An increasing number of companies are making the decision to outsource their email services to companies such as Mimecast; but are they compromising control and security by doing so? In this article we look at the benefits and risks of outsourcing email.
In response to user demand, a number of companies are offering outsourced email management services that provide cost effective and secure solutions and increase the profitability of their clients. Such cloud sourced resources reduce clients’ storage needs, ensure email is always available, improve email security, and make provision for legislative requirements such as eDiscovery.
Benefits of Outsourcing email services
The benefits of these services include continuity of email – eliminating email failure even during outages; protection of email from malware, viruses, phishing and spam; legally compliant and secure email and file archiving.
For firms that find they are increasingly spending far too much internal human and IT resource on managing their email, as well as being faced with escalating storage and monitoring costs, such services would appear to be a perfect panacea, allowing them to defocus on the peripheral activity of email and refocus on the pressing needs of their business.
Although progressively more firms are following this route, there are others who are less certain of the benefits of doing so, and the primary concern is security. The email that passes through a business is essentially its life blood; if anything were to go wrong then sales could be lost, competitors could discover confidential information, jobs could be lost and the whole future of the business could be severely compromised.
Take Calculated Risks
When the perceived risks are as high as this, then the usual human response is to take no action. The attitude is frequently that the business is getting along fine, though less efficiently that it might be, so why take any unnecessary risks? It is a case of “if it’s not broke, then why fix it?” The problem with this attitude is that the risks are overstated. It is correct to study the risks involved and there is no excuse for avoiding due diligence, but the evidence shows that when organisations outsource their email, they enjoy improved security rather than the converse.
The perception can be that confidential information can fall into the wrong hands and, even with the best security systems, there is the danger of a rogue employee breaching them and passing on the information. Rogue employees can crop up in the employment of service providers as well as in the firm; at least if it happens in the firm then there is more control. But is there? To date there have been no significant security breaches by email service providers; but you can’t say that about the firms they serve.