Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) have been around for two decades. They were built to provide security for on-premises email deployments and were placed at the perimeter of a company’s security implementation to stop spam and malicious attachments from getting into the inboxes of their email users. Over time, two important things have happened: one – companies have gotten rid of on-prem email technology and moved to Microsoft’s Office 365 email service and two – companies have kept their old SEG around (usually due to the sunk cost of the investment they already made) with the hope that it would be able to continue protecting user email.

Here are the problems with this approach: phishers have evolved their capabilities to the point where they can easily get malicious emails through the SEG layer of defense and, to be blunt, SEGs were designed to protect on-premises email deployments and not cloud email services. That said, there is good news for O365 users. No matter which Microsoft license you bought for your O365 email service, also included is Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP) tool.

In their recently released Market Guide for Email Security, Gartner noted “Microsoft, in particular, has made significant investments in improving protection effectiveness and providing better configuration guidance. This makes it harder for SEG vendors to differentiate, especially as comparing detection rates is difficult and time-consuming, with very few independent tests of effectiveness.”

Microsoft EOP is a cloud based SEG and excels at doing what SEGs are designed to do: stopping spam and malicious content. Best of all, it is included in your license for no extra cost! All you need to do is configure your EOP tool properly and it will catch as much, if not more, than your expensive legacy SEG.

So, what about all those advanced phishing attacks? Well, more good news – by deploying IRONSCALES behind your Microsoft EOP, you now have a complete email security solution that is most likely cheaper than your legacy SEG and brings with it a quantum leap in improved functionality, scalability, and ease of use.

What about your existing SEG? Should you keep it around as an additional layer of defense in addition to the EOP + IRONSCALES email security solution? Short answer is no. We are all for using protection in depth in securing your environment, but we do not believe in unnecessary redundancy. By ditching your legacy SEG in favor of the EOP + IRONSCALES solution, you will reduce the amount of complexity in your environment, decrease the amount of time needed to operate/maintain your email security defenses, improve the efficacy of your email protection and in most cases, you will save money as well.

We have created a detailed guide to assist you with optimizing your email security defenses with an EOP + IRONSCALES solution. You can download the guide here.

To read Gartner’s new 2021 Market Guide for Email Security please visit here.

To learn more about IRONSCALES’ award-winning anti-phishing solution, please sign up for a demo today.

October 20, 2021