Gartner Research

How to Effectively Mitigate Spoofing, Phishing, Malware and Other Email Security Threats

Published: 22 November 2016

ID: G00312986

Analyst(s): Mario de Boer


Email is the most commonly used channel for both opportunistic and targeted attacks on client endpoints. This assessment analyzes how technical professionals can use email security technologies to protect against attacks such as business email compromise, advanced malware and spoofing.

Table Of Contents


  • Email Threats and Countermeasures


  • Why Attackers Use Email
  • Reality Check: How Big Is the Email Security Problem?
  • Dissecting Example Email Threats
    • Example Threat: Ransomware Spreading Through Spam
    • Example Threat: Business Email Compromise
    • Example Threat: Scammers Spoofing Your Domain Externally
  • Learning From Email Security Incidents
  • Countermeasures to Email Threat Techniques
    • Don't Be an Obvious Target — Deterring Target Identification
    • Countering Infrastructure/Preparation: Harden Your Email Infrastructure
    • Simple Tricks and More Advanced Anti-Spoofing to Counter Identity Deception
    • Protection Against Nefarious Messages
    • Postdelivery Protection: Thwarting the Attacker's Objective
  • Actions: Options for Disruptions
  • The Impact of Cloud and Mobile on Email Security
  • Email Security Architecture
    • Secure Email Gateway
    • Email Server Security Solutions
    • Anti-Phishing Behavior Management
    • Email Authentication
    • Brand Protection
    • Endpoint Security
  • Doubling Down on Ransomware, BEC and Email Domain Spoofing
    • Mitigating New Ransomware in Email
    • Countermeasures Against BEC
    • Preventing Scammers From Spoofing Your Domain


  • Revisit Your Layered Email Security Architecture in the Light of Modern Email Threats
  • Tighten Your Email Security Solution Policies
  • Implement Email Authentication
  • Protect Your Email Servers and Inboxes
  • Prefer Solutions That Use Anomaly Detection

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