Email is a primary entry point for viruses and hacker attacks. When evaluating the many email options available, some businesses choose to jump on free email services. These services may relieve the budget pressure, but they aren’t built to stand up to the demands of business use – especially where security is concerned. Take a look at five reasons why your business is better protected with true business email than with free email built for consumer use:
1. Security Breaches
Just last year, thousands of Hotmail passwords were exposed and millions of Gmail accounts were compromised. While this can happen to any email deployment, the value of properly managed business email is the ability to customize security settings, apply content filters, and monitor activity so you can reduce your exposure to threats. Just one email hack could expose business plans or specs impacting your ability to be competitive.
2. Privacy Concerns
Strict regulations govern the handling of sensitive data. Some free email services employ content extraction techniques and mine your data to serve ads to you and to your recipients. If you didn’t specifically opt out, you may also expose your information to being shared with third parties for marketing purposes. Some even blatantly advertise their services on each message you send.
3. Policy Enforcement
Most businesses create an email policy when the doors open and never revisit or update it. As the threat and compliance landscape changes, a documented email policy that can be supported by your systems helps protect businesses against litigation and breaches. For example, if your policy prohibits using foul language, but you have no way to filter content, how can you proactively enforce that policy?
4. Changing Threats
According to Cisco, targeted attacks cost organizations $1.29 billion annually. While there has been a decline in mass malicious attacks, more sophisticated, targeted spear-phishing and doppleganger attacks are on the rise. Business email is built to be more focused on the stringent, ever-changing security needs of business.
5. Application Dependencies
Many CRM, accounting, and other business software rely on the underlying email system to deliver alerts, status, and updates. An email outage doesn’t just disable the email system but the ability to access and communicate with other vital business systems. That could mean sales can’t get leads from the CRM system and the accounting system can’t send out email invoices.
Securing business-grade email doesn’t always mean making big investments in hardware. With hosted email, you can access the secure email you need for a fraction of the cost and time of doing it yourself. Our Email Hosting Planning Guide offers tips for selecting an email provider and planning your switch.