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Email News & Analysis

Don't Open Your Email: Agari Warns Malicious Messages Have Soared

It's hard to quiet the voice of Paul McCartney when you read through Agari's latest study on The State of Email Trust. All you have to do is read the introductory paragraph of the report, which the security solutions provider released today:

Email security improved somewhat in 2014, but most companies still haven’t implemented technology that prevents cyber criminals from sending messages that appear to come from their domains — a failure that leaves customers vulnerable to phishing attacks." 

Think about that for just a moment — and odds are you, too, can visualize McCartney's words:

Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Do me a favor,
Open the door and let 'em in." 

Businesses are unwittingly opening the door to cybercriminals who trick people into sharing sensitive information, leading to identity theft and other crimes. 

What's more, because victims of phishing attacks often blame the companies they thought sent the forged emails, the attacks erode the trust companies spend years building with customers.

Discussion Point: Should Work Related Email Stay at Work?

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German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles has floated the idea of "anti-stress regulation" in which companies would take steps to reduce workplace tension. Chief among these measures would be a ban on employers contacting employees after hours, by phone or email.

Nahles even commissioned Germany's Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work last year to come up with a report on the feasibility of a possible law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and constant contact with their bosses.

The report could generate legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers after office hours. But the report is only expected to be released next year, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nahles' boss, has already discouraged the idea of a contact after-hours ban.

So for now the idea remains just that — only an idea.

But it was an idea heard around the world. And as workers in the US continue to struggle with their increasingly muddled work and personal lives, smartphones at their sides and visions of email dancing in their heads, we wondered … is it such a crazy idea, after all?

Fed Cybersecurity Summit: Assessing Risks, Looking for Solutions

Here’s something to think about the next time your team crafts an email marketing message. "About two thirds of cyber attacks start with an email," said Patrick Peterson, founder and CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based Agari, a security solutions provider.  

Email is the foundation of digital, added Agari CMO Kevin Cochrane. "And the more we go digital, the more we put ourselves at risk. I think people are just realizing. It's a problem that needs fixing — now," Cochrane said.

In a conversation with CMSWire today from the first ever White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection on the Stanford University campus, Peterson and Cochrane said it was time to acknowledge the potential risks of the Digital Age.

While Peterson cautioned that there was no reason to panic about the growing threats of cybercrime, he stressed that it was time to face facts, accept reality and "be mindful" about potential dangers.

"In a digital, connected world full of stronger and stronger adversaries, the risks are extreme," he said. One of the biggest risks, he added, is a collective loss of trust in the digital economy.

Too Much Information: Managing Distractions in the Workplace

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Sure it's OK to check Facebook or send a personal text while at work. That is, if you can find the time between keeping up on Yammer, collaborating over Skype and shoveling through the 125 emails the average office worker receives daily.

And, of course, that's in addition to completing your assigned tasks.

The problem here is information overload. Workers are so distracted — and frustrated — by frequent interruptions that it's costing US companies an estimated $588 billion a year in lost productivity. Often, this leaves employees feeling stressed out, sometimes long after leaving the office.

Between social networks, personal and professional email, phone calls and collaboration tools, the average worker is distracted every 11 minutes, according to a study by the University of California at Irvine.

Microsoft Ups Its Productivity Play With New Calendaring App

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It may seem like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is talking big sky when he makes bold statements, claiming his company will “reinvent productivity for a new generation,” a generation whose professional and personal lives are spent primarily in mobile apps and in the Cloud.

But if you look at what he’s been able to accomplish since last summer, it’s kind of daunting. Now you can not only access Office and many of its individual components via almost any mobile device, but your experiences with Microsoft’s apps are also on par with the best of what can be found in the App Store or on Google Play.

And if there’s a place where the Redmond, Wash. tech giant falls short, it doesn’t stay that way for very long. Not on Nadella’s watch.

Better Safe than Sorry: Protecting Online Identity

Anyone who's made a purchase -- whether in-store or online -- within the last few years knows that providing an email address has become a standard part of doing business in the United States.

You Go Girl! Jive's Got a New CEO

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Silicon Valley isn’t known for its plethora of female CEO’s, but now it can proudly claim one more — Jive Software’s Elisa Steele.

Steele, who joined the social business software provider only 13 months ago, has proven herself in short order. She started as the executive vice president (EVP) of strategy and chief marketing officer in January 2014, was promoted to EVP of marketing and products last August, and to president of Jive in November when former CEO Tony Zingale retired.

Jive Brings Workstyle Apps to the Rest of Us

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We’ve all been told that mobile and the cloud are great equalizers. But how often do small and mid-sized businesses continue to find technologies and solutions beyond reach because of their cost, required technical know-how, difficulty of implementation and so on?

Far more often than most vendors are prepared to admit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, said Colleen Jansen, vice president of global marketing, Jive Software. Today the company that has brought communication and collaboration solutions to enterprises and their business partners since 2001, unveiled three new workstyle apps: Jive Daily, Jive Chime and Jive People.

They’re consumer-like in look and feel, functional in that they work the way you work, easily accessible (not just anywhere, any time, any device) in that you don’t need much help (if any) from IT to set up and use them, and affordable to business and organizations of all shapes and sizes. (Though large enterprises might fare better with Jive and Jive X).

Here’s the low down on the three apps.

3 Reasons Amazon's Email Could Dent Google, Microsoft

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Think Microsoft and Google have the business email market tied-up? Think again. Amazon has come up with a new business email service called WorkMail that ties in nicely with its file-sharing service Zocalo, and WorkSpaces, a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution.

The new service, launched in preview late last week, provides an email and calendar service that aims to cut into a market that has been dominated by Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google for Work Apps. It has three key features that just might help it dent the market leaders.

Microsoft Offers New Outlook Apps for iOS, Android

In less than two months, Microsoft has capitalized on technology from its Acompli buy to create new Outlook apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft, which acquired the San Francisco-based provider of mobile email apps for $200 million in early December, boasted today that "Acompli is now Outlook."

Both apps will work with Microsoft products like Office 365, Exchange and Outlook.com as well as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and other services. Acompli is now available on the App Store and Google Play for smartphones and tablets.

According to Microsoft they will replace existing Outlook Web Apps (OWA), although not right away. Microsoft plans to leave the OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android apps on the market until it fully integrates all of their advanced features, which it expects to do by summer.

Office 365 Extends Email Security to Address Spammers, Phishers

Microsoft is tightening up the security of its email offerings on Office 365 through the extension of features.

The goal here is to provide a “safer client experience” that will authenticate senders and help identify untrusted senders, helping to protect your system from spam and phishing campaigns, the tech giant explained.

While Office 365 is already pretty secure, Microsoft maintains the only way to beat hackers and other Internet nuisances is to keep one step ahead.

Sigh: Email Isn't Going Anywhere

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Guess what? Email isn't going away. Guess what else? According to Pew Research, email is far more popular than social media and texting. The research also shows email is more important to office workers than the broader Internet itself.

The findings also show that email and the Internet are the most important communications and information tools. Among all online workers surveyed, 61 percent rated email as very important to their jobs and 54 percent said the same of the Internet.

As Merlin Mann, the San Francisco-based writer, speaker and broadcaster, has noted, "Email is such a funny thing."

Glip Releases Asana Integration, Tackles 'Email Overload'

Less email, less stress, better collaboration.

Social enterprise collaboration platforms push this theme regularly. Some think email is dead. Others don't. It's a pot-stirrer in tech, no doubt.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based startup Glip is right in the thick of it, like hundreds of other social collaboration platforms. Does Glip expect companies to completely move away from email? Patrick Carmitchel, product evangelist for Glip, referred to this digital agency in a Glip promotional video that is "completely rejecting" email.

Is Gmail Google's Way to the Future?

Google wants you to keep your files on Google Drive and for you to spend more time in Gmail. So it's raising its game and your experience to help make that happen.

And this is no small deal for Google. The internet sweetheart is suddenly being squeezed by competition on all sides. On one end, it seems that more and more people are going straight to Amazon when searching for products (ComScore says that Amazon’s desktop search queries were up 47 percent between September 2013 and September 2014), which is hurting Google’s core ad search business. And, on the other end, Facebook is not only beginning to woo mobile marketing dollars away, but it may also be in a better position to leverage video in its News Feed.

Psst, Microsoft: Look What Gmail Users Can Do Now

Google and Microsoft are duking it out over the cloud and they’re both pretty sure that providing services around content is key. And while some may think that it’s a foregone conclusion that the Redmond, Wash. Software giant will dominate  because  of its Office franchise, CEO Satya Nadella certainly isn’t acting like it’s a done deal.

Consider all that he’s done to drive traffic to Office 365 and One Drive of late, including its recent acquisition of mobile email app Acompli.

It’s not just that, but Microsoft also seems to want steer crowds away from Google which is probably why it struck a deal with Dropbox for file storage in the cloud. And Dropbox, for its part, isn’t making things any easier for Google Drive product managers. Earlier today it officially opened up its Dropbox for Business API, a move that will make it simple for app developers to build solutions that businesses want on its platform.

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