Why do my Emails have EXT in the subject line?


We are placing an “EXT” on the subject line and a warning placed at the bottom of the email for any emails COMING TO US FROM PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF KSU.

This process has been approved by the Faculty Senate and the University Council on Technology.

These flags are meant to alert the Kent State user reviewing the email that the email originated from outside of our domain.


Why is this important information?

  • Because 98% of malware is delivered through email from outside of the organization. The most effective method is to “spoof” a Kent State email account (like a trusted professor or advisor) then send emails to Kent officials with an infected file attached. It may say example@kent.edu but there’s no other way to tell the message actually originated from outside of Kent State.
  • Without the EXT the user reviewing the email might simply assume it’s safe because it’s from a trusted source and click the attachment.
  • The EXT Flag alerts that individual that something is wrong… example@kent.edu should never email from outside of Kent State.
  • This, then, helps them to take caution when opening files, clicking URL’s, etc…
  • This is a KEY OBJECTIVE as part of our Ransomware program. Since email is the #1 delivery mechanism for Ransomware.
  • We are required by our cyber insurance provider to take this step as well as many others as part of a Ransomware Program.
  • Therefore, MANY (and eventually all) outside organizations are also placing their own warnings on emails you are sending to them. (for the same reasons noted above)


Can I opt out?

No. This feature cannot be removed. As a key objective of our Ransomware program and a requirement by our cyber insurance provider, this feature will remain on for ALL Kent State email addresses.

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Article ID: 131074
Wed 3/31/21 10:54 AM
Thu 4/1/21 9:21 AM