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BUSINESS CONTINUITY

Constantly archiving your sent and received mail.

Friendly Names, Finally.

You’ve only been waiting 20 years for this feature and we’re happy to finally deliver it: ExchangeDefender will now show friendly display names and email addresses, giving you a better idea of who the email sender is.

This is a slightly technical pragraph that we encourage you to skip. Every email you receive has two From: addresses. One is a “friendly from” or “header from” address that prints the name of the sender as the user configured it inside their mail software such as Outlook or Gmail. The other is an “envelope from” or “mail from / return path from” address that is used for mailer/postmaster reasons to bounce and process messages. As an email security solution, ExchangeDefender only looks at and reports envelope addressing as the friendly from can easily be spoofed and faked and generally has no impact on the underlying SPAM filtering technology, message routing, SPF/DKIM, and a myriad of other technical reasons. Two decades ago, when ExchangeDefender was first and foremost meant to be a front line defense on the edge/perimeter before allowing traffic to get to the firewall, envelope from was what I went with.

What made sense two decades ago, which is centuries in IT terms, doesn’t make sense in 2018. Today ExchangeDefender is no longer primarily an edge security service, it is prime real estate in which end users and business employees spend a considerable amount of their time managing their mail, sending documents, sending encrypted attachments, assuring compliance, collaborating, and as such the design and the content needs to show something relevant to the user (not the IT administrator power user that is likely managing things through our powerful Domain Administrator section).

Oh, and by the way, it’s also going to show up like this in our updated SPAM Reports starting in October for our ExchangeDefender Pro subscribers:

P.S. Please tune into our new feature webinar on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at noon EST. Lot’s of new features are coming in ExchangeDefender as we transform the product to better serve the compliance and security needs of our clients. Register Now!

 

 

ExchangeDefender Encryption Enrollment Account Reset

Encryption is hot – with daily news of hackers breaking in or compromising one system after another, taking that extra step to make sure your information is safe and secure has never been on the minds of business owners more. We may sound like a broken record when it comes to encryption but it is one of our more popular products and today we’re happy to announce another quick feature that is coming.

October 1st: You can now reset your recipients accounts (PIN+Password) in Corporate Encryption.

ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption has an alternate [ENCRYPT] flag that can allow the users to encrypt messages on demand and require the recipient to enroll in the ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption in order to access the message. Enrollment process is quick and simple and requires the recipient to provide their name and phone number along with a selection of a password and a 4 digit PIN. This additional security step is put in place to eliminate man in the middle attacks where a hacker may have compromised the firewall, disgruntled employee is trying to spy on inbound mail, or a variety of other threatening issues. It is the ultimate layer of protection because PIN is only known to the user.

If you support ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption, you’re going to like this feature a lot because you’ve likely had to deal with the inevitable case of a recipient forgetting both their password and their PIN. Since we have no way to verify the users identity, we’ve always processed reset requests manually. Now, this process is automated.

Just go to admin.exchangedefender.com and login as the domain administrator.  If you subscribe to Corporate Encryption you will see it under the Configuration menu. Simply type in the recipients email address and their account at ExchangeDefender will be reset allowing them to enroll again.

As a security precaution, they will not be able to see emails sent to them prior to the enrollment period – only new messages after they have created their account. On the backend, there are additional checks in order to make sure that this is actually a user that receives email from your domain, etc, etc so we don’t open the door to a malicious ExchangeDefender client attempting to reset accounts of unknown contacts. Obviously there is far more going on in the background that we cannot disclose in a blog post but if you’re interested in the technology, we have patents pending on several of these and would be happy to discuss privately.

There you have it, October 1st. Another cool feature that will save a lot of time for our users while keeping everyone just a little bit safer. We’re adding more features all over the place so please stay tuned to our blog and our Facebook page.

 

Email encryption is on the rise, ExchangeDefender offers two types of encryption.

Corporate Encryption

ExchangeDefender Encryption (Corporate Encryption) has been one of our hottest products for years, the demand for it is fueled by daily news of exploits, hacking, data theft and so on. Just last night, one of the largest retailers in the world was exploited and for over a month hackers stole credit cards and client information. This sort of daily reporting is creating an unprecedented demand for encryption products, with Let’s Encrypt becoming the largest SSL certificate issuer on the planet.

One thing remains, if the data you are sending or receiving is sensitive to you it’s your responsibility and best interest to assure it is protected.

When it comes to email encryption things get a bit more confusing, complicated, fragmented and unclear. One thing remains, if the data you are sending or receiving is sensitive to you it’s your responsibility and best interest to assure it is protected. Whether you’re the sender or the recipient. Unfortunately, email alone isn’t secure enough by design and <big deal>it is the most exploited and hacked medium available.</bigdeal> . Why hack a bank when I can hack your mailbox and get all your accounts, credentials, reset mechanisms, notes, private information and more?

This is where ExchangeDefender, and ExchangeDefender Encryption, become such a big deal and such a valuable <i>service</i> for your business. You can exchange emails back and forth securely, without installing any software, without requiring the recipient to install any software. Your still use your same email program, desktop, mobile phone, tablet – but your information goes from point to point in an encrypted and protected process. Not just that but you get things you typically can’t get from IT – knowing when the message was was received, when it was read, how many times it’s been read, and you get a reply in the same secure way.

Request your complimentary branded marketing collateral. Looking for something else? Give us your feedback.

It’s clear to see how easy and essential selling ExchangeDefender Encryption is: but you can’t show up empty handed. We have marketing collateral available for our partners – Click on the PDF to download. 

SPAM Email Reports

ExchangeDefender SPAM Email Reports remain one of our most popular features and after nearly 6 years since the last major revision we’re looking to improve both the value and the functionality. For many of our end users, ExchangeDefender is the sole provider of cyber security training and information – so the responsibility of better educating our clients on the threats they are likely to face via email and web is crucial.
Then there is the look and feel of it. White collar workforce has largely gone away from dual monitor configurations to smaller portable devices on which users don’t spend the whole day in Outlook – so our email reports that were designed for the Microsoft desktop era needed a little face lift.

New ExchangeDefender SPAM Email Reports are launching on October 1st 2018 and we’ve made several significant changes to the look and feel based on user feedback.

– New reports feature “friendly” From addresses, instead of the actual From: line we’ve always used.
– Contrast has been improved as well as spacing, so finding information in the email is much simpler.
– Font size, padding, colors, etc has been modernized as well, allowing the report to look amazing on both small phone screens and large wide-screen computer displays.

On the backend, our reports and email release requests are starting to embed our support at the point of release, making sure our end users get exactly what they are expecting right away. If the message isn’t displaying correctly, or if it cannot be located, or if the message is continuously ending up in the SPAM quarantine even though the user believes they whitelisted it (99.999999999% they whitelist the disposable from tracking email which changes every time a message is sent, instead of whitelisting the domain) – our support will be there to assist them immediately without picking up a phone, without opening up a support ticket, without escalating it to the office manager or creating additional work. On demand service #ftw.

Our mission to help protect our clients from dangerous and malicious content also has to account for threats before they become problems – which is why we’re investing in training and info collateral aimed at the users so they are aware of new ways hackers are trying to exploit them. This info will be featured prominently in the service and we will cover it in detail as we ramp up production but for the time being we understand our end users have limited time and limited interest in what is going on in the world of cyber crime – so we will limit our content to 140 characters and feature relevant stuff only, nothing commercial.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for our Email SPAM Reports, please do not hesitate to let us know.

 

ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption
ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption

ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption now allows you to send encrypted attachments and share files securely from any device, even many of you that aren’t on Microsoft Outlook/Exchange. It was one of the more popular parts of the webinar we held yesterday (hope you had a chance to attend it, you can watch it anytime in our secure portal at https://support.ownwebnow.com)

ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption was designed to eliminate the pain point of traditional key-based email encryption: too much software, too much management, exchange of public keys, software deployment, and more. It also eliminates the complaints about cloud based solutions that are often clunky, unfriendly, not to mention expensive. ExchangeDefender Corporate Encryption is none of those: it is friendly, affordable, requires no additional software or hardware.

And as of this week, it allows the sender and the recipient to exchange attachments so that the content is encrypted in both directions. Furthermore, because it is cloud based, you can resume work when you get back to your desk. The upgrades to the UI allow you to quickly see new messages, respond to them, or forward them elsewhere. It is truly turning into a highly secure, policy-based, email solution for businesses that require compliance and content security.

We’ve also made the UI more friendly by putting actions on top of the page so that it resembles popular webmail products end users have gotten used to for over a decade. Attachments are a lot more prominent and go both ways: not only can you send them, but when the recipient logs into our portal to reply they can attach anything they want to in response as well – assuring that content is protected and encrypted at all times.

 

ExchangeDefender mail flow and email analysis troubleshooting is at times a long and difficult process that has been automated through our admin portal at  https://admin.exchangedefender.com. We realize that it’s not an option for some of our end users and new MSPs so we often get tickets in our support portal asking us why a certain message got delayed, rejected, classified as SPAM or allowed to get through if it had SPAM content, etc.

In order to troubleshoot an issue with a specific message we always ask for SMTP headers. The following blog post will help you find them in Outlook Web App, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016.

Outlook Web App

From the message listing, right click on the message and select “View Message Details”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will see Message details screen. Copy and paste it in the ticket and we can help you with the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlook 2013 / Outlook 2016

From the message listing double click on the message so it pops up in it’s own Outlook window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then click on File and you will be shown the message file options:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Properties and you will see the SMTP headers. Copy and paste it in the ticket and we can help you with the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important: Please copy and paste the contents of the screen into our support ticket instead of taking a screenshot. Sometimes the SMTP headers contain characters that are very similar (qf9mfIlI1IlI) and it can take a lot longer to locate the message rather than having a specific text search.

What happens next is that our team is able to locate the specific message in our database and then with that data do further analysis using the node that processed the message and look at all the logs generated by hundreds of different services that are analyzing every message for dangerous content.

Partner to Retail Transfers

After nearly 21 years in business, we have seen just about everything, from partners dying to companies disappearing overnight. More often than not, they leave businesses they served stranded and ExchangeDefender has to pick up the pieces. As each case is different, we’ve always handled every issue delicately with great care from a dedicated employee at ExchangeDefender to handle the issue.

While that sounds nice on the surface, it’s actually a horrific mess with a point person playing coordinator, negotiator, project manager, liason, unofficial legal advisor and more often than not wasting more time than neccessary.

As a result, there is now a 3 month initiative at ExchangeDefender to streamline and automate most of our processes that involve external parties. The honor of the first such automated process is the “Transfer of Services”:

Transfer of Service

ExchangeDefender is exclusively sold through our IT Solution Partners. However, when one partner disappears (death, bankruptcy, laziness, poor customer service) we do not have the means to refer them to a new partner. Often, even if we can find someone local, partner may not have an incentive or business case to sell them ExchangeDefender if the client will not sign up for other support services that are required by our partners to deliver XD. Sometimes, clients get bought/sold, hire their own IT staff, or move to a new provider and want to keep ExchangeDefender. All of these scenarios create a massive mess for ExchangeDefender, for the client, and ultimately for the partner.

The site is designed to create a process-oriented survey that ties in all the parties involved in service delivery – the client requesting the transfer, the existing partner, and if applicable the new IT Solution Provider. This way we have the contact information about everyone, we have set milestones in the process, we have everyone moving along the project and we have deadlines so nobody is left stuck or forgotten. The same ExchangeDefender SLA for support applies to the transfer process but it makes ExchangeDefender handle it.

That is the key part and perhaps the most valuable one for our existing partners that may be worried about account transfers. From our experience, when a client decides they want to leave the service (be it ours, or our partners) there is little that will stand in their way of either moving to another ExchangeDefender partner or another service. This can be painful, awkward, and at times emotional as a loss of business can be stressful. This is where ExchangeDefender can help as well – instead of having to deal with asset control, configuration, transferring credentials and doing support and the work of the new IT Service Provider, our partner can just sign a waiver and from that point on anything regarding the old client and ExchangeDefender will be handled by our team. This way the current partner that is losing the service isn’t stuck with an uncomfortable process of dealing with a client that fired them or training their competitor how to manage the service – it’s simply all on us.

We had to do something. All our future transfers will happen through the “Partner To Retail” web site at https://exchangedefender.com/transfer

Our mantra remains the same, we are still very much a partner-channel based organization. These process automation projects are meant to give our partners and clients a more predictable, measurable, and accountable system backed by an SLA rather than a single point person. If there are processes that you’ve found frustrating, unpredictable, difficult, or frustrating please let us know by contacting your account manager and we’ll put some priority on those. Otherwise, we look forward to serving you better.

 

 

About the PIN requests

Several years ago we introduced the ExchangeDefender Phone PIN support to enable our clients and partners to obtain full support over the phone as if they were in our support portal. Being able to talk to someone that can directly make any change you need to make on the go is incredibly valuable for on-the-go business manager that is typical in SMB.

Our implementation left a lot to be desired. We put the PIN in the area where few people looked. We had no system to quickly retrieve your PIN. Some of our support techs took advantage of the system to avoid helping clients. All these issues have been addressed so we wanted to go over our phone support process again.

Our Support Process

We have a typical 3 tier support system – people on the phones (Level 1), people in the support portal (Level 2), and people managing network services and software that approve overrides and make changes manually (Level 3).
When you call 877-546-0316, you will always be speaking to a Level 1 person. Their job is to be friendly and help you figure out how to get things done. In general, they will walk you through the portal, provide our manuals and walk through guides, open a ticket on your behalf, and sometimes even provide additional information about services. Their goal is to eliminate the clutter, the transfers, the “not my department, not my job” you often get when you call a company for help.

If you call our support and are active, in good standing (no late or past due invoices), with proper credentials – our team will greet you with “Thank you for calling ExchangeDefender, whom do I have the pleasure of speaking” and will try to locate your profile and your PIN. From there, we’ll take good care of you. If you don’t know your pin, or if we cannot locate you in the portal, our support will still provide basic public information about our services but is prohibited from discussing pricing, settings, passwords, company data and so on. This is for your security and protection – we’ve all experienced identity theft, people pretending to be someone else, people that have been terminated looking to sabotage their employer, etc – the PIN removes that from being an issue.

What requires a PIN?

Anything that is not public or available on our web site will require you to provide an email address and a PIN. Things that don’t require a PIN are basic answers about how our products work, where to find documentation, if there are any issues with services at the moment, how to become a partner, marketing collateral requests, etc.
Everything else that is account-confidential will require a PIN, for example:

– Getting a copy of the invoice, pricing information
– Account modification, service change, settings change
– Opening a new support ticket on your behalf
– Adding a new service or subscription
– Modifying service settings (passwords, IP addresses, credentials)

There are only two things that our support on the phone will not do regardless of whether you know your PIN or not: add a new contact to the support portal and delete any service/subscription. For legal, compliance, and past experience reasons that is a red line we cannot cross.
OK so how do I get my PIN?
You can find it in your Contact information at https://support.ownwebnow.com
If you don’t know your PIN or support password, you can request a new PIN at https://exchangedefender.com/pin
If you don’t have a contact in our portal at all, you will be provided with a PDF to provide to whoever manages the ExchangeDefender relationship in your organization.

We hope that as we introduce chat and more phone support you can still get everything you want done much faster and more efficiently – but most of all: securely.

 

 

Billing Compliance Enforcement

September marks another huge month in which we’re cleaning up some of our old “small business ways and means” and replacing them with industry standards, in every facet of our business. But before we get into that, as the changes are both service related and product related, we would again like to remind you to sign up for the big webinar we have on September 5th:

ExchangeDefender New Stuff Webinar
Wednesday, September 5th. Noon EST
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1810967512151336450

“I cannot urge you enough to attend the webinar and see the changes and improvements that are coming to our products and services. You truly need to understand the structure and the vision behind it because we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done: respond to client requests and how the marketplace dictates what people will pay for and how. So I urge you to please attend the webinar and hear directly from me what we’re up to and how you can run into fewer issues and make more money with us.”

-Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender

Billing Policies

None of the following policies are new or designed to impact our clients in good standing.
Our billing policy has not changed in 20+ years, but we’ve never enforced it fully, and we believe it won’t be an issue for anyone. So for the record:
– We need a 30 day notice on any services you wish to remove from ExchangeDefender (and any of our products, sites and services). We tend to be fairly flexible with this and will continue to do so.
– Any services cancelled within the last 2-3 business days of the 1st of the month will be billed on the 1st and there will be no refunds. See the 30 day policy above.
– Service cancellations will be disabled within the last 12 hours of the month. Our staff will not be able to process them via phone/tickets, they will be locked out as well.

The reason we are suddenly enforcing this policy is because we’ve noticed a significant amount of fraud related to people gaming first/last of the month (where you cancel the service on the last of the month, skip the billing cycle that runs on the 1st, then setup the new service on the 1st and get a free month). If our enforcement of our billing policies seems unfair please keep in mind that we do give you free service from the moment you sign up for the service until the 1st of the month. The other reason is that we cannot process changes and update invoices within hours of the amounts being submitted to the credit card processor.

 Late Fees

Late fees will also affect a small but persistent contingent of our client base that is trying to game and hide from what are fair business practices of paying the vendor. Because we’ve never charged late fees we have a few dozen clients that hide, provide fake credit card numbers or otherwise try to get as much free service as possible. Payment for all services is due on the 1st. If the invoice isn’t paid by the 5th (12:01 AM) invoice will automatically get a $39 late fee. If the invoice remains unpaid by the 15th (12:01 AM) the services will be suspended and subject to other legal remedies, along with an additional $69 re-connection fee.

These policies have not been enforced as a matter of personal courtesy we extended to our partners during the economic collapse of 2006-2009. Today, they require personal interaction and activity by a member of our staff, and every unpaid invoice and billing ticket about not cancelling the service in a timely manner is costing us (and our partners) which isn’t fair.

As mentioned above, these policies will not be an issue for anyone but a small handful that has been abusing the system. As a security company we are constantly being audited and leaving open invoices, not charging, late fees, policies that aren’t being enforced and so on are constantly flagged by our accounting, legal and even compliance auditors so we’re being forced to get a grip on everything. Thankfully, it won’t be much of an issue and we look forward to using freed up resources to deliver a better service to all of our clients.

Development and service improvement around ExchangeDefender is really in a different gear now and we have a huge webinar to discuss all the new stuff that you will start seeing in September:

–  New Shockey Monkey Service Manager UI (for private portals)
–  Exchange 2016 rollout for SMB clients
–  Upgrades to IoT for CAN-SPAM tracking/issues
–  Allowing threaded conversations in Web File Sharing
–  Allowing file exchange through Corporate Encryption
–  ExchangeDefender Pro UI changes
–  and much more.

It’s a LOT of stuff with HUGE improvements all around so if you work with us you’ll really want to attend:

ExchangeDefender New Stuff Webinar
Wednesday, September 5th. Noon EST
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1810967512151336450

Since February of 2017 we’ve been working on core infrastructure updates to address major weaknesses in the previous infrastructure model and have embraced rapid development, regulatory compliance requirements, different laws and regulations impacting our clients all over the world, and major needs our clients expressed that required development at a different scale. This again puts us (and you) ahead of the competition and we look forward to helping you gain more business.

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