20 Years of Tech: Email Security Then & Now

Emails are one of the most critical and predominant business communication channels that exist today. 68% of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risks are increasing, and 9 out of 10 cyberattacks begin with phishing emails. Email cybersecurity is an ever-evolving practice, and it all changed when AOL began using the term “phishing” in 1996. To this date, there are millions of emails sent every day. In celebration of CorCystems’ 20 years of service, we’re taking a look back at the progression of email security.

Email Security in 2000 

Back in the early 2000s, spam mails were seen as plain text and were either directly sent by the spammer or sent through open relays. Receiving spam would slow down users’ inboxes as well as their internet speeds. To solve this issue, antispam companies began using “spam signature” that were manually created rules written inside operation centers. 

This change would input two different results. For some, spam mail would be blocked. But, on the other hand, this dated approach could only last so long. At the time, spam was averaging 2.4 billion on a daily occurrence. Antispam solutions needed to catch spam even before it entered the network. It was impractical to allow the delivery of malicious emails and only make changes after email phishing happened. 

Introducing Machine Learning

With the introduction of machine learning, a tool that helps analyze large amounts of information there needed to be a more efficient way to defend against spam. During this time, machine learning would become a key technology in blocking junk emails. 

As spam evolved from plain text to images, document attachment to captcha, new antispam protection layers needed to be introduced. Some of these included email reputation services, IP profilers, antispam composite engines, and the help of machine learning algorithms to perform in-depth file analysis’ to keep spam away from enterprises. 

Email Security in 2020

Twenty years ago, spam only accounted for eight percent of all email, whereas today email spam is nearly 90 percent of all email messages. Spam is still both growing and spreading, but one way to prevent phishing and email spam is through encryption. 

Email Encryption

Email has come a long way since its inception, and email protocol used to simply be plain text, but that posed a huge security risk. Over the past few years, a variety of different mechanisms have been created to encrypt the communication between email servers. Email encryption can be carried out in two ways: 

  • Transport Layer Encryption (TLS): This type of encryption is easier to use, and is a widely adopted security protocol decided for privacy and data security for communication over the internet. One use can be to encrypt communication between web applications and servers (ex: browsers and loading a website).  You can also use it for messaging and VoIP. 
  • End-to-End Encryption: This is a system where communicating users can only read the messages. Overall, it prevents telecom providers, Internet providers and even the providers of the communication service from eavesdropping or from being able to decrypt the conversation or access cryptographic keys. 

Protect Your Business Today

Along with email encryption, the world of IT has vastly changed in the last twenty years. CorCystems, Inc. can not only provide you with encryption services, but also IT security & monitoring, backup and disaster recovery, phishing detection, and more! To start protecting your business and valuable data, contact CorCystems to find out about our services: (203) 431-1341.