Spam is a pain in the butt. And it’s only getting worse. According to Barracuda Networks, the company behind Baraccuda Spam Firewall, nearly half of all email that traverses the Internet is spam. Yes, HALF. I’ve read statistics that indicate it’s higher than that, as much as 85%.
A few years ago I was responsible for email services for a small services provider company. Our spam gateway filtered out about 90% of all email at the gateway, identified as blatant spam. Another 4% to 5% was tagged as possible spam. We’ve got a real problem on our hands.
Most of us can deal with the occasional annoying message, but these days the stakes are higher. Email is one of the primary mechanisms the bad guys out there deliver things like malware, viruses and ransomware. The latter of those three being the most troubling.
You need a real world solution that can help. Enter the Barracuda Spam Firewall.
What is a Barracuda Spam Firewall?
Barracuda Networks has been around for quite some time. 15 years actually. They got their start in the email security game with their Barracuda spam firewall.
The Barracuda Spam Firewall uses Barracuda Central to identify known spammers and prevent suspicious emails. It also checks all domains that may be embedded in the email and does a security check to ensure that websites are not linked to any malware sites. What’s more, is it also does a sweep of any embedded texts in images that may be included in the email, a common tactic used by spammers to hide suspicious content from most traditional spam filters. But Barracuda is no traditional spam filter, as they continuously uphold their reputation of always being one step ahead of even the most clever spammers.
They used to only offer physical appliances, but a few years ago they took their Barracuda spam filter to the cloud. You can now have your email routed through their cloud services to filter for spam instead of having to install a physical device onsite.
Barracuda Network’s Main Services
Barracuda is used for a variety of security reasons including email protection, data protection, network security, and even app and cloud protection. Within their two main product categories, onsite and cloud based, Barracuda has multiple offerings that fit most enterprise level needs. Here’s a quick overview of their main services:
- Barracuda Total Email Protection – A cloud offering designed to protect your users and company data from threats delivered via email.
- Barracuda Essentials – A newer cloud based offering that rolls up an all-in-one email security backup, and archiving service into one package.
- Barracuda Sentinel – This cloud based service takes email security to the next level by leveraging AI based protection. It’s designed to specifically protect from spear phishing, takeover of accounts, the compromise of business email.
- Barracuda Email Security Gateway – A more traditional, physical email security appliance that’s connected to the cloud for near real-time updates of new threats as they are discovered. This new hybrid model gives you the ability to leverage the advantages of the cloud offering, while still maintaining your own security appliance.
All of Barracuda Networks projects and services have several things in common. These core features provide a good list of target features for any spam filtering solution.
Barracuda Network’s Best Features
Complete protection from threats that originate in emails. According to Barracuda, 91% of all cyber attacks start at the email level. This is a pretty significant risk front every person should be paying attention to. If you can mitigate risk at the email level, you significantly reduce the potential of being hit with a cyber attack. Barracuda spam protection filters both inbound and outbound emails to protect users from inbound threats, and companies from data leaks due to compromised systems sending data out.
Stop threats before they reach your network. Filtering email and traffic before it reaches your network saves precious local resources for your user’s needs, and puts an extra layer of security between you and the Internet as a whole. This can also help significantly when hit with denial of service attacks.
Provide continuous availability of email. When an email server goes down, mail continues to spool on the Baracudda spam firewall until the email server comes back online. You also have the option of routing email to a secondary delivery server to provide uninterrupted access to email.
Simplified email security. Baracuda spam filtering is easy to set up and deploy. Email protection can be put in place in a matter of minutes. Centralized management via cloud based tools make day to day administration tasks a breeze. Cloud based management is included at no additional cost.
The Baraccuda spam filter also has another great benefit. Protection against ransomware. Current estimates show ransomware hits an organization every 11 seconds. Many organizations don’t have proper measures in place to address the effects of these attacks, or mitigate them altogether. Organizations protected by Barracuda spam firewalls reduce the chances of being hit by ransomware in the first place.
Barracuda Networks is worth a look if you’re considering an enterprise level spam filtering service. Their products have been around for a number of years, and they are one of the leaders in enterprise level spam filtering. If a physical appliance is not what you’re after, their cloud based offerings will provide protection without the need to house an appliance. They even have solutions for hosting on AWS and Azure if that’s your focus environment.