Email is still the most common way for businesses and other organizations to communicate, both internally and externally with customers and suppliers. Everything from contracts, invoices, customer queries, and staff liaison is carried out via email, primarily because it is a quick and convenient way to send and receive messages in the office and when remote working. However, one major downside to using email is that it is not always 100% secure.
When businesses are dealing with sensitive information, such as financial data, customer details, or personal information, this can be a major concern. Email accounts can be easily compromised using phishing scams or other cyber-attacks. They can be intercepted as they travel through the communications network from device to server to device. However, there is an effective way to prevent this from happening. It’s called encryption.
The Main Types of Email Encryption
There are two main types of email encryption in use today. One is called Transport Layer Security (TLS), which is the main encryption tool used by major email providers. This ensures emails are encrypted while in transit but does not protect the email content itself. That means that if a cybercriminal can compromise an email account through a phishing scam or hacking, they will have access to all emails and attachments.
The other type of email encryption is called end-to-end. This ensures that messages are encrypted by the sender but can only be decrypted by the recipient on their device, using a combination of public and private keys. Again, this offers a higher level of security for enterprises, especially those dealing with sensitive information.
The Importance of Encryption
Not using an encryption service for email can expose enterprises to a high degree of risk from various sources. Regardless of what kind of information is being dealt with, data breaches can significantly impact any organization in terms of both financial cost and the legal issues around confidentiality – which can result in severe fines.
One major threat to organizations surrounding emails is phishing scams, which aim to trick users into handing over sensitive information. In order to achieve this, hackers might try to create a false account that spoofs, or mimics, a trusted user’s details.
As well as external cyber threats, enterprises also need to be aware of the need to meet compliance regulations. For example, data protection laws are put in place to ensure that personal details and information are kept secure at all times. By not using an encrypted email service, organizations may be opening themselves up to issues around non-compliance, including severe financial penalties.
Data breaches are another significant risk, with hackers gaining access to emails, attachments, and more. By encrypting emails, businesses can protect against these data breaches, even if emails or attachments are sent in error.
The Benefits of Encryption
There are many potential benefits of using an encrypted email service. It can ensure that all sensitive data is kept private and confidential. It can also ensure that enterprises are fully compliant with the laws and regulations in place, including GDPR, while offering protection against fines and penalties for non-compliance. Encryption can also help prevent data breaches and authenticate emails and verify senders to counteract phishing scams.