July 28, 2021

Y M L P-226

Solutions For a Small Business

5 Best Practices to Secure Your Email Hosting Server

An email account is as important as a website for a business. It is a door to the internet, which allows you to communicate with your internal and external stakeholders with ease. However, it is also a door that can be misused by hackers and other online threats to gain access to your system. Hence, it is important to ensure that your Email Hosting server enjoys the highest level of security. Today, we will share five best practices to help you secure your Email Hosting server.

1. Use SMTP authentication

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP Authentication or SMTP AUTH is a primary requirement to secure your Email Hosting server. Under SMTP AUTH, users are required to request permission to send an email by logging in using a username and password. By configuring this correctly, you can ensure that only known people use your servers to send emails. This is especially important if your email server has a routed IP address.

2. Limit the number of connections

Your Email Hosting server has limited resources. Therefore, you must ensure that you limit the number of connections to your SMTP server. You can choose the limits based on the available resources and how much load the server can handle. Focus on limits for the following:

  • Total number of connections
  • Total number of simultaneous connections
  • Maximum connection rate

You might have to revisit these limits regularly based on your usage. These limits can help keep Denial of Services (DoS) attacks at bay.

3. Activate Reverse DNS Lookup

One of the best ways to keep your email server secure is by avoiding emails from unverified sources. Hence, if you can verify the source from where the email is originating, then you can restrict a lot of bogus emails hitting your server. This can be achieved by activating Reverse DNS Lookup. Once activated, the SMTP verifies the details provided by the HELO/EHLO command with the sender’s IP address. If they match, then the sender is verified, and you can accept the email. Else, you can block it as an unknown sender.

4. Activate Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Hackers and online miscreants are also evolving as security measures are getting better. Nowadays, they use a spoofed email address to send abusive emails. Hence, you need a mechanism to identify these spoofed addresses. The Sender Policy Framework or SPF allows you to check this. The SPF checks if the mail transfer agent is allowed to send an email on behalf of the sender’s domain name. This helps you prevent spoofed addresses to send an email to your server.

5. Encrypt POP3 & IMAP authentication

When IMAP and POP3 connections were designed, security was not a concern or criteria. Hence, most of these connections don’t have strong authentication protocols. As a result, usernames and passwords are not encrypted and easily viewable on your email server. This is a huge security vulnerability as hackers can easily access this information and gain access to your server. TLS/SSL is the best way to encrypt your POP3& IMAP authentication.

Summing Up

Managing the security of your Email Hosting server requires some amount of technical expertise. Hence, if you are not a technical person, then hire the services of a professional for these tasks. And, you do not need to shell out a lot of money for professional email services. There are many feature-rich yet cheap Email Hosting service providers that offer secure Business Email Hosting. Remember, any process that exposes your systems to the internet requires to be kept secure at all times. Buy a good Email hosting plan from a reliable hosting server provider and ensure safe and convenient email communication. Good Luck!