Migrating Away from Secure Email Gateways: Lessons Learned

Discover key insights gleaned from replacing 100+ SEGs for Abnormal customers.
June 12, 2024

The traditional Secure Email Gateway (SEG) has long been a staple in protecting corporate email systems. However, as cyber threats evolve, many organizations are finding that these legacy systems are no longer sufficient.

In fact, 70% of Abnormal customers have transitioned from traditional SEGs to advanced AI-driven solutions. This transition is primarily motivated by the need for faster and more precise threat investigations. AI-powered security systems excel at identifying and mitigating threats, thus enhancing the overall protection of organizational networks.

Here are seven key insights we’ve gleaned from assisting 100+ organizations transition from SEGs to modern solutions.

1. The Great SEG Migration Has Begun

Traditional SEGs struggle to effectively address the evolving landscape of threats due to their rigid architecture. They fail to adequately detect and prevent new, complex attacks that span multiple channels, including those that target related platforms such as collaboration tools. Consequently, an increasing number of organizations are turning to AI-powered security solutions. These modern technologies are tailored for cloud-based email systems and provide extensive defense against a wide range of cyber threats.

2. SEG Rules are Ineffective at Combating Modern Email Threats

Legacy SEGs rely heavily on static rules and signature-based detection methods, which are often ineffective against sophisticated threats like phishing and business email compromise (BEC). Modern email threats exploit human behavior and can easily bypass traditional SEG defenses. AI-powered solutions, on the other hand, can analyze a vast array of data points to detect anomalies and malicious patterns in real time.

3. Account Takeovers are Increasing

Account takeover attacks are on the rise, posing a significant risk to organizations. These attacks often go undetected by traditional SEGs, leading to severe breaches and data loss. AI-driven email security solutions provide advanced mechanisms to detect and prevent account takeovers by continuously monitoring for unusual behavior and compromised credentials.

4. Native Cloud Email Security Has Come a Long Way

The native security features of cloud email providers like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace have significantly improved. These platforms now offer robust built-in security measures that, when combined with AI-powered solutions, provide comprehensive protection. This enhanced native security reduces the dependency on traditional SEGs and simplifies the overall security architecture.

5. SEG Replacement is Quick and Easy

One of the most reassuring findings from the migration process is that replacing SEGs is neither complex nor time-consuming. With the right planning and support, organizations can transition to modern solutions seamlessly. Abnormal’s structured migration process ensures minimal disruption and rapid deployment, allowing organizations to quickly realize the benefits of advanced email security.

6. Life After the SEG is Pretty Great

Organizations that have replaced their SEGs with AI-powered solutions report significant improvements. These include better threat detection, reduced false positives, and enhanced overall security posture. Additionally, the streamlined management and reduced operational burden free up security teams to focus on more strategic tasks, improving efficiency and effectiveness. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one Abnormal customer had to say about their migration:

“When Abnormal found threats our SEG wasn’t detecting, we had to make a change, and Abnormal tying into Microsoft via API was gold for us. Leveraging Microsoft and Abnormal moves us away from the traditional SEG, eliminates that cost, and improves our security.”
Jonny Concannon, Group Information Security Manager, Boohoo

7. You Can Try It with No Risk

For those hesitant about making the switch, Abnormal’s POV process shows just how many attacks are currently bypassing your SEG. In fact, upon deployment in Fortune 1000 companies, we see an average of 36 BEC emails still sitting in inboxes and nearly 80% of organizations have at least one compromised account in their environment. This trial period allows organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of AI-powered security without committing to a full deployment.

Embracing the Future of Email Security

The migration from traditional SEGs to advanced AI-driven email security solutions is not just a trend—it’s a necessary evolution in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. By understanding the limitations of legacy systems and embracing modern technology, organizations can significantly enhance their security posture and better protect their digital assets.

For a deeper dive into these lessons and more detailed insights into how Abnormal can help you modernize your security stack, download the full white paper—7 Lessons Learned from Replacing 100+ SEGs—below!

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Migrating Away from Secure Email Gateways: Lessons Learned

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