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12 Best Email Security Services Shortlist

After a thorough evaluation, I've curated a list of the 12 best email security services tailored to bridge the very gaps you face.

  1. Proofpoint Email Protection - Best for advanced threat protection
  2. Barracuda - Best for integrated cloud-based solutions
  3. Mimecast Email Security - Best for comprehensive mail archiving
  4. Cisco Email Security - Best for multi-layered defense strategy
  5. Forcepoint - Best for human-centric security approach
  6. Check Point - Best for zero-day threat prevention
  7. Trellix - Best for adaptive threat intelligence
  8. Trend Micro Email Security - Best for virtual patching capability
  9. Sophos Email Security - Best for synchronized security communication
  10. McAfee Email Security - Best for centralized security management
  11. ESET Email Security - Best for malware detection accuracy
  12. Avast Email Server Security - Best for server-specific protection

In the digital landscape, apps, and cloud email security significantly impact businesses. A secure email gateway, integrating antivirus and API, defends against threats like BEC, spoofing, and account takeovers. Whether on-premises, SaaS, or hybrid, adeptly configuring these tools is crucial to shield email accounts from risks, especially with the looming threat of hackers and social engineering.

What is an Email Security Service?

Email security service offers a collection of solutions to protect email communications, the essence of digital correspondence, against various threats such as malware, phishing, and unauthorized access.

Adopted by both businesses and individual users, these services emphasize the confidentiality and authenticity of emails. A core component, the email security gateway, serves to deflect cyber attacks, filter unwanted correspondences, and shield sensitive email data. Their primary mission is to combat specific threats like business email compromise (BEC) and others.

For entities ranging from vast corporations to individuals emphasizing email security, the benefits of these tools are clear. They ensure the safety and integrity of their digital communications. At its core, an email security service acts as a protective barrier, deterring any malicious intentions.

Overviews of the 12 Best Security Services

1. Proofpoint Email Protection - Best for advanced threat protection

A photo of the interface for the tool Proofpoint Email Protection.
Explore the Proofpoint Email Protection interface, showcasing a summary of incoming emails.

Proofpoint Email Protection stands as a formidable shield against email threats, ensuring that your communications remain uncompromised. Its prowess in addressing advanced cyber threats, particularly sophisticated phishing and malware attacks, solidifies its position as the go-to choice for those seeking top-tier defense against the most intricate of email-based risks.

Why I Picked Proofpoint Email Protection:

Proofpoint Email Protection consistently emerged at the top of my list when I sifted through various email security tools. Its reputation for excellence in identifying and mitigating advanced threats gave it a distinct edge over others. This very capability is why I believe it's "Best for advanced threat protection," providing users an assured defense against sophisticated email-based attacks.

Standout features & integrations:

Proofpoint's granularity in setting policies enables users to fine-tune their defenses to their specific environment. This customization, paired with its dynamic reputation analysis and real-time threat intelligence, makes it a robust solution for all types of businesses. Moreover, it integrates with other enterprise solutions, making it easier for IT teams to manage and monitor the organization's security landscape.


From $15/user/month (billed annually)


  • Granular policy setting for targeted defenses
  • Real-time threat intelligence feed
  • Efficient in identifying and neutralizing advanced threats


  • Slightly steeper learning curve for beginners
  • The initial setup might require expert intervention
  • Interface can be more intuitive

2. Barracuda - Best for integrated cloud-based solutions

A photo focused on the reporting feature of the tool Barracuda.
Get a glimpse of the process to report suspicious emails within Barracuda.

Barracuda offers an innovative approach to email security, integrating multiple protective layers within a cloud-based framework. Recognizing the increasing threats in a digital era, their service emphasizes integration across platforms to provide a comprehensive shield for email communications.

Why I Picked Barracuda:

In my comparison of numerous email security tools, Barracuda consistently stood out for its holistic, cloud-based protection. I chose it primarily for its impressive capability to provide an all-encompassing solution that goes beyond simple email filtering. This quality is exactly why I endorse Barracuda as "Best for integrated cloud-based solutions" - its unified approach to security ensures a more cohesive, thorough defense against threats.

Standout features & integrations:

Barracuda boasts advanced threat protection, leveraging artificial intelligence to improve its defenses against evolving threats continually. Coupled with data loss prevention and email encryption, users are assured of both inbound and outbound email safety. As for integrations, Barracuda aligns well with most enterprise solutions, including major cloud-based email platforms and productivity suites, ensuring a fortified defense across the board.


From $10/user/month (billed annually)


  • Comprehensive AI-driven threat protection
  • Effective data loss prevention and encryption tools
  • Strong compatibility with major enterprise platforms


  • Might be overwhelming for smaller businesses
  • Requires initial tuning for specific needs
  • Occasional false positives in threat detection

3. Mimecast Email Security - Best for comprehensive mail archiving

A screenshot displaying the metrics for dynamic banners and trackers inside the tool Mimecast Email Security.
Here's an overview page that displays metrics for Dynamic Banners and Trackers in Mimecast Email Security.

Mimecast Email Security is renowned for its robust email protection capabilities, ensuring that users are safeguarded against a wide array of digital threats. A distinguishing feature of Mimecast is its exhaustive archiving functionality, making it an invaluable tool for organizations needing extensive mail archival solutions.

Why I Picked Mimecast Email Security:

When selecting the right tools, I often dive deep into their specialties, and Mimecast's commitment to archival excellence caught my attention. Among the array of services I evaluated, Mimecast stood distinct with its emphasis on preserving every piece of mail with impeccable detail. This unparalleled commitment to archiving is the primary reason I'm convinced it's "Best for comprehensive mail archiving."

Standout features & integrations:

Mimecast provides multi-layered security, ensuring every email system, whether inbound or outbound, is scanned and safe. Its archiving feature is not just about storage but offers rapid search capabilities, ensuring quick retrieval of any archived mail. Additionally, Mimecast integrates efficiently with a plethora of enterprise systems, especially with platforms like Microsoft Office 365, enhancing overall user experience and ensuring continuity.


From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • Multi-layered, detailed email security
  • Quick search and retrieval within archives
  • Integration with major platforms like Office 365


  • Interface could be more user-friendly
  • Migration process may be intricate for some
  • Might be overkill for smaller enterprises not needing extensive email archiving

4. Cisco Email Security - Best for multi-layered defense strategy

A photo focused on the dashboard of Cisco Email Security.
Cisco Email Security's dashboard features intuitive graphs and charts, simplifying your security assessments.

Cisco Email Security offers robust protection mechanisms against email threats, with a focus on a depth of defenses. It's not just about filtering out the bad but also about the strategic layers they've built into their system, making it outstanding in countering complex threats with a layered approach.

Why I Picked Cisco Email Security:

In the sea of email security tools, Cisco's emphasis on a well-structured, layered defense approach made me sit up and take notice. In my analysis, I noticed that they've engineered their tool to tackle threats at multiple levels, not just at the surface. This deep-dive, layered approach to email security is why I firmly believe it stands as "Best for multi-layered defense strategy".

Standout features & integrations:

Cisco shines with its advanced threat intelligence, ensuring that emerging threats are detected and blocked promptly. Their sandboxing feature meticulously analyses suspicious files in a secure environment, adding an additional layer of scrutiny. Integration-wise, Cisco works harmoniously with a range of enterprise systems, ensuring that the tool can slide into any company's tech stack, notably with systems like Microsoft Exchange.


From $15/user/month (billed annually)


  • Advanced threat intelligence to counter emerging risks
  • In-depth sandboxing feature for suspicious files
  • Strong integrations, especially with enterprise systems


  • Requires a certain level of tech-savviness for optimal setup
  • Could be intimidating for smaller organizations
  • Potential for occasional false positives

5. Forcepoint - Best for human-centric security approach

A photo focused on the dashboard of the tool Forcepoint.
Take a look at Forcepoint's dashboard, where meticulously designed charts offer insights into traffic volume and protection metrics.

Forcepoint centers its email security solutions around the behavior and interactions of the user, positioning itself distinctly in a market often saturated with system-focused solutions. Recognizing that people can often be the most significant vulnerability in security systems, its approach zeroes in on user actions and intents, ensuring that email security isn't just machine-centric.

Why I Picked Forcepoint:

In my quest to identify standout email security tools, Forcepoint's unique human-centric approach caught my attention. I selected it because, instead of merely focusing on machine algorithms, it delves deep into human behaviors, understanding that the line between user error and external threats can be thin. This is precisely why I have judged it to be "Best for human-centric security approach."

Standout features & integrations:

Forcepoint boasts of adaptive security features that respond in real-time to user behavior, swiftly distinguishing between typical actions and potential threats. Their risk-adaptive protection is a noteworthy feature, automatically adjusting security measures based on individual risk levels. In terms of integration, Forcepoint meshes well with leading enterprise tools, making it a preferred choice for businesses already leveraging platforms like Office 365.

From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • Real-time response to user behavior
  • Risk-adaptive protection that adjusts based on individual risk levels
  • Effective integration capabilities with major platforms


  • Steeper learning curve for administrators
  • Might be overkill for smaller businesses not looking for human-centric solutions
  • The user-focused approach may not resonate with all enterprises

6. Check Point - Best for zero-day threat prevention

A photo displaying the dashboard of Check Point.
Check Point's dashboard showcases different widgets such as device risks, device status, top threats, as well as a timeline of security events.

Check Point is a renowned security software provider that specializes in fortifying systems against advanced cyber threats. Their particular strength lies in countering zero-day threats, which are often the most unpredictable and potentially damaging to organizations.

Why I Picked Check Point:

In my process of determining the most competent email security tools, Check Point made it to the list for its superior zero-day threat prevention mechanisms. It stood out due to its continuous research-driven approach, ensuring that the software is always ahead of emerging threats. This dedication to proactive defense is why I believe Check Point is "Best for zero-day threat prevention."

Standout features & integrations:

Check Point's SandBlast technology, which offers real-time detection and response capabilities against zero-day threats, is a defining feature. The software's ThreatCloud, a collaborative network to fight cybercrime, combines multiple threat detection engines and real-time updates. Integrations are comprehensive, ensuring that Check Point fits well with many enterprise ecosystems, particularly those using cloud platforms like AWS and Azure.


From $10/user/month (billed annually)


  • Superior zero-day threat detection with SandBlast technology
  • Collaborative ThreatCloud system ensuring constant threat intelligence
  • Robust integrations with major cloud platforms


  • Might be complex for smaller businesses with limited IT resources
  • Some features might be redundant for basic users
  • Occasional false positives, requiring manual oversight

7. Trellix - Best for adaptive threat intelligence

A photo showcasing the dashboard created for the tool Trellix.
This is a screenshot of Trellix's main dashboard.

Trellix is a security platform geared toward providing businesses with real-time defense mechanisms against ever-evolving cyber threats. Its emphasis on adaptive threat intelligence ensures that organizations are equipped with the latest intelligence to thwart potential security breaches.

Why I Picked Trellix:

After comparing a variety of email security platforms, I selected Trellix for its notable emphasis on adaptive intelligence. The platform consistently adapts to the evolving threat landscape, which makes it unique in the crowded cybersecurity market. It's this focus on adaptability and proactive learning that positions Trellix as the "Best for adaptive threat intelligence," in my opinion.

Standout features & integrations:

Trellix boasts a dynamic threat response system, which means it's continuously learning from emerging threats and adjusting defenses accordingly. Their cloud-native infrastructure ensures scalability and rapid response times. In terms of integrations, Trellix collaborates with major SIEM platforms and other security tools, enriching its threat detection capabilities.

From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • Dynamic threat response system for real-time protection
  • Scalable cloud-native infrastructure
  • Effective integrations with SIEM platforms and other security tools


  • Might be overkill for small businesses with basic needs
  • Requires a learning curve for full feature utilization
  • Limited customization options compared to competitors

8. Trend Micro Email Security - Best for virtual patching capability

A photo focused on the logs tab of Trend Micro Email Security.
Take a look at the 'Logs' tab in Trend Micro Email Security, where you can access timestamps for various senders and recipients.

Trend Micro Email Security is an advanced email protection tool aiming to guard businesses from a vast array of online threats. The platform's dedication to virtual patching capability ensures that vulnerabilities are addressed even before a formal patch is available, offering organizations an added layer of defense.

Why I Picked Trend Micro Email Security:

In the process of determining which email security tools to feature, Trend Micro Email Security stood out due to its unique approach to vulnerability management. The virtual patching capability grabbed my attention as it offers a timely defense against potential threats, bridging the gap until official patches are released. This proactive approach to securing potential vulnerabilities is why I've judged it to be the "Best for virtual patching capability."

Standout features & integrations:

Key features of Trend Micro Email Security include its advanced machine learning technology, which assists in identifying and blocking sophisticated threats. The platform also offers sandbox malware analysis to detect stealthy malware. Integration-wise, it can connect with other Trend Micro solutions and widely-used enterprise tools, ensuring a cohesive security ecosystem.


From $10/user/month (billed annually)


  • Advanced machine learning for accurate threat detection
  • Sandbox malware analysis feature
  • Cohesive integrations with enterprise-grade tools


  • Might be complex for users unfamiliar with cybersecurity nuances
  • Some users might prefer a broader range of third-party integrations
  • Requires periodic updates for optimal performance

9. Sophos Email Security - Best for synchronized security communication

A photo of the static analysis report feature of the tool Sophos Email Security.
Take a glance at Sophos Email Security's static analysis report, meticulously designed to differentiate between safe and unsafe emails.

Sophos Email Security is a robust email protection platform designed to thwart various cyber threats targeting email communications. One of its primary attributes is its commitment to synchronized security communication, ensuring a holistic and interconnected security approach across multiple facets of an organization.

Why I Picked Sophos Email Security:

When selecting tools for this list, the synchronized security communication feature of Sophos Email Security stood out prominently. This trait provides a distinct advantage as it ensures that all parts of an organization's security infrastructure communicate effectively, helping detect and respond to threats more cohesively. This capability led me to judge it as the "Best for synchronized security communication.

Standout features & integrations:

Sophos Email Security boasts AI-powered email analysis, which provides proactive threat detection. It also offers impersonation protection, reducing the risk of phishing email attacks. The platform integrates with the broader Sophos ecosystem, allowing for cohesive data sharing and threat response.

From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • AI-powered analysis for efficient threat detection
  • Impersonation protection against phishing attacks
  • Extensive integration with other Sophos solutions


  • Might require a learning curve for first-time users
  • Some features could be overwhelming for smaller businesses
  • Not as many third-party integrations as competitors

10. McAfee Email Security - Best for centralized security management

A photo showcasing the dashboard of the tool McAfee Email Security.
Take a look at the McAfee Email Security dashboard, where you can assess the email servers under scrutiny.

McAfee Email Security is a comprehensive email protection tool that safeguards organizations from email-based threats and data leaks. The standout feature of this tool is its centralized security management, which consolidates threat intelligence and orchestrates responses across the organization's security infrastructure.

Why I Picked McAfee Email Security:

I chose McAfee Email Security for this list after careful comparison and judgment of several email security solutions. Its commitment to centralized security management set it apart. This feature ensures that all security-related decisions and responses are coordinated from a central point, making it easier for businesses to have a cohesive security strategy. Hence, it's undeniably "Best for centralized security management.

Standout features & integrations:

Key features of McAfee Email Security include advanced threat protection, which uses machine learning to detect and prevent emerging threats. There's also data loss prevention to safeguard sensitive information from being leaked inadvertently. Integration-wise, the tool meshes well with other McAfee products, forming a unified and strong security front.


From $14/user/month (billed annually)


  • Advanced machine learning for real-time threat detection
  • Efficient data loss prevention capabilities
  • Strong integration with other McAfee products


  • Could be complex for users unfamiliar with McAfee products
  • Some customization options may seem limited to advanced users
  • Potential delays in customer support response times

11. ESET Email Security - Best for malware detection accuracy

A photo displaying the protection statistics tab of ESET Email Security.
Take a look at ESET Email Security's protection statistics, offering timely insights into various evaluated data.

ESET Email Security offers a robust suite of tools designed to protect organizations from a wide range of email-based threats. One of its most notable strengths is its superior malware detection accuracy, ensuring that malicious emails, including those bearing ransomware, are effectively intercepted and neutralized.

Why I Picked ESET Email Security:

When determining which email security tools to highlight, I judged ESET Email Security to be among the best. This judgment was largely based on its reputation and the opinions of industry experts. What truly makes ESET distinct is its exceptional accuracy in anti-malware, making it the best tool for those prioritizing the detection and prevention of ransomware and other malicious emails.

Standout features & integrations:

A significant feature of ESET Email Security is its advanced machine learning and heuristic analysis, which work in tandem to identify and block zero-day threats. Additionally, its phishing protection capabilities ensure that fraudulent emails don't make their way into user inboxes. As for integrations, ESET offers compatibility with popular email platforms and aligns with other security products in the ESET lineup.


From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • High accuracy in detecting ransomware and other malware
  • Advanced anti-phishing capabilities
  • Integration with other ESET security products


  • Interface may be daunting for novice users
  • Occasional false positives in email scanning
  • Limited customization options for certain security policies

12. Avast Email Server Security - Best for server-specific protection

A photo focused on the home page of the trial mode provided by the tool Avast Email Server Security.
Get a glimpse of the trial mode interface for Avast Email Server Security.

Avast Email Server Security is designed to provide robust protection specifically for email servers, ensuring they remain secure against evolving threats. Recognizing the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that email servers face, Avast has developed a product tailored to meet these specific needs.

Why I Picked Avast Email Server Security:

In the process of selecting email security tools, Avast Email Server Security caught my attention due to its focus on server-specific protection. Most tools provide generalized email security, but Avast stands out with its targeted approach, prioritizing the unique needs of servers. This dedication to server-specific threats is why I believe it's the best option for organizations looking for specialized email server protection.

Standout features & integrations:

Avast Email Server Security boasts a powerful anti-spam filter, reducing the risk of malicious emails breaching the server. Additionally, its shield technology works continuously to scan and monitor all server activities, ensuring real-time protection. As for integrations, this tool is designed to work effortlessly with major email server platforms, including Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino.


From $15/user/month (billed annually)


  • Specialized focus on email server protection
  • Continuous monitoring with shield technology
  • Compatibility with major email server platforms


  • Requires some technical expertise for setup
  • Limited additional features beyond server protection
  • Possible lag in protection updates compared to general email security tools

Other Noteworthy Email Security Services

  1. Kaspersky Security - Good for comprehensive malware protection
  2. Agari Email Security - Good for advanced threat intelligence
  3. Fortinet Email Security - Good for scalable enterprise solutions
  4. SolarWinds - Good for IT infrastructure management
  5. VIPRE Email Security - Good for cloud-based threat defense
  6. GreatHorn Email Security - Good for real-time phishing detection
  7. Ironscales Email Security - Good for automated phishing response
  8. Hornetsecurity - Good for layered security mechanisms
  9. Abnormal Security - Good for behavior-based anomaly detection
  10. Cyren Email Security - Good for global cyber threat analysis
  11. MailGuard - Good for hybrid AI-driven protection
  12. Area 1 Security - Good for preemptive threat hunting

Selection Criteria for Choosing Email Security Services

Choosing the right email security software can be a bit of a minefield with the myriad of options available. Throughout my career, I've tested and evaluated dozens of these tools. While each has its own unique selling points, certain criteria stood out as the most critical when making a selection. Here's what I looked for:

Core Functionality:

  • Inbound and Outbound Filtering: The ability to filter both incoming and outgoing emails to prevent threats and maintain compliance.
  • Advanced Threat Protection: Defend against sophisticated threats like ransomware, phishing, and spear phishing.
  • Data Loss Prevention: Ensure sensitive information isn't leaked or shared outside the organization unintentionally.

Key Features:

  • Real-time Scanning: Immediate scanning of emails to detect threats before they reach the recipient.
  • Intelligent Learning: A system that adapts and learns from each threat, enhancing its protective capabilities.
  • Identity Protection: Features that guard against identity theft, such as anti-phishing and domain fraud prevention.
  • Multi-layered Defense: Different layers of security that ensure threats at any level are caught and neutralized.
  • Automated Incident Response: Automated procedures that get initiated once a threat is detected, minimizing manual intervention and reducing response time.


  • Intuitive Dashboard: A centralized control panel that offers a clear overview of threats detected, quarantined items, and system health.
  • Role-Based Access Control: Allows organizations to assign specific permissions to different users or groups, ensuring that only authorized personnel can make changes to security settings.
  • Guided Onboarding: Given the critical nature of email security, the software should offer guided setup processes, ensuring all security layers are correctly configured from the outset.
  • Helpful Support: Access to a knowledgeable support team that can assist promptly, especially in crisis scenarios. It's vital that this type of software is backed by experts who can help navigate complex security incidents.
  • Comprehensive Training Resources: Whether through webinars, documentation, or video guides, users should have resources at their disposal to understand all functionalities and best practices for security awareness training.

By narrowing down these essential criteria, I found it easier to sift through the plethora of tools and zone in on those that genuinely serve an organization's email security needs.

Most Common Questions Regarding Email Security Services (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using email security services?

The benefits of using email security services are numerous. They include:

  1. Protection from Malware and Ransomware: Email security services scan attachments and links in real-time, ensuring malicious content is detected and quarantined before it causes harm.
  2. Reduction of Spam: These tools use advanced algorithms to filter out spam, decluttering inboxes and ensuring important emails don’t get lost.
  3. Phishing and Fraud Prevention: They identify and block phishing attempts and fake emails that might try to deceive users into revealing sensitive information.
  4. Data Loss Prevention: Many of these services can detect sensitive information in emails and either block or encrypt the email, ensuring sensitive data remains within the organization.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: For industries with stringent regulations around data protection and communication, email security services ensure that compliance standards are met, reducing the risk of legal repercussions.

How much do email security services typically cost?

Email security service pricing can vary widely based on the features offered, the size of the organization, and the level of protection required.

What are the common pricing models for these tools?

There are several pricing models, including:

  • Per User/Per Month: A fixed fee for each user in the organization, billed monthly.
  • Annual Licenses: A one-time fee covering usage for a year. Some services offer discounts for this type of commitment.
  • Tiered Pricing: As the organization's requirements grow (like the number of users or emails processed), they move to a higher pricing tier with additional features.

What's the typical range of pricing?

Typically, prices can range from $1 to $50 per user per month, depending on the depth and breadth of the service.

Which are the cheapest and most expensive software options?

While specific prices can vary and change over time, historically, tools like MailGuard and GreatHorn Email Security are on the more affordable end of the spectrum. In contrast, enterprise-grade solutions like Agari Email Security often come at a higher price point due to their comprehensive feature set.

Are there any free tool options available?

Yes, some tools offer free versions or trials. However, these usually come with limited features and are best suited for individual users or small businesses. It's always a good idea to start with a free version or trial to gauge a tool's effectiveness before committing to a paid plan.

Other Email Security Software Reviews


In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, protecting email communications remains a top priority for businesses of all sizes. Email security services play an instrumental role in thwarting cyber threats, ensuring that an organization's sensitive information remains confidential and free from malicious intents.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Core Functionality Matters: Not all email security services are created equal. It's vital to identify a service that offers a comprehensive set of functions tailored to your specific requirements, such as filtering malicious emails, protecting against ransomware, or detecting phishing attempts.
  2. Consider Usability and Support: An intuitive interface isn't just a bonus; it's a necessity. Email security should simplify protection, not complicate it. Additionally, responsive customer support can make a significant difference, especially when threats evolve and timely intervention becomes crucial.
  3. Pricing Models Vary: While cost shouldn't be the only factor in your decision, understanding the pricing model, whether it's per user, per month, or an annual license, can influence your choice. Some services offer a base price with additional features at a premium, while others might provide a more comprehensive package at a flat rate. Ensure you understand what you're paying for and that it aligns with your organizational needs.

What Do You Think?

While I’ve strived to provide a comprehensive list of the top email security services, the digital landscape is vast, and there might be hidden gems I’m yet to discover. If you've come across an email security tool that deserves mention or had a standout experience with a service not listed here, please share your insights. Your recommendations can help me and the broader community make more informed choices!

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.