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Even the most experienced and well-prepared company can be caught off guard by an email compromise. That’s why it’s essential to build an effective email security compliance model.

What is Email Security Compliance?

Email security compliance is the process of monitoring, maintaining, and enforcing policies and controls to ensure the confidentiality of electronic communications. This can be done via regular email audits or ongoing monitoring efforts.

Every organization should have a documented Security Compliance Model (SCM) that outlines its policies, procedures, and activities related to email security compliance. This ensures that no communication violations occur within your organization and helps retain business partners who may be wary of companies with poor security practices.

Understanding The Email Security Compliance Regulations for Businesses

Email security compliance laws serve as a legal framework for ensuring the security and privacy of the information stored in email. These laws are enforced by various national governments and are a growing concern for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Below, we have given a brief overview of the requirements imposed on businesses that handle email communication, along with a general overview of the various legal frameworks applicable to comply with for building a proper email security compliance for your business.

a. HIPAA/SOC 2/FedRAMP/PCI DSS

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Security Standards for Federal Information Systems, 2nd Edition (SOC 2), FedRAMP, and PCI DSS are all regulations that require organizations to protect the privacy and security of electronically protected health information (ePHI). ePHI is any information that is transmitted electronically between covered entities or business associates.

The laws require covered entities to implement policies, procedures, and technical controls appropriate to the nature of the data they process, as well as other safeguards necessary to carry out their responsibilities under HIPAA and SOC 2. These regulations apply to all entities who transmit or receive PHI in electronic form on behalf of another entity; however, they also apply to all business associates and other entities who receive PHI from a covered entity.

To Which Business Does This Regulation Apply?

This regulation applies to any business that collects, stores, or transmits PHI (Protected Health Information) electronically. It also applies to any business that is involved in the provision of a Covered Electronic Health Record (eHealth Record) or other covered health care services electronically. These regulations are designed to protect both patient privacy and the security of patient data from unauthorized access by third parties.

b. GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation implemented by the European Union. It is designed to protect the personal data of EU citizens, and it has been called “the most important privacy law in a generation”.

GDPR requires businesses to be transparent about how they use customer data, as well as provide clear policies on how they handle that data. It also requires businesses to disclose what information they collect and store about customers, and offer easy ways for individuals to access that information. In addition, GDPR prohibits businesses from using personal data for purposes other than those for which it was collected.

To Which Business Does This Regulation Apply?

It applies to all companies that gather data in the EU, and it requires companies to have explicit consent from those whose personal information they collect. GDPR also comes with fines for non-compliance, so you must get your ducks in a row before you start collecting any personal information.

c. CAN-SPAM

CAN-SPAM is a federal law passed by Congress in 2003 that requires commercial business emails to include certain information about their origin, including the sender’s physical address and phone number. The law also requires commercial messages to include a return address, which must be an address within the sender’s domain.

The CAN-SPAM Act was later updated to include stricter requirements for commercial emails. The new rules require that email senders identify themselves clearly and accurately, provide a legitimate return address, and include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email.

To Which Business Does This Regulation Apply?

The CAN-SPAM Act applies to all commercial messages, including those sent by businesses to consumers and vice versa, as long as they meet certain requirements. The regulations are meant to protect businesses from spamming, which is when someone sends a message with the intention of getting you to click on a link or open an attachment. The law also protects consumers from spam that’s sent by companies trying to sell them something.

How To Build An Email Security Compliance Model For Your Business

The email security compliance model is designed to verify that an organization’s servers and email applications comply with applicable laws, industry-wide standards, and directives. The model helps organizations to establish policies and procedures that provide for the collection and protection of customer data through the detection, prevention, investigation, and remediation of potential security incidents.

Below you will learn how to build a model that helps with email security as well as tips and advanced technologies to go beyond compliance.

1. Use Secure Email Gateway

An email security gateway is an important line of defense for protecting your company’s email communications. It helps ensure that only the intended recipient receives the email, and it also blocks spam and phishing attempts.

You can use the gateway to manage the flow of information between your organization and its customers. As well as take advantage of features like encryption, which helps protect sensitive information sent over email by encrypting it before it leaves one computer and decrypting it on its way to another computer. This can help prevent cybercriminals from being able to read the contents of emails or attachments sent between different computers or users.

A secure email gateway can also provide features such as spam filtering and archiving—all of which are essential for maintaining an organized and compliant atmosphere in your company.

2. Exercise Post-Delivery Protection

There are several ways to build an email security compliance model for your business. The most common method is to use the model to identify potential risks, and then apply Post-Delivery Protection (PDP) to those risks.

Post-delivery protection is the process of verifying that an email has been delivered to its intended recipient. This includes ensuring that the recipient can log in to their email client software and check for the message, as well as confirming that the email hasn’t been filtered by spam filters.

Post-delivery protection can be achieved by having a secure network or server where your emails are stored and then encrypting them before they are delivered to the intended recipients. It is important to note that only an authorized person should have access to these files so they can be decrypted by them only.

3. Implement Isolation Technologies

An email security compliance model is built by isolating all endpoints of your users and their web traffic. Isolation technologies work by isolating all of a user’s web traffic in a cloud-based secure browser. This means that emails sent through isolation technology are encrypted on the server-side and decrypted on the client-side in an ‘isolated’ station.

Therefore, no external computers can access their emails, and they can’t download any malicious programs or links. This way, even if someone clicks on a link in an email that contains malware, the malware won’t be able to infect their computer or network (as the malicious link will open in a read-only form).

Isolation technologies make it easy for companies to comply with regulations like PCI DSS and HIPAA by implementing secure email solutions that use host-based encryption (HBE).

4. Create Effective Spam Filters

Email filtering involves checking email messages against a list of rules before they are delivered to the receiving system. The rules can be set up by users or automatically based on certain criteria. Filtering is typically used to verify that messages sent from certain sources are not malicious or contain any unexpected content.

The best way to create an effective spam filter is by analyzing how spammers use techniques that make their messages difficult to detect before they reach recipients’ inboxes. This analysis should help you develop filters that will identify spam and prevent it from reaching the inbox.

Fortunately, there are some solutions available (like DMARC) that automate much of this process by allowing businesses to define specific rules for each message so that only the ones that match those rules get processed by the filters.

5. Implement Email Authentication Protocols

The DMARC standard is an important step toward ensuring that your users get the messages they expect from your business and that sensitive information never reaches unintended hands.

It’s an email authentication protocol that enables domain owners reject messages that fail to meet certain criteria. This can be used as a way to prevent spam and phishing, but it’s also useful for preventing deceptive emails from being sent to your customers.

If you are building an email security compliance model for your business, you need DMARC to help protect your brand from being tarnished by malicious emails sent from outside sources that may attempt to impersonate the business name or domain to defraud your loyal customers. .

As a customer of a business with DMARC-enabled email messages, you can rest assured that you’re receiving legitimate communications from the business.

6. Align Email Security with an Overarching Strategy

The overarching strategy of your email security compliance program is to ensure that your organization complies with all relevant government regulations. These include regulations related to the following areas: sender IDs, opt-ins, opt-outs, and request processing time.

To achieve this, you need to develop a plan that addresses each of these areas separately and then integrate them in such a way that they are mutually supporting.

You should also consider differentiating your email strategy across different regions based on the distinct policies each has. For example, in the US, there are many different regulations regarding spamming which require different means of implementation than those required in other countries such as India or China where spamming regulations are less stringent.

Check out our corporate email security checklist to secure your corporate domains and systems. 

Building An Email Security Compliance Model For Your Business: Additional Steps

  • Develop a data collection plan that includes the types of information you’d like to collect, how often you’d like to collect it, and how long it should take to collect it
  • Train employees on how to use email safely and securely by instituting policies, procedures, and training modules about the proper use of email in their workplace.
  • Evaluate your current email security measures to see if they are up-to-date with industry best practices, and consider upgrading if necessary.
  • Determine what kind of human resources data needs to be kept private or confidential and how it will be communicated to your employees, partners, and vendors, including any third parties involved in creating content for your website or social media channels.
  • Create a list of all employees who have access to sensitive/confidential information and develop a plan for monitoring their use of email communications tools.

Who Is Responsible For Email Security Compliance In Your Business?

IT Managers – The IT manager is responsible for the overall email security compliance of their organization. They are the ones who make sure that the company’s security policies are followed and that all employees have been trained on them.

sysadmins – Sysadmins are responsible for installing and configuring email servers as well as any other IT infrastructure that may be necessary to run a successful email system. They must understand what type of data is being stored, who has access to it, and how it will be used.

Compliance Officers – They are responsible for ensuring that the company complies with all laws regarding email security compliance.

Employees – Employees are responsible for following the company’s email security policies and procedures, as well as any additional instructions or guidance from their manager or supervisor.

Third party service providers – You can outsource your email’s security to third parties that will save you both time and money. For example, a third party DMARC managed service provider can help you implement your protocols within a few minutes, manage and monitor your DMARC reports, troubleshoot errors and provide expert guidance to gain compliance easily. 

How can we contribute to your Email Security Compliance journey?

PowerDMARC, provides email security solutions for businesses worldwide, making your business mailing system more secure against phishing and spoofing. .

We aid domain owners in shifting towards a DMARC-compliant email infrastructure with an enforced (p=reject) policy without any lapse in deliverability. Our solution comes with a free trial period (no card details needed) so you can test drive it before making any long-term decisions.Take the DMARC trial now!