Natalia Merzlyakova - Fotolia

Email security should be more of a channel focus

Customers are leaving themselves exposed to threats as they move to hosted email offerings without adding data protection

The security channel could be missing out on an opportunity to pitch customers with email protection against a backdrop of more emerging risks in that area.

Not only do the traditional problems of spam and phising remain abundant but there are growing numbers of account takeovers with hackers using accounts to cause problems for users.

One recent example involved a firm that suffered losses after criminals gained access to email and asked customers to pay their invoices into another account.

Some of the issues also stem from a naivety among some users about Office 365 with a portion of users not adding any security around the cloud service.

Chris Ross, svp sales, international at Barracuda, said that it had charted a growth in account takeovers and more education was needed with the channel in an ideal position to help.

"Many people have moved [into the cloud] without adequate security and resellers are missing out on an opportunity with customers," he said.

The firm is promoting an email threat scanner, which it is encouraging resellers to use to help users identify about educating problems, and has created a bundle bringing together all of its email protection services to make life easier for the channel.

"It is about educating partners and telling the email story," added Ross, "We launched the email protection bundle two weeks ago and are already seeing traction with partners."

He added that for most customers making the move to Office 365 was a question of when not if and, "if you are not talking to your customers about email security then someone else will be".

Alex Cagnoni, director of authentication at WatchGuard Technologies, said that he had spoken to customers that had accepted the need for security around hosted email, with one standing up at a recent event declaring that anyone who was not using multi-factor authentication as being crazy.

He added that this was not just an issue for enterprise customers and SMEs were also firmly in the firing line from cyber criminals and needed to step up their efforts to protect data.

Read more on Data Protection Services