, design and implement a high-availability solution that can include clustered security gateways, set up an efficient management system that takes advantage of delegated administration, and provide training, ongoing consulting support and troubleshooting services.

Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can provide Microsoft System Center Operations Manager consulting so you can monitor your entire email and network infrastructure and resolve potential problems before they impact network productivity. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants can help you design, build and troubleshoot a network infrastructure that supports both the on-premises and cloud-based resources that make up your Email Guard ecosystem. Progent's CISSP-certified cybersecurity consultants can help you plan and validate a cohesive security environment that protects your business against email-borne, web-based and internal threats and that complies with government regulations, industry standards, and your own corporate policies.

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Why is it important to filter outbound email?
Outbound filtering provides two major benefits: data loss protection (DLP) and reputation protection. DLP stops sensitive information from leaking out of your business via careless emails. Leaked data can result in regulatory infractions, identity theft, and loss of competitive advantage. It can also lead to litigation. The Email Guard security gateway includes pre-defined content filters such as HIPAA, credit card numbers, and Social Security Numbers. Email Guard also allows you to create custom content filtering policies covering specified keywords, categories, or character sets. Content filtering policies can be configured to block, quarantine or encrypt messages automatically.

Outbound filtering can also block spam and viruses sent by internal computers that have been compromised, which is a serious vulnerability in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environments. Organizations which allow spam and viruses to be sent out can be placed on block lists, or "blacklisted". This loss of reputation can hurt productivity and profits.

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Why can't my firewall stop spam or Directory Harvest Attacks?
Conventional firewalls offer little or no protection against spam or Directory Harvest Attacks. Inbound email often passes through the firewall to your email server without regard for message content, message size or address, creating an opportunity for spam and viruses to enter and making your email system vulnerable to directory harvesting.

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How does Email Guard support email encryption?
Email Guard utilizes a cloud-based Message Center to handle the encryption and delivery of outbound email. Administrators can establish multiple policies for determining which emails are automatically encrypted. These are then sent securely over TLS to the Message Center where they are encrypted using AES-256 and stored for retrieval. The Message Center sends the intended recipient a notice that includes a URL to visit in order to retrieve the encrypted email. Once establishing a password, the recipient can read the encrypted message. Any replies are also encrypted at the Message Center. In addition, Email Guard includes a plug-in for Exchange Server which lets users choose to encrypt individual emails. For more details about how Email Guard encrypts outbound email, visit Email Guard technology and architecture.

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Is Email Guard difficult to manage?
Email Guard includes a browser-based management portal designed to be easy to use for administrators in small and mid-size organizations. The portal's dashboard offers centralized monitoring and control of hardware, services, policies and configurations, and keeps extensive health and performance statistics on inbound and outbound email. You can easily track by day or hour the number of inbound and outbound messages blocked, quarantined, and rate controlled; the inbound messages tagged and allowed; and the outbound messages sent, redirected, and encrypted. Granular policy control includes delegated domain administration, delegated help desk role, and individual user policy control. For more information about Email Guard's cloud-based management features, see Email Guard technology and architecture.

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What email platforms are supported by Email Guard?
Email Guard works with any on-premises email platform but offers some enhanced features when used with Microsoft Exchange Server, such as the Outlook client encryption add-in and the Exchange LDAP Accelerator.

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How does Email Guard impact email performance?
The hybrid architecture of Email Guard leverages the massive scale of cloud-based resources and the power of purpose-built gateway hardware to off-load almost all the work of email protection from the email server. On-premises gateways are available in a variety of models that offer performance that ranges from entry level to enterprise class, and gateways can be clustered for improved performance, as well as higher availability. You can configure Email Guard to deliver the performance you need, and you can easily expand your deployment as your needs grow.

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How does Email Guard avoid blocking legitimate email through false positives?
A false positive is a legitimate email quarantined as spam. The default policy configurations in Email Guard have a false positive rate of 0.01%, which is low by industry standards. Administrators have options to adjust the aggressiveness of Email Guard's spam filtering with techniques such as threshold scoring, but the surest way to prevent false positives is to build "allow lists" or "whitelists" that specify legitimate senders. Email Guard permits users to control spam scoring, Bayesian analysis, and allow lists at the personal level.

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How can I get help now with email security?
If your organization needs online or onsite help with any aspect email security:
Call 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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