As hackers get better at launching attacks, the email security market booms with new age solutions

Email communication remains the standard way for B2B and B2C communications but also continues to be the biggest threat facing IT security.

From phishing, spam, malicious links, misdirected emails to whaling, the attacks are becoming more sophisticated, making Email the channel for delivering malware and malware-less attacks. As hackers are employing social engineering techniques for impersonation and deception, the email-security market is leveraging powerful technologies like AI to detect these emails.

According to the ‘Global Email Security Market, Forecast to 2022’ report by Frost & Sullivan the email-security market is anticipated to be worth USD 3.58 billion by 2022. The report suggests that a mix of device ownership models, the proliferation of user devices, always-connected work lifestyles and, the use of cloud-based mailbox services have added new levels of intricacy to email security.

Due to the rising sophistication and increased frequency of threats, the email security market grew 15.9% from 2017 where it was at USD 2.24 billion to USD 2.59 billion in 2018.

Until now Email security has been a highly fragmented and a crowded market. Now, since customers are demanding integrated solutions, the vendors are seen exploring partnership and consolidation options. “To tap the opportunities in this market, vendors need to innovate cloud-based solutions as well as augment Office 365 and other cloud email services like Google G-Suite. They will also be looking to build out global data centers to meet data privacy regulations, strengthen cloud resilience, and engage with public cloud (AWS, Azure) for higher scalability,” stated Tony Massimini, Senior Industry Analyst, Digital Transformation, in the press release by Frost & Sullivan.

Today, a number of startup organizations are creating solutions to help enterprises protect their email from cyber-attacks.

According to CB Insights, AI & ML and advanced cryptography is the future of email security. In the research by their analysts, CB Insights mentions two startups in the UK and US that are testing these features. UK based Tessian analyses emails for security threats by leveraging AI & ML to analyze historical email data and identify potential security threats early. In the US, Virtru, on its email encryption and data privacy platform gives enterprises control over who receives, reviews, and retains their sensitive digital information.

While the technologies are helping detect the malware, experts also believe that employee awareness is still the most critical solution to fight these threats. “Employees are one of the top cybersecurity risks to organizations by merely clicking malicious URLs or bypassing security controls, however unintentional,” said Salvatore Stolfo, professor of computer science at Columbia University.

A study conducted by Dr. William Gordon, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, proves that vulnerability to phishing attacks reduces over time with awareness, education, and training of employees. “The odds of clicking went down by a third when the hospital or healthcare institution ran more than 10 simulations,” he said to Reuters after his team analyzed the data of phishing simulations from six geographically dispersed U.S. healthcare institutions.

The trust in email communication is still the highest among users and will continue to be. Since protection of data from this channel is what is not completely in control of the CISOs; enterprises will always have to look for solutions here.