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Email security gateways vs. Web security gateways: Do you need both?

When replacing an email security gateway, should a Web security gateway be used or another email gateway? Expert Kevin Beaver explains.

We have a legacy email security gateway that we're looking to replace to upgrade our email security capabilities,...

but I know many Web security gateways now offer email filtering functionality. Is there still a reason to consider an email gateway, or should we look at Web gateways instead?

Rather than focusing on the specific platform, step back and determine what it is that you're trying to accomplish. Specifically, what are your goals? Perhaps you're trying to save money. Or, like many enterprises, you're desperate to simplify your network environment that's growing in complexity each year. Or maybe network throughput and message handling are important. Perhaps reporting and audit functions are top priority?

You need to consider the single point of failure aspects of a unified system. Will your business be able to tolerate one or both functions being offline at any given time? Are there failover options if both functions are on the same system? Also, just because your Web security gateway works well doesn't mean that the same vendor is going to have the best email filtering capabilities. Even so, it could make sense to go that route if it means you have a single dashboard where you and your team can oversee both Web and email security in one product.

Another consideration is support. Marketing talk is cheap. How are things going to be once the sale is complete and you're on your own?

When you consider all of these areas, the specific path to go down will become clear. You might even realize that you need to go a different route -- such as cloud-based filtering -- altogether.

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This was last published in August 2015

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