Cloud-hosted email services are widely used as the must-have communication and collaboration work tools for businesses around the world.
Related: Armed emails remain the main threat
Digital native businesses start from day one relying entirely on Microsoft Office 365 or Google’s G Suite, and most established businesses are at some stage of migrating or adapting to Office 365 or G Suite.
That said, Microsoft Exchange on-premises mail servers – a technology that not so long ago dominated this space – remains widely used by businesses today.
In 2021, on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server mailboxes had a 43% global market share, compared to 57% for Exchange mailboxes in the cloud, according to this report by Statista. Some 11,800 software companies, 10,000 IT service providers, 5,500 healthcare organizations and 3,200 financial services companies continue to maintain on-premises Exchange mail servers, according to this report from Enlyft
Additionally, many organizations that migrate to cloud-based IT infrastructure services are assembling hybrid messaging systems, partly on-premises and partly cloud-hosted.
The benefits of sticking to on-premises Exchange servers include full control, better performance, the ability to customize, and low running costs. The disadvantages include the likelihood of downtime and the cost of ongoing maintenance. After all, physical servers require space and power, as well as in-house operational expertise.
Corruption and failure scenarios
From an operational standpoint, Exchange servers, in a sense, have become more difficult and cumbersome to operate in the field, if only because of the complexities introduced in operating corporate networks simultaneously on site and in the Internet cloud. Hybrid networks have become de facto practice in many industries and are probably here to stay.
In this environment, the opportunities for mailbox database corruption and / or Exchange server failure scenarios are manifold and require proactive vigilance. Here are some of the common Exchange server failure scenarios that businesses face on a daily basis:
• “Information Store Service” does not start
• Database files are missing
• “Dirty Shutdown” state triggers
• The database is running out of free disk space and / or log file volume • Access is cut off to the underlying storage
• Power source fails
• Hardware and / or software problems occur
From a security perspective, this translates into massive exposure to cyber attacks, leaving many doors open for malware, especially armed emails. Business messaging remains both the most widely used business communication tool and the most open problematic attack vector.
Essential good practices
Email continues to be the starting point for many types of network intrusionsfrom simple phishing tricks to gain account credentials and network access, to the delivery of ransomware or compromising business email payloads, to the stealth extraction of sensitive data.
Ransomware attacks are in the foreground right now. Meanwhile, Business Email Compromis (BEC) attacks continue. BEC programs remain a huge threat – potentially catastrophic for small organizations. Consider that on the same day that 281 suspects were arrested in attempts to compromise work email, the The FBI disclosed that global losses from BEC attacks reached $ 26 billion over a three-year period.
Obviously, the due diligence of any business that continues to rely on Microsoft Exchange servers is required, strictly from a security perspective. In such a landscape of viral threats, the risks associated with too little attention to the optimal day-to-day operations of these servers must be viewed as unacceptable. A logical place to start is to adopt and apply best practices. These include:
• Robust and frequent backup of emails, mailboxes and databases
• Regular testing of restore and verification features
• Performing annual or even semi-annual disaster recovery tests
• Regular update server
• Installation of all critical security patches in a timely manner
The good news is that these practices are well understood and have proven to be very effective. In addition, great tools and services are available to help businesses more efficiently and securely manage their Microsoft Exchange servers in today’s turbulent environment.
For example, Stellar Repair for Exchange tool can repair corrupted or damaged Exchange EDB files. EDB corruption error is a critical malfunction that can occur due to Exchange server crash, power failure, Exchange server errors, virus attack, etc.
About the essayist: Bharat Bhushan is technical marketing manager at Stellar data recovery. He is proficient in Microsoft Exchange databases, troubleshooting MSSQL databases, and data warehousing.
*** This is a Syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog by The last watchdog written by bacohido. Read the original post on: https://www.lastwatchdog.com/guest-essay-why-microsoft-exchange-users-must-have-robust-data-recovery-policies-practices/