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The Forrester Wave: Email content security

Despite the fact that email security is low on the spending priority list, it's critical that organisations safeguard email

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It is with great pleasure that I announce the completion of my first Forrester Wave™: Email Content Security, Q4 2012. I’d like to thank the research associates (Jessica McKee and Kelley Mak) who assisted me with this project. 

We performed a 47-criteria evaluation of nine email content security vendors. Given my background as a practitioner and solutions engineer, one of the key requirements to participate was unsupervised access to a demo environment. 

I had access to the environments throughout the evaluation process and found them to be a great option for validating features and “getting to know” the user interfaces. Here are some of the key findings:  

Email security is a critical component of your portfolio
Email is a key component of business processes within enterprises and must be secured. Despite the fact that email security is low on the spending priority list, it’s critical that organisations safeguard email. Email is a popular attack vector for targeted attacks, and HIPAA and PCI mandate that emails containing confidential data be secured.
 
Advanced capabilities differentiate vendor offerings
Vendors are delivering enhanced capabilities in response to the threat and compliance landscape. Big data analytics are leveraged to combat targeted attacks. Encryption capabilities have been improved and simplified. Channel DLP is now robust and feature-rich.
 
The delivery model is shifting
The deployment of appliance-based email security gateways is declining. Enterprises are adopting new models, such as software-as-a-service. Many outsource their entire email infrastructure and rely on hosted email providers for security, while those that are cloud-averse deploy virtual appliances that run in their VMware and Microsoft environments.
 
I will be starting my next Wave on web content security sometime next year. Stay tuned for more details.

Posted by Rick Holland
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