There are plenty of reasons to move to a hosted email service. There are server issues, accessibility issues, mobility issues etc. But, I wanted to take a minute to talk about another reason for hosted email.
Usually, one of the main arguments against hosted email is security. The initial reaction is usually “if I can’t see it, then it isn’t secure”. This sentiment has grown quite a bit recently in the wake of the Edward Snowden documents.
The fact is, if the NSA wants your email, they are going to get it, period. Keeping it in your server room, or in a hosted service data center makes no difference what so ever.
Putting the “I don’t want the government watching me ” security argument aside, I would like to make another argument for the security of hosted email. I believe that taking email offsite is actually much more secure than keeping your email on a local server for one main reason.
According to Symantec, roughly 90% of all email is SPAM. As you may or may not know, spam is one of the main ways hackers get into networks.
Email servers are almost always the easiest way into a company’s network. They are a gigantic target, because users are usually the easiest ones to fool. Keeping this target on your network can spell disaster on multiple levels. First, you don’t have the same amount of “eyes” watching your infrastructure as a hosting provider does. They have multiple people as well as redundant systems to make sure that your emails are safe. Most 3rd party email providers offer at least a 99.9% up time guarantee. The amount of time and resources needed to do that for a single company just does not make sense.
Lastly, from a system administrators stand point its nice to know you don’t ever have to worry about the constant and never ending cycle of upgrading, patching, and scanning your email infrastructure.
It’s just another reason for hosted email.
If you need help selecting a potential hosted email provider please contact me. Not every provider is right for every customer. In a later post I will discuss the key points I have learned in locating the right provider based on your specific needs.