What Is a Gateway Server?

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The customs authority is one of the most important institutions in a country's security apparatus, controlling all incoming and outgoing goods. They inspect packages for illegal goods or check if the packages require the packaging conditions.

Why a customs authority can be compared with a gateway server (especially for email traffic) and which solutions exist will be shown in this article.

What Is a Gateway Server?

A Gateway Server is a device that brokers transactions between a client computer and another server. It transforms data streams to match device capabilities. For example, a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) gateway server transforms HTML to WML (Wireless Markup Language) for the client’s wireless device.

If you’re not an IT expert, this may sound confusing to you. However, the way how this works for emails communications should be easy to understand:

Gateway Servers are used to secure email communications between organizations. They act as a gateway or broker between the organization's internal network and the Internet, filtering traffic and blocking malicious or unauthorized emails from entering the network.

How Does a Gateway Server Work?

Gateway Servers work by intercepting email traffic before it reaches the organization's internal network. Emails are scanned for malware or other threats, and then either blocked or quarantined if they are found to be malicious.

Incoming emails are also checked against a blacklist of known spam addresses, and any emails from these addresses are automatically blocked.

If an email is not on the blacklist, it is then checked against a whitelist of approved addresses.

Only emails from addresses on this whitelist will be allowed through to the internal network. All other emails will be blocked.

Basically, every incoming email will be checked for its trustworthiness.

But that’s not all.

Email Gateways will check outgoing content.

Companies will benefit from this data loss protection. Many Email Gateways include an Email Archiving feature, which archives emails for data management and regulatory compliance.

Additionally, they will give businesses continuity features so that they can still access their emails even if their email network is down. Companies will also receive a management dashboard, a number of reports, and analytics from email gateways.

These allow companies to view all email traffic on a network.

Email Encryption Gateways

An email encryption gateway can significantly increase security by automatically encrypting messages and attachments.

Email is the most convenient way to connect with coworkers and peers, but it is not the most secure method of sharing really sensitive information.

An email encryption gateway can scan all outgoing communications and encrypt emails as well as files containing sensitive information. These include financial records, customer data, and intellectual property, using administrator-defined policies.

Organizations can also use gateway servers to filter incoming emails based on content criteria such as keywords, attachment types, or sender reputation. For example, an organization could choose to block all emails with attachments over 5 MB in size or all emails containing certain keywords, such as "viagra" or "pornography."

Employing a top-notch email encryption service will help firms prevent the costly and embarrassing loss of important email-based data sharing.

Do You Need an Email Gateway Service?

In short. Yes!

No matter the size of your business, a Secure Email Gateway is a security requirement to safeguard your company's data because email communications are a top target for attackers.

The most essential level of defense against malicious emails and attachments is provided by secure Email Gateways.

Hackers operate assaults like phishing to access your company's sensitive data via email, which is their top target. Email is a weak area in company networks, and email attacks are becoming more specialized and focused. A growing range of targeted threats, including phishing scams, ransomware, and malicious attachments, are being faced by businesses across all sectors.

An Email Gateway service offers a strong level of protection for email clients on all devices, not just those in the company. This allows you to protect employees working remotely or using their own laptops for work. They also do not impact the performance of these devices.

This type of server should be your first line of defense. By filtering dangerous email content and preventing malicious emails from reaching the inbox, these solutions safeguard organizations.

Cloud-Based Email Gateways

Multiple cloud-based systems are capable of supporting Secure Email Gateways. This category's products are based on hybrid, public cloud, or virtual appliance systems.

Thus, they are all cloud-based and filter email traffic using cloud platforms. With no hardware to install or maintain, using a cloud-based system simplifies deployment and management.

Here are some cloud solutions examples:

Cloudflare Area 1

Cloudflare Area 1 is a cloud-native email security platform that identifies and blocks attacks before they hit user inboxes, enabling more effective protection against spear phishing, Business Email Compromise, and other advanced threats that evade existing defenses.

Area 1 enhances built-in security from cloud email providers with deep integrations into Microsoft and Google environments and workflows.

Barracuda Email Security Gateway

The Barracuda Email Security Gateway is an email security gateway that manages and filters all inbound and outbound email traffic to protect organizations from email-borne threats and data leaks.

As a complete email management solution, the Barracuda Email Security Gateway lets organizations encrypt messages and leverage the cloud to spool email if mail servers become unavailable.

The Barracuda Email Security Gateway is offered without per-user or per-feature fees and is also available as a virtual appliance or in a public cloud environment (Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Microsoft Azure).

Proofpoint Email Protection

Proofpoint Email Protection is available as an on-premise or cloud-based solution. It blocks unwanted, malicious, and impostor emails, with granular search capabilities and visibility into all messages.

Outbound controls include encryption and data loss prevention, while continuity capabilities ensure business communications can continue as normal in the event of an email outage.

Phish Protection Email Security

Phish Protection Email Security with Advanced Threat Protection, is a cloud-based email protection suite for businesses that stops:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Viruses via email
  • Malicious links
  • Fraud
  • Spam
  • Spoofing

And other malicious threats over email. All of this is done in real time, and without the need to install any expensive tools or software.

These are just a few Email Gateway solutions. Finding the right one is important and G2 as a software comparison platform can help you with that.


Secure Email Gateways offer businesses multiple benefits.

They protect employees from email threats like spam, viruses, and phishing attacks, which in turn protects businesses. Employees are the biggest attack vector for business networks, and email is a prime target for attackers to reach employees.

Having a Secure Email Gateway in place allows your business to improve security for employees by scanning inbound and outbound email traffic.

There are several providers on the market that offer a cloud email gateway solution. Finding one that matches your requirements is highly critical, or you will put your data at risk.

We recommend working very closely with your internal IT personnel or having a consultation with a trusted expert in this field.
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