Email is a tool we use every day to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. It’s the most relied upon medium for business and personal communication, and is often the key place where your most sensitive data gets stored. Having a vulnerable email system is immensely problematic given how many important online accounts are tied to your email address. Making sure this key application is safe and reliably secure 24 X 7 X 365 is of the utmost importance. If you’ve recently discovered your on-premise Exchange server is vulnerable to Zero-Day attacks including the most recent Hafnium campaign, you’re not alone. Learn more about how Hafnium exploits Exchange and what you can do to remediate and mitigate the damage by reading Exchange Server Attack – Hafnium Campaign.
The most widely used platform for email communication is Microsoft Exchange. Exchange servers provide email administrators the ability to manage user inboxes, general spam filtering, user calendars, contacts, and email traffic management. Exchange is often targeted by threat actors trying to insert malware into the your network via phishing attacks. In addition, the Internet-facing nature of the application makes it one of the more vulnerable pieces of your infrastructure.
Over time, hybrid deployments with customized email routing have been utilized to make seamless migrations from Exchange more possible than they were a few years ago. Migrating away from an on-premise Exchange server can reduce your Internet-facing attack surface and may provide more granular tools for managing email security more effectively.
There are many options available to replace a traditional on-premise Exchange deployment with something more secure. A hybrid cloud deployment can be used to offload the email traffic and inbox management by moving a select group of your user base to a hosted email solution. The hosted solution works in conjunction with your existing on-prem Exchange server and improves the security of your email footprint by providing email administrators with access to cloud-based email security tools to filter malicious messages BEFORE they enter your network. Office365 may also be used for all or a portion of your user base. This reduces the risk of compromised assets within your environment.
The high cost of running and maintaining an on-premise Microsoft Exchange server may be prohibitive. Consider the hardware costs, software licenses including the operating system and any virtualization software, maintenance costs for constant uptime (ie electricity, battery backups, after hours support, TLS/SSL certificates, and any hardware maintenance contracts). Also, consider the cost of cooling the server and other network systems.
An Exchange migration may be a prudent investment toward a more productive workforce by freeing up some of your technical resources, both financial and human, to focus on other business matters.