Exchange Online Protection: A Viable Anti-Spam Solution?

Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) offers anti-spam protection, but doesn’t always catch the newest cyber threats. As email phishing, impersonation and data breaches grow more common – and complex – organizations need foolproof protection against data threats.

Exchange Online Protection & Data Loss Prevention

The native Office 365 anti-spam tool, Exchange Online Prevention (EOP), promises a flexible, value-added email security service. Featuring ‘up-to-the minute’ updates, Microsoft claims EOP blocks phishing emails. However, the Office 365 spam filters work retroactively. Microsoft adds IP addresses to block lists only when a customer reports spam. Only then is the blacklisted IP address pushed to the next software update. Spammers frequently change IP addresses, making retrospective updates ineffective.

According to a number of sources, Exchange Online Protection fails to identify many real-world phishing emails. In fact, malware manages to evade the built-in security protection in Office 365 for extended periods of time. Scans conducted by Bitglass, a third-party security provider, discovered a high rate of infection and a low efficacy rate for cloud-based applications with built-in malware protection. 44% of scanned organizations had some form of malware in at least one of their cloud applications. Malware is a considerable threat to the enterprise, which most cloud applications (including Officer 365) are generally not equipped to handle.

While EOP is natively available in Exchange Online, the average small or medium business owner may not have the know-how to activate the anti-spam tools in EOP.  The confusion between existence and activation adds another layer of vulnerability to any organization running the cloud-based instance of Office 365.

Data Breaches: User Responsibility

Users also play an important role in data protection.  If individual users aren’t aware of the threats posed by malware, all bets are off.

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report, phishing and impersonation account for 93% of data breaches in the organization.  Email scams are the most common attack method. 75% of phishing, malware and ransomware attacks some from harmless-looking attachments containing dangerous content.

Establishing a culture of email security isn’t always an option for small and medium enterprises. The required training requires time and money that many organizations cannot afford. After all, the average business owner is focused on managing their line of business – not watching for imminent online threats.

Even with the best-informed users, EOP can’t keep up with the innovations in malware and ransomware.


360 Degree Email & Data Protection

Third-party anti-spam tools offer a solution. These tools provide an additional layer of protection against cyberattack and data loss. With constant momentum in phishing tactics, a dedicated anti-spam tool can prevent damaging attacks. Third-party filters increase the level of spam detection considerably.

In addition to scanning all inbound email in real-time, many third-party anti-spam tools also offer machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Pattern learning and intelligence offer an effective and predictive method for blocking new malware threats. These techniques are capable of anticipating new attack methods and blocking threats before they reach the user inbox.

Enhancing the Exchange Online Protection Spam Filter

A greylisting feature built into anti-spam tools further enhances data protection for Office 365 and Exchange Online. Greylisting returns every email to its source, asking for the email to be resent. Most mail servers resend the returned email within minutes.

Spammers, on the other hand, don’t. Their mail servers are occupied sending new spam emails, and don’t have the capacity to respond. These servers time out, and never resend the email.

The greylisting process eliminates inbound emails from as-yet-unreported sources of spam. Spam filters featuring greylisting are more effective at preventing spam and reduce the risk of a business falling victim to an attack.

Introducing: HostedBizz Anti-Spam

Organizations that don’t implement a third-party spam filter continue to experience high levels of spam delivery to their user’s inboxes. This puts each user, and the organization, at risk.

To counteract this threat, HostedBizz added Hosted Anti-Spam to the product roster.

This solution features:

  • Protection against malware & zero-day attacks
  • Protection from email links to malicious sites
  • Multiple antivirus scanning engines
  • Dedicated real time blacklists
  • Content filtering rules, including quarantine, deletion, redirect
  • Greylisting
  • Security against infected attachments
  • Predictive threat intelligence (pattern learning)
  • Customizable policies per user, group, domain and system
  • 99% real-time spam blocking

Simple Steps to O365 and Exchange Online Protection

Email is a mission critical tool in today’s workplaces. The inherent faults in Exchange Online Protection require the support of a reliable third-party tool for email security.

HostedBizz Anti-Spam, powered by SpamTitan, offers a crucial layer of protection to your IT infrastructure. If you’re concerned about your organization’s ability to respond to spam, and the possible threat to your business, consider enlisting the support of HostedBizz Anti-Spam.

Get a free personalized demo of Office 365 Anti-Spam from HostedBizz. Get in touch today!

About Shannon Peck

Hello! I'm Shannon. Nice to meet you. If you're already a HostedBizz partner, we've likely worked together creating custom collateral, or building lead generation campaigns.

I have been working in the tech marketing industry for well over 15 years, and love helping small and medium businesses reach their full sales potential.

To learn more about how I can help you grow your cloud-based offerings, sign on as a HostedBizz partner, and ask to speak with me! If you're already a partner, feel free to reach out. I'm looking forward to chatting!

- Shannon