Why Anti-Malware Multi-Scanning is Essential for Email Security

While email is critical to businesses, it is also a source of constant threats, from spam and phishing to malware and targeted attacks. With email-borne threats becoming more and more sophisticated, it's time for organizations to get serious about their email security.

Email-borne malware is continuously increasing in complexity and potential infection cost. 2013 saw the rise of ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts files on your hard drive and connected external devices and then asks for ransom money to unlock the files.

The CryptoLocker virus, the most prolific ransomware virus, was spread through infected email attachments; once the attachment is opened the program installs itself, encrypts files and displays a ransom message asking you to pay up somewhere between $200 and $2000 in order to access your files or lose them forever.

Unfortunately, ransomware seems to be very successful at persuading users to pay the ransom; it is estimated that CryptoLocker has collected around $3 million in ransom money. Sadly CryptoLocker's success has enticed copycats to do the same, resulting in new ransomware blossoming in CryptoLocker's footsteps, and with more, no doubt, in the works.

The spread of CryptoLocker has again highlighted the vulnerability of email, even for those with antivirus installed. While most companies deploy one antivirus engine to scan their emails for malware and feel safe doing so, no single anti-malware engine can catch 100% of threats. During a malware outbreak, hours can literally make the difference between infection and prevention. With new threats emerging continuously, antivirus vendors cannot address all threats within the same time frames. By using multiple anti-malware engines to scan each email attachment, only one out of several engines needs to be able to detect the malware in order for the system to be protected.

Multi Anti-Malware Engine Scanning for Email Security

Since email is a major source of infections, it is very important that multiple antivirus engines are used to scan attachments in order to ensure robust protection. OPSWAT's Metascan technology is a tool that uses multiple anti-malware engines, increasing the malware detection rate without the cost and hassle of licensing and maintaining multiple antivirus engines on your own. Metascan is available as an on-premises solution and a cloud-based deployment. This technology, combined with an email security solution such as Red Earth Software's Policy Patrol Mail Security, will help protect your organization from the next email malware outbreak.

To learn more about using Policy Patrol and Metascan to enhance security for your email servers, watch the recording of our recent webinar hosted by Tony Berning, Senior Product Manager for Metascan at OPSWAT, and Deborah Galea, of Red Earth Software. The webinar highlights the updates to this combined solution, and explores the benefits of multi anti-malware scanning and its importance for email security.

CryptoLocker image courtsey of Krebs On Security.

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