Hornetsecurity 365 Total Protection

The concerted move to home and hybrid working practices has seen cloud services uptake increase exponentially and none more so than Microsoft 365.

This popularity brings its own challenges, though, as Microsoft 365 has become one of the top targets for cybercriminals and yet its email security features are comparatively limited.

The safest course of action is to adopt a multi-layered defence, using a third-party specialist product to bolster Microsoft's native security tools, and Hornetsecurity 365 Total Protection looks a great choice. It delivers a highly affordable solution that's easy to deploy and its wealth of email security measures include artificial intelligence (AI)-based protection.

Three options are available with the Business package, providing all key threat defence measures, along with live email tracking, compliance filtering and content control. The Enterprise version includes ATP (advanced threat protection) cloud sandboxing, 10-year email archiving, forensics analysis tools, e-discovery and continuity services, while the Backup package adds automated backup and recovery for mailboxes, Teams, OneDrive plus SharePoint and even Windows endpoints.

We tested 365 Total Protection in a live environment and found the 30-second deployment claim quite achievable. After changing our MX records, we used the registration link to authenticate with our Microsoft 365 account and sat back while the setup routine created the necessary connectors for inbound and outbound mail processing by the Hornetsecurity servers.

Protection is instant, as the default settings enable full spam and malware protection, which block suspect emails before they reach your mailbox. Nuisance newsletters and mass marketing campaigns are handled efficiently by the Infomail filter, which uses over 15,000 heuristics to weed them out.

We could keep a close eye on the action, as the cloud portal's live email tracking view shows logs of all inbound and outbound email activity. Emails are colour-coded to clearly show their classification and we could view all details about each one, including header information.

The list can be refined with filters and each message provides a drop-down menu for adding the sender to deny or allow lists, reporting it as spam or releasing it with the Enterprise version, ensuring suspect emails are passed to the ATP service for further examination. Self-service features enable users to review emails in their personal portal and release them, if permitted, while regular reports showing spam activity, quarantined attachments, plus the reasons for rejection, are sent to each user.

Performance is excellent as, during our month-long live tests, not a single suspect message slipped past Hornetsecurity's defences. The content control service also worked well, with it removing encrypted attachments and those containing executables or Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with macros.

The compliance filter provides more granular control of emails by applying data leak prevention rules to outbound messages that look for keywords in the body, subject and attachment and rejects them, if a match is found. Another valuable feature is enforcing rule-based encryption for specific outbound messages, with recipients receiving a web link to view them securely.

The Enterprise ATP service deals efficiently with emails containing malicious URLs, content or attachments and its URL rewrite feature opens a web session to a secure proxy to check where the link connects to and if threats are present. Spear phishing emails are dealt with by the targeted forensics filter, which identifies spoofed addresses, determines the message intent and sees if it is attempting to fool users into handing over passwords.

Hornetsecurity 365 Total Protection impressed us with its swift deployment, extensive mail security measures and flawless performance. Furthermore, it's perfect for small business and enterprises alike, as all three packages are offered at very attractive prices.

Product: 365 Total Protection
Supplier: Hornetsecurity
Web site: www.hornetsecurity.com
Contact: +44 2030 869-833
Email: sales@hornetsecurity.com
Price: Business from £1.75 per user per month (exc VAT)