If you want to improve security to block advanced and sophisticated email-based attacks, the standard spam filtering technologies provided with Microsoft 365 will need to be augmented with an email security solution that includes email sandboxing. If your current email security solution does not include a sandbox, advanced persistent threats (APTs), targeted attacks, and obfuscated malware and ransomware are unlikely to be detected and blocked and will be sent to users’ inboxes.
What is Email Sandboxing?
In computing, a sandbox is an isolated environment where applications and files can be run for testing purposes where they will not affect any other systems or the platform on which they are run. The sandbox is isolated from the network and closely mirrors the build of a standard endpoint. Sandboxes are used for testing and debugging new code, for executing untested or untrusted programs or code, and for opening unknown files safely.
Email sandboxing is an important security feature for testing untrusted files that have been attached to emails and for assessing embedded hyperlinks in emails. When an email security solution has been implemented, before an email can be delivered to an inbox, it must pass a series of checks. Those checks will eliminate spam and unwanted bulk emails, and the email security solution will scan email attachments for malware and malicious code. If all of those checks are passed, the email will be delivered to the recipient’s inbox.
Traditional email filtering solutions are effective at blocking spam and also include an anti-virus (AV) engine that detects and blocks known malware threats; however, AV engines can only identify and block threats that have previously been detected and have had their unique signatures added to the AV engine’s virus definition list. If a threat actor attaches malware or a file with malicious code to an email and that code has not previously been used, detected, and added to the virus definition list, the email will be delivered to the recipient where it can be opened.
Why is Email Sandboxing Important?
According to DataProt, in 2022, 560,000 new pieces of malware have been detected each day on average and there are now estimated to be more than 1 billion malware variants in circulation. In the 2000s, signature-based detection mechanisms were highly effective due to the low volume of malware being released; however, today, new malware variants are being released at an incredible rate. According to Symantec, between 2019 and 2020 the number of detected malware variants increased by 62%.
There is a delay between a new malware variant being released and its signature being added to AV engines. It could be hours, days, or even weeks before the signature of a new malware variant is added to the virus definition list. If that malware is encountered before the signature is added, it will not be identified as malicious and will be delivered to an inbox.
Email sandboxing is used to identify and block these zero-hour threats. When a suspicious email is received, it is sent to the sandbox for in-depth analysis. If any malicious actions are identified, the email and attachment will be quarantined. The threat intelligence from the sandbox is then disseminated to all other users of the sandbox and is sent globally to all security solutions that incorporate the threat intelligence feed. Within minutes, everyone around the world that uses that feed will be automatically protected.
Email sandboxing does not just protect against new malware threats. Emails that contain embedded hyperlinks to web resources that have not been verified as safe will also be sent to the sandbox. The links in the emails will be followed and checked, and any files downloaded as a result of connecting to that web resource will also be analyzed in the sandbox. Email sandboxing protects against zero-hour malware threats and stealthy and targeted email attacks.
Email sandboxing will:
- Analyze suspicious emails in an isolated environment where no damage can be caused
- Provide continuous protection against rapidly evolving email threats
- Reduce the burden on security teams by protecting end users’ devices, servers, and the network against malware and ransomware
- Improve the detection rate of APTs and targeted attacks
- Protect against the rapidly changing tactics, techniques, and procedures of threat actors, including novel evasion techniques, obfuscation, and custom malware and ransomware.
- Prevent security breaches and avoid incident response costs and data breaches
SpamTitan Cloud – Advanced Security with Email Sandboxing
SpamTitan Cloud is an award-winning advanced email security solution from TitanHQ that incorporates next-gen Bitdefender-powered email sandboxing to protect against advanced and sophisticated email threats and zero-hour attacks. The solution integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365 to improve threat detection through a defense in-depth approach and is fed threat intelligence from a network of more than 500 million endpoints worldwide.
SpamTitan performs a barrage of checks on all inbound and outbound emails and has a market-leading 99.99% spam catch rate with an ultra-low 0.003% false positive rate. SpamTitan Cloud includes dual antivirus engines for blocking known malware threats, and all suspicious emails that pass the initial checks are sent to the email sandbox for in-depth analysis. The sandbox incorporates award-winning machine learning and behavioral analysis technologies along with emulation tools to protect against zero-hour malware, spear-phishing, and advanced persistent threats (APTs), and will provide security teams with insights into new threats to help them better mitigate risks.
SpamTitan Cloud is quick and easy to set up, has a low maintenance overhead, and is easy to use. The solution is much loved by users, as evidenced by top scores on independent review sites such Expert Insights, Google, Capterra, and Spiceworks. If you want to improve email security and block advanced and sophisticated email attacks, why not give SpamTitan a try. The solution is available on a 100% free trial with full product support for 30 days. Product demonstrations can also be booked on request.