How to Fulfill CMMC Requirements for Email Security


Greg Scasny


May 10, 2021

Email Security Compliance

As a Department of Defense (DoD) supplier, you have several safeguarding requirements to address as part of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). These requirements include the implementation of email security. Email creates the perfect environment for bad actors to send malicious code your way through attachments. Without being aware, you could find yourself opening a file you thought was safe, only to find it contains malware. With email attacks advancing as time goes on, you can’t afford to put off email security. CMMC requires it, and you have a duty to handle defense information securely.

This post elaborates on the importance of email security through a CMMC context. It explains what the CMMC domain System and Information integrity (SI) is in relation to email security, what level 3 controls entail for email, and how Avanan can help you comply to these requirements with a single-interface, managed cloud solution.

What is System and Information Integrity (SI)?

System and Information Integrity is a CMMC domain that calls for the overall management and addressing of system flaws. This includes identifying malicious code traversing through your network, performing regular system monitoring, and integrating advanced email security. When you get to level 3 controls for SI, you must start implementing email forgery protections and utilizing sandboxing to detect or block malicious emails. Email forgery occurs when bad actors attempt to mirror legitimate email messages as an avenue for phishing attacks. What may seem like an email from a familiar person or company could actually be a forged email, making it crucial that you take measures to detect and prevent them.

Email sandboxing, on the other hand, refers to a testing environment where suspicious email attachments are sent to scout out threats. The “sandbox” allows you to observe the attachment for malicious content without bringing harm to your system. Safe emails continue on to your inbox, but sandboxing helps ensure malicious or forged emails with insecure attachments do not make it there. You never have to worry that email attachments and shared files you receive could be dangerous when you have the right email forgery protections and sandboxing technology. Leveraging a solution that tackles these level 3 CMMC controls will advance your certification goals and help progress you towards an optimal email messaging environment. Avanan offers the only solution that fully secures both your cloud email and collaboration platforms for all-around threat defense.

How Does Avanan Cover Level 3 CMMC Controls Regarding Email for SI?

When you think of cloud email platforms, Office 365 often comes to mind. However, even though platforms like Office 365 and Gmail have built-in security, they miss a significant number of threats. Office 365’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP), the cloud-based filtering service that protects against spam and malware, marks 25% of phishing emails as clean. Even Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) fall flat since they aren’t built for the cloud, which can make the default security less effective, and fail to protect internal email threats. These potential issues prevent you from complying to the level 3 CMMC controls under SI for email forgery protections and sandboxing.

Avanan’s “Complete Malware” cloud email and collaboration security recognizes the pitfalls that disrupt your compliance with these CMMC requirements. Deploying like an app in minutes, the solution solves these issues and more by securing your organization on the cloud and meeting the exact forgery protection and sandboxing controls for email at CMMC level 3.

Avanan’s cloud email and collaboration security solution offers the following protections:

  • Scans emails after the default security but BEFORE it reaches the inbox, taking advantage of existing layers to block and remediate attacks the default security misses
  • Learns from relationships between employees, historical emails, and communication patterns to build a custom threat profile for blocking specific attacks
  • Makes it impossible for hackers to see if your organization uses Avanan to secure your cloud while issuing zero interruptions to user experience in cloud applications
  • Extends beyond email to the rest of your cloud suite, protecting against threats in file sharing and messaging applications

CMMC expects you to combat malicious email advancements, and you can no longer depend on standard email security to fully protect your system. Cloud-based email security and sandboxing technology is the key to combatting malicious phishing attacks and malware.

Be prepared for CMMC compliance.

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