Why Passwords May Not Keep Your Email Safe

Two-factor Authentication using phone pin and passwordWe live in an era where the amount of valuable data businesses must store is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Consequently, the number of “bad guys” trying to gain access to that data is also increasing, and hackers have some pretty sophisticated tools at their disposal to try to force their way into your data. They use a variety of tactics, including social engineering, brute force attacks and dictionary attacks, among others.

The problem is made worse by the prevalence of weak passwords. Did you know that, even in 2017, one of the most common passwords is 12345678? In an experiment conducted in 2013, with the help of a list of hashed passwords obtained online, hackers were able to crack about 90% of a list of over 16,000 passwords.

Passwords are not just vulnerable to external threats. They must be protected from internal threats as well. Have you ever written down a password on a piece of paper, and then thrown it in the garbage? Have you ever discarded an old hard drive without destroying it? If this information gets in the wrong hands, it can lead to severe financial loss for a company, and damage to its reputation.

Passwords and usernames belong to one of three types of identification data:

  1. Something you know
  2. Something you own
  3. Something you are or do (such as a fingerprint or other biometric element)

Passwords and usernames fall within the category of “something you know.” The three items listed above are considered factors of authentication, so when only one type of data is used to log into a system (such as a username and password), you are using a single factor of authentication.

Passwords alone are often not enough to protect your data against increasingly sophisticated attacks. Requiring a second factor of authentication can drastically reduce data theft.

Two-factor authentication is not a new concept. In fact, most of us already use it in other ways besides accessing our email. Here are some examples of two-factor authentication that many of us already use daily:

  • An ATM card (something you own) and a PIN (something you know)
  • A credit card (something you own) and a zip code (something you know)
  • A phone (something you own) and a fingerprint (something you are)

MDaemon includes two-factor authentication for WorldClient, MDaemon’s webmail client. With two-factor authentication, users must provide two forms of authentication – a password and a unique verification code that is obtained via any client that supports Google Authenticator (available in the Google Play store).

Two-factor authentication has many benefits:

  • It provides an extra layer of defense when a password isn’t strong enough.
  • It reduces online identity theft, phishing, and other techniques because a victim’s password isn’t enough to gain access to his or her data.
  • It helps companies in finance, health care, and other industries comply with PCI, HIPAA and other regulations.
  • It makes working remotely safer.

In this video, we demonstrate how to enable and use two-factor authentication in MDaemon and WorldClient.

If you’re concerned about privacy and security, two-factor authentication provides extra protection for your data. Download the latest version of MDaemon to take advantage of this extra security!

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Search your Archive from WorldClient in 3 Easy Steps

With the prevalence of data-destroying malware, more businesses are using an archiving solution such as MailStore to create backup copies of all email communications. Archiving is crucial for recovery when the unexpected disaster strikes, and useful for e-discovery and meeting legal requirements & regulations. I’ve written this article to help explain the value of archiving and why it’s so important:

If you’re not archiving your email, you should be!

For end-users, it’s important to have easy access to your archived messages, with the ability to search through your archives based on key words. With the addition of a custom button in the WorldClient toolbar that points to the MailStore login screen (performed by the MDaemon administrator), users can access their archive and perform a search in three easy steps. I’ll show you how in the following video:

MailStore works with virtually all email platforms and clients, and is the recommended choice for small-to-medium businesses worldwide. If you have questions or would like a personal demo, leave a comment below & let me know!

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New MDaemon Collaboration Feature: Send & Receive DropBox Files with WorldClient

In MDaemon 17, we added support for DropBox integration for WorldClient, MDaemon’s web-based email client. Now, users can easily save attachments in inbound messages to their DropBox account, or insert links to their DropBox files in outbound attachments. Because files are stored in DropBox and not on the mail server, disk space and bandwidth are reduced.

We’ve put together the following tutorial video to help you get started with WorldClient’s DropBox file sharing features.

Step-by-step instructions can be found in the following knowledge base article:

http://www.altn.com/Support/KnowledgeBase/KnowledgeBaseResults/?Number=1166

If you’re not yet an MDaemon user, visit the MDaemon product page to see what you may be missing!

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Open Protocol (XMPP/Jabber) Support Provides More Instant Messaging Choices for MDaemon Users

In today’s connected society, users demand instant access to open channels of Chat-bubblescommunication. For years, MDaemon has offered instant messaging via WorldClient Instant Messenger. Formerly known as ComAgent, WorldClient Instant Messenger has evolved to support open protocol (XMPP/Jabber) for instant messaging, giving users more choices over what instant messaging client to use.

What exactly is XMPP & why should I care?

XMPP is a communication protocol based on XML that powers a wide range of applications. It is based on open standards and offers greater flexibility and choice for its users. XMPP supports secure communications via SSL, and a wide variety of XMPP clients for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia devices. There’s even a DOS/Command-line client for die-hard DOS purists. A complete list of XMPP clients can be found at xmpp.org.

Why is this important for MDaemon users and administrators?

In addition to greater choice for end users, other features that we’ve come to appreciate from the ComAgent years remain, including file transfer for end users and message logging for administrators.

How do I connect to MDaemon’s XMPP service with third-party chat clients?

The steps for each instant messaging client will vary, but the concepts for each are the same. You’ll need your email address, password, and the host name or IP address of your MDaemon server. I’ve created a tutorial video showing the configuration process for both MDaemon administrators and end users.

Want to learn more? We have some valuable resources in the following knowledge base article.

http://www.altn.com/Support/KnowledgeBase/KnowledgeBaseResults/?Number=1167

This is just one of many collaboration features found in the MDaemon Messaging Server. Download your free trial & start collaborating today!

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Happy New Year 2017

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2016 was an exciting year for Alt-N Technologies as it marked the 20th anniversary of the MDaemon email server for Windows and our ongoing efforts to bring affordable, secure, and reliable email and email security software to the small-to-medium business segment. And as many of you know, a lot has changed in the last 20 years. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the ongoing threat of people trying to use email as the primary method to attack an organization or steal personal information.

Like any form of communication, it can be used for good or bad. Unfortunately, when email was initially developed, its creators didn’t anticipate the ways bad actors would exploit the technology through methods like phishing, hacking, and launching disabling applications like ransomware, Trojans, etc.

On this front, Alt-N will continue its efforts to improve the security and privacy of email with features like the ones we added in 2016, such as two-factor authentication, client and server-side encryption, and others.

2016 also reflected changes the industry continues to see in the area of deployment options. We saw some resellers and customers turning over the management of their email to MSPs (Managed Service Provider) or other third-party providers. The driver for this behavior varied by customer and industry but can be summarized by the desire to move hardware and software costs from capital expenditures (CAPex) to operational expenditures (OPex), with pros and cons to each approach. Alt-N worked with many existing and new channel partners to see MDaemon Private Cloud hosted email services introduced into new markets like Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America with continued growth in existing markets like North America and Europe.

With regards to hosted email services, we also received growing requests from direct customers asking Alt-N to manage their email. In response, Alt-N launched its own service using the MDaemon Private Cloud version of the software by introducing WorldClient Private Email for Business. With this new service offer, we have been able to meet the needs of direct customers who want us to manage their email, such as a 600-user customer who chose our service and support after having a large Office365 reseller attempt to convert them away from MDaemon!

For 2017, we will look for sales growth in new and emerging markets while working hard to earn and retain the loyalty and support of our existing customers. We will continue our efforts to add valuable features to MDaemon and SecurityGateway for Email Servers as those products remain the focus of our development efforts. We will be working on improving features that support cloud-based deployments while keeping a close eye on the needs of customers who want the control of on-premise and hybrid environments. And we will continue to look for new ways to enhance and bring value through our partnerships with complimentary vendors like MailStore, as well as seek out new technologies and vendors to make integration with our software simple and easy to use.

As we begin 2017, we want to express our sincere gratitude to those customers and channel partners who have helped Alt-N Technologies grow these past 20 years. We also look forward to earning the business of new customers and partners as we work toward a successful 2017.

As always, we invite you to tell us what you think by sending us your feedback. You can reach me directly at kevin(dot)beatty(at)altn(dot)com.

Happy New Year,

Kevin

 

 

 

Kevin Beatty
VP, Marketing & Business Development

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Quarantine Management with WorldClient Private Email

WorldClient Private Email makes spam management easy by providing users with the email and collaboration features found in WorldClient, MDaemon’s webmail client, and the security and spam filtering features found in SecurityGateway. This tutorial video covers the following topics:

  • How to allow users to manage their own quarantines in SecurityGateway
  • Quarantine management via the Quarantine Summary Email, and how often this email is sent to users
  • When to whitelist or blacklist the sender, and when & how to release a message from quarantine
  • Quarantine management via the SecurityGateway interface
  • Feeding the Bayesian spam and non-spam database – to improve the spam filter’s accuracy

Spam doesn’t have to be an overwhelming nuisance. When these practices are followed, spam is kept under control so you can spend less time dealing with spam and more time focusing on your business.

If you are interested in our WorldClient Private Email hosted email service, click here for pricing and features, or click here to sign up!

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Access your Outlook Contacts from Anywhere by Importing them into WorldClient

If you’re moving to MDaemon from another email platform, or if you want to consolidate your local address books into one centrally-located database for easy access from anywhere, then you’ll want to import your contacts using WorldClient.

When contacts are imported into WorldClient, they are stored in a folder on the MDaemon server and accessible from your ActiveSync-connected mobile device (or Outlook 2013 & up connected via ActiveSync), Outlook via Outlook Connector, and WorldClient – MDaemon’s webmail client.

This knowledge base article lists the CSV fields that can be used when importing contacts into WorldClient.

In this brief tutorial video, I show you how to export your contacts from Outlook to a CSV file, and how to import that CSV file into WorldClient.

If you have questions, send me an email at training@altn.com.

Have a great weekend!

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Protect Email Privacy with Message Expiration using Virtru

In a previous video and blog post, I demonstrated how to maintain data privacy by encrypting email messages in WorldClient (MDaemon’s webmail client) using Virtru. However, this easy-to-use client-side email encryption feature does more than just email encryption. When you use Virtru Pro, you can set a message expiration  period, revoke sent messages, or disable forwarding. In today’s video tutorial, I show you how to set a message expiration using WorldClient and Virtru.

 

If you’d like to see for yourself how easy Virtru is to use, then download  your free trial of MDaemon!

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WorldClient Can Use the Same Keyboard Shortcuts as Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird

If you’re what most would call a “power user,” then you may be used to using keyboard shortcuts. If you’re used to the keyboard shortcuts of another client, such as Outlook or Eudora, WorldClient has a feature that allows you to continue using those shortcuts. So if you’re used to using Shift+P to print (which is an Outlook shortcut), then all you need to do in WorldClient is go to the Options menu & select Personalize. Then select your preferred option in the Keyboard Shortcut Layout drop-down menu, as shown here:

KBLayoutMore information on this feature can be found in the following page from our WorldClient online manual:

http://help.altn.com/mdaemon/worldclient/en/index.html?shortcut_keys.htm

If you have questions or comments about this feature, let us know!

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Training the Bayesian Spam Learning Engine in WorldClient

MDaemon’s built-in spam filter includes a feature known as Bayesian Learning. Bayesian Learning allows MDaemon to “learn” what types of messages are spam and what types are not spam. This allows the spam filter to become more accurate over time.

It is important for users to properly train the Bayes system so that messages are correctly flagged as spam or non-spam. We do not recommend blacklisting the sender of spam messages because this does not help the Bayes engine learn from the message, and thus, has no effect on reducing spam. The easiest way to train the Bayes engine is for users to use the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons in WorldClient (MDaemon’s webmail client) to feed the Bayes engine samples of spam and non-spam. The more spam and non-spam samples you feed to the Bayes engine, the more accurate the spam filter will become over time, thus, it is very important for users to use the thumbs-down icon on every spam message – whether it arrives in your Inbox or in your Junk Email folder. Likewise, for every false-positive (legitimate, non-spam message that is flagged as spam), you can use the thumbs-up icon to flag the message as non-spam.

This knowledge base article provides a more thorough explanation of Bayesian Learning and how to train the Bayesian Learning engine.

This video explains further.

If you are an end user and you do not see the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons in WorldClient, the MDaemon administrator can take steps outlined in this video and blog post to make those icons appear.

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