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How Secure is Hosted Exchange 2010?

by varsheeshyam

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Not a surprise security remains the top concern for companies who are evaluating hosted solutions like Hosted Exchange 2010 or the latest version Hosted Exchange 2013.  Adopting hosted messaging solutions like Hosted Exchange 2010 is an important decision because email is most important part of business communications and often holds sensitive information. Business decision makers are often suspicious about trusting off-premises exchange solutions because of security concerns. This tendency is not baseless; in fact there have been several instances of security breaches in the past couple of years. Still blaming hosted solutions for these breaches would not be fair because of two reasons.


Firstly most of the security risks cases have been witnessed in the consumer industry. Secondly when we talk about enterprise class email services like Hosted Exchange 2010 or Hosted Exchange 2013, the scenario is different.  Email service providers maintain much more advanced infrastructure i.e. sophisticated datacenters with latest technical expertise and powerful disaster recovery system. Above all managing your email is the core business of hosted Exchange service providers and their survival solely depends on the quality and security they would deliver to their customers.


Let’s talk about some facts now. With the adoption of Hosted Exchange 2010 (or Hosted Exchange 2013) in place of in-house exchange server you get:


1)      Efficient antivirus and antispam software are installed with Hosted Exchange 2010 solution. With periodic backups and advanced applications disaster recovery is much more efficient in hosted environment.


2)      Datacenters where your data is store are maintained with tight security. Sophisticated authentication mechanisms and surveillance solutions ensure that there is no unauthorized access. This is quite contradictory of the on-premise infrastructure where servers are left to be managed by one or two administrators.


3)      Hosted Exchange service providers have recent certifications necessary to provide secure and reliable email solutions. They have solid experience of handling undesirable situations. They are aware of intrusion prevention strategies and hence hosted exchange 2010 makes best industry brains working for you 24 * 7. Hiring such experts in-house when managing exchange server is not a part of your core business could be quite costly and certainly not a strategic move.


4)      Another question: Are you sure that you on-premises email management is truly secure? With Hosted Exchange 2010 your business emails is managed in physically sealed datacenters where even employees need to face several authentication checks. No outdoor entries, no information sharing at all. Legal SLAs are signed to ensure regulatory compliance. In-house server rooms are easily accessible and it could be a mistake to trust each and every employee blindly. Past employees or some malicious intentions could easily intrude in such in-house infrastructure.


No doubt SaaS solutions – Hosted Exchange 2010 and recently released by some providers Hosted Exchange 2013 are much more efficient, cost effective and above all secure email solutions. To make more clear there are two analogies. We trust banks to store our money because we know they keep it much more secure. Similarly we use external phone systems in our companies for all our business conversations.


Same is the case with outsourcing business email and adopting Hosted Exchange 2010 (or 2013) for efficient messaging and communication with enterprise level security.

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