Running your own email server is so 1995, right?  Why would anyone go to all that trouble when you can outsource email to a third party and let them manage it?  Let's STOP a moment, and before we (and our precious data) all merrily rush off to third party providers, let's consider some of the advantages of managing your own email infrastructure.

1. Your email stream can be customized to fit your exact business needs

No industry or company is the same.  We all have different ways of working, and that includes different risk profiles.  A medical facility will have an entirely different security posture to that of a high street retailer.  One size does not fit all!

To meet the specific requirements of your company’s risk profile, you can customize your email stream. For instance, you can adjust your spam filters to aggressively block countries from which you never receive email or guarantee acceptance for messages matching specific patterns, commonly known as whitelisting.

2. You bear the responsibility for keeping data private and confidential

You may be questioning whether you want this burden.  Nonetheless, data is a precious asset, and your company’s email stream is part of that asset.  There have been plenty of stories over recent years of data harvesting, including the Facebook data privacy scandal.

When an email is in transit, it will have end-to-end encryption, no matter if you manage your own email infrastructure or outsource it to a third party.  However, when that email is sitting on a server, having been delivered, it is unencrypted.  This leaves it open to inspection by a third party, should they make it their mission to do so.

We’ve observed cases in the past where a provider’s terms and conditions allowed it to search the content of their customer’s emails to aid in targeting adverts!

A security breach excepted, if you’re running your own email server, your emails’ content can’t be accessed by any other entity.

3. You will have tighter control over your data

If you outsource your email, the data may become subject to the regulations of the country your provider is based in. For example, if your provider is situated in the USA, and the USA government requires your data to be shared, your provider will have to hand it over.

We’re not saying that other countries’ governments won’t approach you to get their hands on your data if they require it, but you will have a greater awareness and control over what happens.

4. You are responsible for your own destiny…including service levels

Outages happen – it’s a fact we’re all aware of.  Not so long ago, Microsoft suffered service issues that affected users across the globe for hours.  Not having control of situations like this can be challenging. However, if you are directly responsible for your email infrastructure, you have direct control.  You are in charge of your own destiny.

5. Other people’s poor sending practices won’t negatively impact you

Even if you have the best emailing practices in the world, if your email is being hosted on the same email server as an organization that is spewing out spam and other malicious emails, there is a chance that you may get listed on a blocklist.

This chance increases significantly if the provider managing that email server is slow to respond to abuse reports and allows dubious organizations to continue operating on their network, causing reputation to plummet.

 6. You won’t be at the behest of a support desk when dealing with issues

Hold the line, reader. We are currently experiencing high levels of calls. Your call is important to us and will be answered…in forty minutes.”  At one point or another, we’ve all experienced frustration when trying to resolve a business-critical issue via a help or support desk.  Either response times are slow or technical knowledge can be lacking.

If you run your own mail server, you’ll be able to remediate failed message deliveries and other related issues rapidly.  Particularly useful is the ability to look at the reasons behind false positives and fix them immediately.

Should everyone be managing their own mail servers?

No! We understand that managing your own email infrastructure isn’t for everyone. Indeed, where email servers aren’t correctly set-up, multiple problems can arise, including security and deliverability issues.

However, we believe that IT teams and those at an Executive level need to make careful considerations as to how they manage their email, including the advantages of bringing it back in-house. If this is something you’re looking to do, or already doing, read our top tips for running your own email server sharing simple actions to make this a success.

Related Products

Data Query Service (DQS)

Spamhaus’ Data Query Service (DQS) is an affordable and effective solution to protect your email infrastructure and users.

Using your existing email protection solution, you will be able to block spam and other related threats including malware, ransomware, and phishing emails.

The service has never failed and utilizes the longest established DNSBLs in the industry.

  • Proactive & preventative
  • Save on email infrastructure & management costs
  • Actionable


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