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Enterprise email—what a new business needs to know
Enterprise email—what a new business needs to know
A small investment in a business email account can be the difference between success and failure for your new business. Yet, for many businesses, finding the right enterprise email provider isn’t top of mind. Most people think email is just a given—it is free, after all, so why not just set up a simple email account, like “YourGreatNewBusiness@outlook.com?” While free email accounts are great for personal use, the lack of a proper business email solution could sneak up on you as your company starts to scale.
Be prepared for growth with an enterprise email account. Here are a few of the benefits from a business email account that you won’t get from a free email account:
Customers will notice your email address
Imagine you are at a networking event and meet your dream client. You spend the evening talking about your services and what makes you different from the competition. She is excited about what you bring to the table and asks for your business card. You hand it over only to show that your free email address does not reflect your business’s name. Instead of reading “YourName@YourGreatNewBusiness.com,” your non-enterprise email reads “YourName@outlook.com.” A familiar look of uncertainty rushes over her face and you know that she likely won’t reach out after all.
Small details can make or break trust with a client. Using a free email account implies that your business is too young, small or lacking in the technical proficiency to obtain a domain-based email address—all red flags to a potential client.
Besides gaining client trust with a business email, you also have a better chance of your email being remembered in case your business card is lost. It’s standard practice for business emails to be simple, like “YourName@YourGreatNewBusiness.com,” which allows for easier recall if someone is trying to get ahold of you quickly.
Build trust with your customers
Have you ever received spam from a friend’s personal account after their email address was hacked? Imagine receiving a scam from a client you recently partnered with. Would you want to continue sending your company’s sensitive information to this client?
Quality enterprise email accounts include advanced security protocols and spam filters to safeguard your email from outside threats. This becomes ever more important as business scales since it will protect both your employees and your customers.
Secure business email accounts give you the peace of mind in knowing that your important files won’t be subject to a virus. In addition, your customers will rest assured that they can email you sensitive information without fear of that email being hacked.
Rest assured that your technology will grow with you
When relying on personal emails, business owners often lose valuable insight into communications, which could hinder long-term growth. Enterprise email accounts ensure that your email service becomes an extension of your communication strategy. Employers and managers gain the ability to join the conversation, ensure their clients’ information is secure and their needs are met.
A standard business email provider will make it easy for employers and manager to:
•Check the email of a vacationing or ill employee to ensure nothing is dropped.
•Review a client email string for context on a project.
•Address a conflict at work that may have started over email.
•Add email accounts as your company scales.
•Help an employee respond to a customer on a sensitive issue.
As businesses grow, conflict is often unavoidable. Business email accounts put the ownership of all correspondence in the company’s hands, whereas personal emails put the ownership in the hands of the individual. If a conflict arises, your business has no control over or access to personal email accounts. Enterprise email, on the other hand, puts the company in control, which is a necessity as a company grows and must become even more accountable to its customers.
Make your email work for you
The best enterprise email solutions today come packed with a suite of integrated tools to add efficiency to your workday.
Quality business email accounts might include:
•Calendars for internal and external scheduling or planning.
•Office applications (like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.).
•Email or phone customer service support.
•Consistent spam filtering and malware protection.
•Huge mailbox storage for better email management.
•Stronger security for protecting sensitive data.
When searching for the right enterprise email solution for your business, it’s important to compare toolset integrations to determine which option is best for you.
Save time and money
It might come as a surprise, but an enterprise email platform can save you more money than even a free solution could. Free solutions come with a set storage limit, meaning you’ll be purging your email once every few months. This not only takes time, but could leave you losing valuable emails and files in the long run.
The time it takes to manage your email storage is time you could be spending growing your company. You might consider an internal email server instead, but that requires an IT team to manage the server, which costs far more than finding a trustworthy enterprise email provider.
Enterprise email helps you scale with ease
For growing companies, switching email providers can be a daunting task. Data is often lost in the transfer, employees go without email for a few days (or even weeks) and customers grow frustrated as their emails bounce. Building your business on an enterprise email foundation will help you keep up as your company grows. Easily add and subtract accounts, change storage, back up your data and integrate collaboration tools.
Your email is a recorded history of your company, and losing any bit of that could leave you without important context as you grow. By choosing a business email solution from the beginning, you are laying the groundwork to scale with ease.
Black Cloud darkens the enterprise to all but authorized devices
The Internet has a fundamental problem with security that’s a part of its very DNA. And if things stay as they are, that problem -- and Internet security -- can only get worse. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and its industry partners intend to change that.
If things go as planned, within two years the partners will produce the first “Black Cloud” -- an open source, software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution that will stop distributed denial of service attacks dead in their tracks and enable highly secure cloud-based applications.
“We think this a pretty big idea,” said Jim Reavis, the CSA’s co-founder and CEO. “We’ve already defined a very specific framework for how you could implement this so that organizations can build the software themselves, and several government agencies are now doing that.”
The current project, which the CSA is developing with Waverley Labs, will develop open source code for one specific use case to start. The intent is to create standards, Reavis said, and to start seeding the market with open source software that will then be embedded in the solutions provided by information security and network providers.
“We’ve been working for a while with the [CSA] SDP working group, and have already had several proprietary versions that have gone into different security control layers,” said Juanita Koilpillai, the CEO of Waverley Labs. “So we thought, why not make this an open source project, which we’ll develop versions for multiple layers over time, the first being single-packet authentication that will allow [network] devices to deny all connections from anything other than the application they want to talk to.”
Similarly for applications, the goal is to deny all connections except for the device that’s been authorized to talk with them, which provides the ability to hide applications from all eyes except those that have a specific right to see them.
This essentially turns the original concept of the Internet, as an open communications medium, on its head. The fabric of the Internet is now like Swiss cheese, with so many holes that it’s all but impossible to completely defend against modern threats such as man-in-the-middle or SQL injection attacks. If you use the Internet, you are vulnerable.
The CSA’s SDP approach instead makes total security the starting point for the Internet and allows only those connections it can authenticate. It can’t be done for the whole of the Internet all at once, but with the Internet of Things looming, where millions of embedded computers and sensors are connected over the Internet, “fundamentally we are now at the point where we are going to have to shift from this default open approach to layer on default closed, to darken parts of the Internet,” Reavis said.
One place where this could be immediately useful is in spurring the move of organizations to the cloud. Despite various mandates and directives, this has been a slow process for government because of security concerns, which has prompted the rise of the hybrid cloud model, where some applications and services reside in the public cloud while keeping more sensitive information behind the agency firewall in private clouds. That solution can still be costly for agencies, however, because the cost savings associated with the public cloud are blunted by having to maintain on-premise, private cloud infrastructure.
In the CSA model, however, everything could be moved to the public cloud because SDP allows the creation of dark clouds inside the public cloud infrastructure. Those dark clouds would be owned by the government agency and would be invisible to everyone except for those designated and authenticated. There’d be no possibility for anyone else in the public cloud to share the organization’s data or be able to get a look at it, the main fear of agencies in moving sensitive applications and their data to the public cloud.
“Virtual private cloud is going to be such a commonplace term once this gets implemented, and that’s going to be the default way that people operate,” Reavis said. “It’s going to be a big shift for IT and will deliver big cost savings to agencies over time.”
None of the technology the CSA and its partners are using for the project is new. It’s based on protocols developed by the Defense Department and National Security Agency, and it uses standard security tools such as public key infrastructure, layered security, IPsec and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), along with well understood concepts such as geolocation and federation to enable connections.
Up to now, however, most SDP implementations have been highly customized solutions, available only to the organizations (like Coca-Cola) that developed them. The goal of the CSA project is to move the SDP model to a more general audience, The open source version now being developed by Waverley Labs is aimed at bringing people together to talk about how to implement SDP generally, what standard protocols could be used, what sequence of events needs to be followed, how to write JSON files to allow interaction with applications and so on.
“Our goal is to create a community that is really struggling to protect their applications and help them either hide them or move them to the cloud,” Koilpillai said. “None of the problems we are trying to tackle with this are simple; otherwise, they would have been solved by now.”
Waverley will do a phased release of the SDP for different security layers over the next 18 to 24 months. The open source project will help federal agencies see how an actual implementation works, she said, which is vital for this kind of thing because “you actually have to take that and prove it, otherwise people won’t believe you.”
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