What is Email Encryption, Why is it Necessary, and How it Works

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Email communication is a way to exchange information, and emails often contain sensitive or confidential data meant only for the recipient to see. However, cybercriminals have found a way to intercept these messages, so it does not always go as planned.

As emails travel through the internet before reaching their recipients, there is no way to detect if they have been accessed by an unauthorized party until obvious damage has been done.  This interception can be prevented through email encryption.

What is email encryption?

Email encryption is a technology that protects email messages from being accessed by an unauthorized party. It works by converting the sender’s plain text into cipher codes as it transmits over the internet and only the intended individual who holds the “private key” can decipher it.

Why should you require your staff to encrypt outgoing emails?

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from email encryption solutions. Using unsecured email messages is a big risk for organizations sending private and confidential information. Investing in email encryption technology is a cheaper alternative compared to the financial and reputational damage that can result from a data breach. According to AtlasVPN, 5.9 billion accounts were compromised in 2021. This includes email security breaches.

What are the types of messages you should encrypt?

Every message containing financial, confidential, or sensitive information should be encrypted. These includes but not limited to:

  • Client invoices
  • Employee HR information.
  • Account statements or any messages that contain credit card information, account, details, and banking information.
  • Anything containing company data.
  • Client and patient information such as medical records, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.

Email encryption on widely used email platforms

Encryption for Microsoft Outlook

Certain Microsoft Office 365 license levels include email encryption. Find out if your Microsoft subscription includes encryption technology and ask your IT department to enable it on your Microsoft Outlook.

Encryption for Gmail

The confidential mode of Gmail allows you to encrypt your emails. Contact your IT administrator and ask them to enable it.

Using email encryption to secure emails can be effective, but it must be configured correctly to work. Companies should seek the assistance of their IT provider in overseeing email encryption setup to avoid potential security breaches. Velonex Technologies can help businesses in every step of the process to make sure email encryption is set up properly and that your emails are secured from prying eyes. Contact Us