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Fortinet shares security tips on email's 50th anniversary

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As email turns 50 this year, Fortinet shares the timeline overview of email's evolution as well as best practices for keeping your email secure.
Fortinet shares security tips on email's 50th anniversary
50 years of email secured by Fortinet

50 years of email evolution

First up, Noel Morris and Tom Van Vleck worked on a program that enabled communication between mainframe computers. This precursor was intended for the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The CTSS Operations department used this system to inform uses that file retrieval requests had been completed.

Several other governmental and corporate systems SDS 940, the US military's AUTODN system, and IBM CP/CMS. Ultimately, all of these projects would lead to the introduction of email in the early 1970s.

Ray Tomlinson, a contractor working for the United States Department of Defense at the time, devised software for communicating over ARPANET, the government’s network that allowed computers to access centralized computing resources. Tomlinson was successful in sending a message – likely something like “QWERTYUIOP” – from one computer to another. Tomlinson also introduced the “@” symbol for use in email.

Today, over 5 billion electronic mailboxes are in use today. Many people use more than one to communicate with their co-workers, families, and friends. Email is used in more ways than one and our lives benefited from it.

Fortinet provides advanced protection for email through the Fortinet Security Fabric. This guards organizations’ valuable data, employees, and productivity. With the ability to work seamlessly with any existing email infrastructure investment, Fortinet FortiMail can help organizations guard against the full spectrum of email-based threats. 

The interconnected nature of mission-critical business operations and email security is fundamental to digital transformation. Although email is now 50 years old, it remains young when viewed through the lens of communications history. 

In the future, organizations must ensure that they protect these communications to ensure data security and privacy for years to come with solutions like Fortinet’s FortiMail.

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