What Is Anti-Spam Software? Why Is It Important For Businesses?
Cybersecurity tools are often lumped together. But do you know exactly what anti-spam software is and what it does? If not, you aren’t alone.
Anti-spam, antivirus, and anti-malware are often grouped together as part of a comprehensive endpoint protection solution, but what does each type of software actually do and how do they work together?
At Kelser, we include a full suite of endpoint detection solutions as part of our comprehensive manage IT support services.
But we know that managed IT support isn’t the right choice for every organization. Rather than try to convince you that our solution is the best option for you, we focus on providing educational information you can use to educate yourself so you can make the best IT decision for your organization.
This article will explore what anti-spam software is, what it does, how it differs from antivirus and anti-malware, what could happen if you don’t use it, and how much it costs.
What Is Anti-Spam Software?
Anti-spam software is a tool that blocks unsolicited, unwanted, and potentially harmful emails from ever reaching the inboxes of your users.
How Does Anti-Spam Software Work?
Anti-spam software checks your emails against industry-standard and your specifically defined criteria for known spam and virus controls.
Inbound and outbound items that fail these checks are quarantined and not delivered to reduce dangerous and unnecessary email and prevent the distribution of malware, spam and viruses to your contacts.
How Is Anti-Spam Software Different From Antivirus and Anti-Malware?
Anti-spam software works together with antivirus and anti-malware to provide comprehensive endpoint protection.
Antivirus programs are typically best at detecting classic online threats like worms, trojans and viruses.
Anti-malware recognizes new (and emerging) threats that can penetrate standard antivirus software. Its analytic and monitoring tools identify suspicious activities before they affect your infrastructure. It defends before, contains during, and helps remediate after an incident.
Anti-malware constantly tracks programs allowing you to see what’s running where across your endpoints.
Related article: Top 10 Cybersecurity Tools To Protect Business Data
Some software applications perform all three functions, while others may offer one or two tools.
What Could Happen If I Don’t Use Anti-Spam Software?
Anti-spam software protects against spam and viruses. Let's talk about what this looks like in real life.
Phishing is one of the most common social engineering attacks. And while phishing attacks can be carried out through text messages, phone calls or posts on social media, the majority are carried out via inbound emails. Anti-spam software protects against phishing.
Criminals use phishing attempts to impersonate a legitimate company or person to steal data or login credentials. These schemes may involve threats and a sense of urgency. The combination of these elements is very convincing to users, who often fall victim to the scammer’s tricks.
Maybe it’s a message that looks like it has been sent from your bank or credit card company requesting that you click on a link to review suspicious activity on your account. The message warns that without immediate action, your account will be suspended.
Maybe it’s a message that looks like it is from your company’s chief executive officer requesting that you immediately arrange a wire transfer to what turns out to be a bogus account.
With just one, well-crafted email, criminals can trick unsuspecting users into falling victim to divulging or providing access to sensitive information and put your entire network at risk. And what’s worse is that you might not realize the full impact of a phishing email for months (or even years).
Think your users are too smart to fall victim?
In 2011, United States' defense suppliers were breached when a security firm (RSA) fell victim to a spear phishing attack, just one of several specific types of phishing attacks.
All it took was for one employee to open a phishing email for the perpetrators to gain access to the victim’s desktop, bypass the company’s two-factor authentication, and steal company data.
This breach happened as a result of an action taken by a security firm employee simply clicking on an unassuming email!
Related article: What Is Phishing? (& Tips To Avoid It)
In addition to anti-spam software, another effective (and most often overlooked) tool to guard against phishing attempts is cybersecurity awareness training for your employees.
How Much Does Anti-Spam Software Cost?
Prices for anti-spam software vary. Some anti-spam solutions are available online at no cost, while others have a monthly per user cost of $20 or more. It’s important to remember that implementing anti-spam software is just one part of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.
And, to maintain the effectiveness of your anti-spam solution, always install performance and security updates whenever software developers issue them.
What’s The Bottom Line?
After reading this article, you have a full understanding of anti-spam software. You understand what it is, how it works, how it differs from anti-malware and antivirus software.
We’ve discussed what can happen if you don’t use anti-spam software and how much you can expect to spend on this tool.
The bottom line is that anti-spam software is one tool to help keep your IT infrastructure safe, but it doesn’t protect your data from every cyber threat. In fact, there isn’t a single security tool that exist today that can provide a 100% guarantee that your organization won’t be breached.
So, just as each layer of clothing you put on in the winter keeps you warmer, every layer of security you put in place provides more protection to keep your network and data safe.
At this point, you may be wondering whether your organization’s security tools are up to the latest cyber threats. Click the link below for a free checklist you can use to:.
✔️Understand where your organization's cybersecurity policy needs improving
✔️Learn five best-practices and actions you can take to keep your organization's data secure
✔️Help ensure your organization follows the latest cybersecurity best practices
Get your free cybersecurity checklist now, so you can take action against the latest cybersecurity threats and keep your business secure.
If your internal IT organization is struggling to stay on top of emerging cyber threats or maybe you don’t have any IT experts on staff, you may be considering working with an external IT provider. I encourage you to explore several options to get the provider that is the right fit for your business.
Related article: Block Hours Vs. Managed IT Support: The Pros & Cons
External IT support is not cheap. We get it. As informed consumers ourselves, we know that the first step we take when evaluating our options for a significant purchase is to search the internet. It’s important to compare your IT support options so that you don’t end up in a partnership that doesn’t work for you.
We are so committed to this advice that we’ve done some of the legwork for you. In our Learning Center, we’ve published several articles comparing our offering to that of our competitors (based on publicly available information from our respective websites).
Why do we compare ourselves to our competition? Because we like to be 100 percent transparent and we want to be part of successful partnerships.
In the spirit of transparency, learn how Charles IT and Kelser stack up. Or, check out Kelser’s Learning Center for more comparison (and other easy-to-understand) articles that answer your IT questions.
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