We’ve all come across our fair share of emails designed to steal our identities, credit card numbers and bank details, but we’ve developed a sort of immunity to them, just as we have subconsciously trained ourselves to disregard and mistrust advertisements as some studies suggest. Although, the less tech literate still fall for them unfortunately, and it becomes a much bigger problem when such people work from computers in multi-national organizations with terabytes worth of sensitive information.
Fret not! Microsoft is here. Using Exchange Online Protection, or EOP for short, the software giant is committed to keeping you safe from these malicious threats that, like a virus, evolve to bypass new protection measures. In a recent blog post, the EOP team details how they are continuously evolving spam filters to detect new threats in this never-ending cat and mouse game.
According to the post;
“EOP’s defenses are adjusted as soon as system detects unusual patterns and/or users start submit samples of undetected spam… [The systems] prompt detection ensures that spam is blocked in a very early stage. Users who received spam understandably perceive that EOP did not catch the spam, but a dominant majority of users never see the spam campaign since EOP’s defenses are adjusted in near real time”.
It was also noted that EOP works to block spam by monitoring an emails content, its header, the language used in the email, attachments, and any URL’s included in the email. If a significant amount of those details match a filtering criteria set by the company, the email gets flagged as spam.
Going forward, EOP will follow the same release cycle that the company’s Office 365 does, and that means guaranteed continued improvements as well as the introduction of new features and capabilities, making for a stronger weapon against spam. Some of the key areas of focus in the future will be on “Time of Click” and “Zero-day” threat protections, implementing DKIM and DMARC authentication technologies and enhancements to message quarantine among others.
If you do come across spam, instead of simply deleting it, you could help Microsoft improve EOP by first reporting it, and maybe using it as an example to educate your unknowing friends and family so they can better avoid spam in the future.