Email security at Google Workspace

If you are already using the free Gmail version, you know that Google has spam filtering mechanisms in Gmail to filter. They block more than 99% of the incoming spam messages. This helps to stay safe while the AI takes care of the advanced security protection. These malware and illegitimate messages can result in great losses and Gmail is doing great in helping us stay safe and focused. Spam filters have been designed to stop dangerous and unwanted emails from reaching the inbox.The spam filters are also constantly updated using various signals that come from new spam messages. 

A large part of spam classification is user feedback though. If you mark an email as spam, Gmail analyzes the message to find out traits about the message. Additionally, it adjusts its filters to mark such emails as spam going ahead. Spammers are changing their tactics on a daily basis and Gmail is updating their filters to keep them away. While Gmail is already doing their best to ward off evil eyes, there is a lot of awareness that’s necessary for every individual. 

Similar to the Gmail consumer spam filtering mechanism, Google provides the same capabilities with Google Workspace. On Google Workspace, there are a lot of other additional controls that are provided to admins to define and set up policies for their organizational users. 

As you are already reading this article, you should already know what Google Workspace is and how it has emerged as the best collaborative platform for organizations. While there’s been a lot of buzz around the collaborative features of Google Workspace, let’s discuss how robust the email security is and how admins can utilize the provided capabilities to create a safe environment. 

Email Security Features – Google Workspace:

Prevent Spam and Phishing with email authentication:

One of the first and foremost steps towards email security is to set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC for your organization. These email security protocols ensure that your domains are allowed to send emails only from your authorized servers. With Google Workspace, it’s quite easy to setup as Google provides these records to configure in DNS. Authentication also ensures that emails sent from your email are not marked as spam by the recipient SMTP servers. The below video takes you through how to set up email authentication effectively:

Enable enhanced pre-delivery message scanning:

If you enable this feature in the Admin console, you basically ask Google to scan your emails before they are delivered to your users. Enabling this option could increase the overall time of email delivery but it’s quite manageable.In a scenario when Gmail encounters a spam message, it will check for the message and either moves it to spam or displays a warning. 

Setup an inbound gateway:

If your organization receives a lot of emails, it will be good to have an inbound Gateway that will be responsible to scan all incoming emails for spam and possible malware attachments before delivering it to the end users. Likewise, you can have your own spam filtering mechanism and add your custom filters to get more control on email security.If you set up an inbound gateway, you can add the IP of the server into Google workspace settings. Gmail will not perform authentication checks on the incoming emails from this IP. 

Configure Blocked and Approved Senders:

Configuring blocked and approved senders helps a lot. There might be partners, customers or companies you work with and you can always allow their IPs, domains or email addresses via Approved senders list that you publish via the Admin console. Adding addresses to admin console ensures that emails from these domains or email addresses are recognized as trusted and not blocked. It is always recommended to add domains or email addresses as IPs can change. The trusted SMTPs might be rented from a 3rd party that wont be used by your partner after a certain amount of time. 

Similar to Approved senders, you could have a rule to block specific senders based on user’s feedback or if you spot any phishing or spamming attempts to your Google Workspace environment. 

Setup Email Quarantines: 

Setting up email quarantines really help you to establish control on your Google Workspace environment. Google already has the capability to let you set alerts for specific events like phishing or spam attempts. If you configure and set up rules that will quarantine such messages, you could always go back, review them and make a decision whether to release it to user’s mailboxes or mark it as spam. 

Content Compliance rules for Email Security:

There are several ways provided by Google to ensure email security and content compliance opens up a lot of possibilities. It empowers administrators to configure custom policies that are targeted towards curbing spam. Content compliance rules help to make specific decisions based on matching criteria. For example, for VIPs in your organization, you can create rules that will deliver emails to internal users only if it matches their exact sender address. A common phishing technique is to send emails from VIPs to internal senders and this can be curbed using such rules.

Well, email security is a humongous topic and can be overwhelming. Especially, if you are not from a technical background, it might sound cumbersome but can be really easy for an expert. We at Cloudasta provide support to many organizations with their security audits for Google Workspace and our team of experts can help you make your environment secure. We can put forth our recommendations based on the best practices to help you take a decision. 

If you are planning to move to Google Workspace, these security features will make you feel better about the platform. We also provide a managed migration service to Google Workspace that you can leverage. You can reach out to us via our contact form