Email Security Blog

Email Vendor Consolidation: Making Your Customers Less Vulnerable to Security Attacks

There is a lot of talk about vendor consolidation these days, and with good reason. When it comes to email security, the more vendors your customers have, the greater their risk.

Believe it or not, vendors can play a hand in an email security breach. There are two main scenarios – when vendors are used as a gateway and when vendors are bad actors.

Vendors Used as a Gateway for Phishing Attacks

The most common type of vendor-involved phishing attack is what is commonly referred to as a supply chain attack, or third-party attack. Verizon, in its annual Data Breach Investigations Report, put supply-chain attacks under the umbrella of system intrusions, defining them as “complex attacks that leverage malware and/or hacking to achieve their objectives, including deploying Ransomware.”1

Examples speak volumes and few have forgotten the SolarWinds attack in 2020. It was one of the most sophisticated cyberattacks in recent history and brought to light the vulnerabilities inherent in a sprawling vendor landscape. This 2020 incident served as a reminder for organizations to consolidate their vendors and fortify their cybersecurity defenses.

SolarWinds is a large software company based in Oklahoma. The attack unfolded when hackers infiltrated SolarWinds' Orion network monitoring platform, a widely used software employed by numerous high-profile organizations, including government agencies and private companies. By injecting malicious code into software updates, the attackers managed to compromise the systems of as estimates 18,000 of SolarWinds' unsuspecting customers, gaining access to sensitive data and critical infrastructure.2

As with the SolarWinds incident, supply chain or third-party attacks are built to grow. With each additional vendor, the attack surface expands, putting more and more companies at risk. By consolidating vendors, organizations can drastically reduce the number of potential entry points, thereby minimizing their exposure to cyber threats.

Vendors As Bad Actors

There are three sad truths when it comes to “vendors as bad actors”. First, not all vendors deserve your trust. Secondly, even great vendors can mistakenly hire bad employees. And thirdly, money can motivate people to do awful things.

Getting back to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, in 2023 they referenced three actor categories. Just three. They include External, Internal, and (you guessed it) Partner. Verizon defined Partner threats as follows:1

"Partners include any third party sharing a business relationship with the organization. This includes suppliers, vendors, hosting providers and outsourced IT support. Some level of trust and privilege is usually implied between business partners. Note that an attacker could use a partner as a vector, but that does not make the partner the Actor in this case. The partner has to initiate the incident."

While Partner threats certainly didn’t have a huge piece of the overall pie, it is very much “a thing”. And, chances are it all circles back to the #1 motivating factor in all phishing threats – financial gain.

The Role of Managed Service Providers in Email Vendor Consolidation

According to the research firm Forrester, in 2022, 55% of security professionals reported their organization experienced an incident or breach involving supply chain or third-party providers.3

In the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity, email vendor consolidation has emerged as a powerful strategy to fortify an organization's defenses against potential attacks. By actively helping your customers reduce the number of email vendors with access to their systems, you can play a valuable role as their Managed Service Provider. By helping customers consolidate their email vendors, you can:

  • Significantly diminish the potential entry points for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Simplify security operations with fewer vendors to manage and monitor.
  • Help your customers realize potential savings.
  • Eliminate redundant security tools and services.

Email is both an indispensable tool and a primary target for phishing attacks. Supply chain attacks, Business Email Compromise (BEC), ransomware threats, and data breaches lurk behind emails, posing significant risks to organizations. To combat these challenges, consolidating email security vendors emerges as a powerful strategy.

INKY is the industry’s best solution for the security of your email. Cost-effective and powerful, INKY’s suite of products not only helps protect your customers from threats, but they can help you consolidate email vendors too. INKY offers a complete email security portfolio of products that are fast to deploy, easy to manage, and provide high margins. As a channel-first company, INKY prioritizes white glove support for our partners that makes it easy and profitable to partner with us.

INKY’s comprehensive secure email platform includes the following products:

Email Protection:

    • Inbound Mail Protection – Block impersonations and coaches users against phishing
    • Internal Mail Protection – Protect against account takeovers
    • Advanced Attachment Analysis – Detect deeply hidden malware

Data Loss Prevention:

    • Outbound Mail Protection – Detect and prevent data loss with interactive safeguards for outgoing mails
    • Email Encryption – Guard sensitive data with fast, simple encryption

Productivity & Compliance:

    • Graymail Protection – Improve productivity by flagging bulk emails and enabling users to set custom rules
    • Security Awareness Training – Compliance-based phishing simulation and monthly awareness training videos
    • Email Signatures – Update and control email signatures for compliance and branding purposes

Investing in the type of technology you need to protect your customer from phishing attacks is key to your role as an MSP. Learn more about INKY and how we help MSPs realize greater success. Schedule a free demonstration today.



INKY is an award-winning, behavioral email security platform that blocks phishing threats, prevents data leaks, and coaches users to make smart decisions. Like a cybersecurity coach, INKY signals suspicious behaviors with interactive email banners that guide users to take safe action on any device or email client. IT teams don’t face the burden of filtering every email themselves or maintaining multiple systems. Through powerful technology and intuitive user engagement, INKY keeps phishers out for good. Learn why so many companies trust the security of their email to INKY. Request an online demonstration today.