Intelligent Email Management for Secure and Productive Remote Work

The exponential use of remote workers brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis has created a variety of challenges for small and medium size businesses (SMB), especially regarding network and corporate data security. It is more critical than ever to follow basic cybersecurity guidelines and have procedures in place to carry out a firm’s data security policies including the use of strong passwords, encrypting network traffic, securing and backing up files, and training employees in these practices. However, as noted in a recent blog post titledRemote Work Needs Email and Cloud Content Storage for Security, the way email is used to send and receive files is often overlooked in corporate security planning. Using an intelligent email management solution will add another layer of protection to a network and data security plan that will keep remote and on-site work safe and the workforce productive.

In the “Remote Work Needs Email and Cloud Content Storage for Security” blog post we explained why it was better for employees to stop sending files as attachments in outgoing emails, and instead use links to files stored on secure cloud content storage solutions such as Box. This provides a way to control file permissions and set up audit trails of who accessed the file so that unauthorized recipients don’t receive sensitive data. That type of solution can also enforce content governance policies to comply with industry privacy regulations more easily. While security for sent emails and attachments is important, securely managing the barrage of incoming emails is equally important.

An employee can receive up to 200 emails each day, and many of those have files attached to them. Not all those emails are read and not all the attached files are downloaded — and some of the attachments absolutely should not be downloaded since they could be a phishing attempt, ransomware attack or have another malicious intent. Additionally, as emails with attachments accumulate in the inbox, there’s a high probability that the dreaded “mailbox full” error message will force the employee to manually clean the clutter, taking up valuable time and introducing  the risk of accidentally deleting important emails and files that should be kept based on corporate retention policies or to meet  regulatory compliance obligations.  

An intelligent email management solution such as mxHero can remove attachments on incoming email, save them to a secure cloud content storage solution, and replace the attachments in the email with links to the stored file. Employees are required to preview the file in a web browser and determine if it is recognizable prior to opening it on their computer. Managing incoming email attachments this way reduces the security risk of an employee immediately downloading a possible malicious file directly from the email. Storing the file in the company’s cloud content storage system rather than the corporate email server also reduces or removes the need for employees to waste time freeing up space in their inboxes. Most intelligent email management solutions, including mxHero, can automate these processes and make the secure archiving and classification of emails as well as attachments seamless and invisible to the employee.

An intelligent email management solution should:

  • Seamlessly integrate with email clients and cloud content storage solutions to store both the email itself and any attached files an email contains as well as incorporate content access permission controls.
  • Provide several options to seamlessly move emails and attachments into the cloud content storage solution, including allowing users to manually drag & drop emails into a folder or provide full automation of the analyzing, storage, and link conversion process.
  • Feature intelligent and automatic filing of the email and attachment files to designated folders of the content storage solution based on the To, From, Subject, and other context in the email.
  • Provide manual and automatic metadata tagging to facilitate the governance, e-discovery, or retention rules of the cloud content storage system, which leads to faster and more accurate search across emails and attachments.
  • Ideally be a cloud-based SaaS model with no need to download software onto employees’ computers.

Intelligent email management solutions like mxHero that have these features and more can be the backbone of an improved email management and security system.

Email continues to be a universally used method of receiving information and files between employees, customers, and clients. As the use of a distributed workforce and the risk of unmanaged distributed data grows in response to the coronavirus, using an intelligent email management solution integrated with cloud content storage systems like Box, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and others is a smart additional step in an SMB’s overall corporate security plan. Solutions like these enable both remote and on-site employees to manage email and incoming attachments in a more secure way and gain back productive time from wasteful email cleanup tasks.

Learn more about mxHero and data security here

Learn from the experts at RYAN how your organization can utilize these best practices in document security and information management: contact us or schedule a virtual demo today, call 800.842.1916, or fill out our information form here.