With the rise in popularity of digital, technologies are now an integral part of the world of work. Everywhere, companies take advantage of online commerce, social networks, real marketing tools, data collected by algorithms, etc.
If one thing has not changed since the integration of the Internet into our companies, it is email. Every day we receive heaps of emails for work. Effective means of communication, our boxes become more clogged as the business grows. Important e-mails sometimes include junk mail, also called spam. These unsolicited messages can pose a serious threat to the security of your computers and even your activities.
In the era of anti-spam legislation, proving that this scourge is a serious problem, the use of anti-spam software is essential for the computer security of your company. The vast majority of cybersecurity breaches can take place in a place as innocuous as your email inbox. In addition to a federal law, several applications and services are now appearing on the market to mitigate these cyber threats.
DMIB is there to help you see more clearly on this subject.
What is spam?
It may seem obvious, but let’s start with the basics: spam is the sending of unwanted mail, that is to say, it is unsolicited by the recipient. Most of the time, this type of email is bulk sent to users. At this point, the email may be legitimate (although still spam) or may contain threats, intended to steal your personal information.
While you can learn about computer dangers and how to recognize malicious spam, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly clever and subtle in their efforts to fool users. This is why there is now federal legislation in place to help users navigate an increasingly complex digital world.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Law
This federal law (under the acronym CASL) protects users “from the misuse of digital technology, including spam and other electronic threats. Since 2014, spam has been regulated by law, greatly reducing its volume and its harmful effects on cybersecurity. However, some spam still manages to slip through despite government measures.
This is why more and more systems called anti-spam, dedicated to discerning and blocking spam, are appearing on the digital market.
How does an anti-spam work?
Anti-spam is an electronic service aimed at limiting the entry of dangerous emails into inboxes. Using several techniques and means, these applications or software detect and block spam to not only declutter your inbox, but also prevent the theft of privileged information. Here are some methods used by anti-spam software to filter emails:
- Anti-spam software, using various filters, analyzes the sender’s email address. Sometimes cybercriminals use an originally known address and only change a single letter of the domain name or move a dot. This makes the difference subtle to the naked eye, but an anti-spam can easily detect it.
- After examining the sender address, the anti-spam software checks the content of the email for questionable links, incitement to share sensitive data, etc.
- Some anti-spam software uses various other automated techniques to make it increasingly difficult for cybercriminals:
For example, challenge/response systems: unknown and/or suspicious recipients must answer various tests in order to prove that they are benevolent and deliver their message.
Here are some other examples of possible filters in anti-spam, automatic or customizable:
- Checksum-Based Filtering: This special filter bases its spam search on the fact that most messages with malicious content are sent in bulk without modification. Anti-spam gets rid of everything that could vary from one email to another to reduce the content to what is called a checksum. This sum is then searched in a database collecting other checksums, allowing the identification of spam.
- Filtering by country: for example, anti-spam software can work to block any message from the Ivory Coast. If you are never in contact with this country for your activities, it would be suspicious for a message from this country to enter your inbox.
- Content Filtering: Anti-spam software can block any incoming email with a spam word or a particular phrase specified by the user, allowing the software to better target content to block.
- Statistical filtering: the user flags messages that constitute spam or, conversely, legitimate emails. The software learns from this data to create a filtering system adapted to the needs of the Internet user.
After implementing various security practices, anti-spam approves legitimate emails and gives the user read access. Most anti-spam software also allows the user to check emails classified as spam in the event of a false positive, i.e. an email falsely labeled as spam.
Why use anti-spam?
There are many reasons to use anti-spam. As mentioned, in a business context, antispam is essential to guarantee the security of its data and avoid the loss of time or considerable costs. Among the advantages, we note, among others:
- Prevent malware, fraud and viruses;
- Securing your accounts from cyberattacks;
- Prevent the vast majority of spam from infiltrating your organization with a very low false positive rate;
- Declutter your inbox quickly;
- Anti-spam are quick to deploy and easy to use (they require very little attention);
- No material investment or maintenance;
- Reduce the complexity of managing professional emails;
- Targeted and adaptable protection to your needs;
- Mechanisms and advanced data for optimal defense;
- Protect against scams, phishing, ransomware, etc.
By providing anti-spam (anti-spam) to your business, you protect yourself against cyberattacks, which means that you avoid unnecessary costs, loss of time, credibility and productivity that occur in the event of an attack.
How to find a good anti-spam?
Here are some features to look for when looking for anti-spam software. Note that it is important to clearly define your needs beforehand: each organization is different and some software could be better suited to your operations or, on the contrary, be ill-suited! Your anti-spam should:
- Integrate specifically with your mailbox;
- Automatically block spam;
- Offer modifiable and personalized filtering rules;
- Offer a free period or a guarantee, in order to see if the software is right for you;
- Check email addresses and the header, but also links, attachments and body text in general;
- Prevent suspicious senders from contacting you in the future (blacklist);
- Use multiple layers of protection and filters;
- Have a low rate of false positives or false negatives. In other words, to be as fair and precise as possible;
- Be easy to install and maintain.
In short, the use of an anti-spam allows the filtering of the content sent to your email address to discern, block and avoid the sending of malicious spam. Using different tactics like a blocklist, IP address analysis or email body study, the software offers a multi-layered anti-spam filter to ensure the security of your email system. Want to protect your business from email threats? Call on the experts at DMIB! Our team at the forefront of cybersecurity practices will help you navigate the world of anti-spam with the help of a human, adapted and professional service.