Updated SMTP Relay Spam Policy in Gmail
This morning, Google announced a change in G Suite policy that can lead to account suspensions. Effective February 6, 2017, Google will begin automatically suspending users accounts that have been flagged for abuse of the SMTP relay service. The SMTP relay service allows non-Gmail messages to be sent through your Google account. Most often this is used to relay messages from internal systems, such as email notifications that your backups have completed successfully.
Unfortunately, this service can also be used intentionally or unintentionally to send spam. While a few cyber criminals use SMTP relay service to send spam, most of the abuse happens when a computer is infected with malware, usually without any user knowledge.
Being found with malware that is sending spam can and will disrupt your business communications. A Google user suspended for spamming is not uncommon.
Historically, Google has notified G Suite Administrators of the abuse and has provided a list of affected users. Beginning February 6, 2017, if the issue is not fixed within 24 hours of the notice, the user account(s) will be suspended automatically.
Avoid a Google User Suspension for Spamming
The best solution for how to avoid getting your Gmail account suspended is prevention! Make sure that your endpoint protection systems and strategies are current and effective, and avoid having to restore a suspended account.
Recommendation: Webroot SecureAnywhere is a cloud-based solution that can be added to your environment without interfering with your current malware protections. Setup a free trial and see if Webroot catches risks that your current malware solution is missing. Contact us for more info, a demo, or your free trial of Webrootl.