An explanation of why email encryption for small business is important, how email encryption works, and some important considerations for small businesses when choosing an email encryption solution.
What is Email Encryption?
Email was invented in 1978 to allow all users of electronic devices to communicate across computer networks. It was developed to be simple, so everyone could use it, but little thought was put into email security. Emails by default are sent in plaintext, so if they are intercepted in transit, they can be read by anyone. In 1978, security was not an issue, but today, security is a very real concern. Many malicious actors eavesdrop on email conversations and steal data for a range of nefarious purposes. Email data exposure is a major threat to businesses and is the biggest contributor to security incidents, according to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.
Email encryption doesn’t prevent the interception of emails in transit, but it does ensure that if emails are intercepted, they cannot be read. When emails are encrypted, they are converted from plaintext to ciphertext by an encryption algorithm, which makes the messages indecipherable. The messages can only be decrypted if a specific key is provided, which is held by the sender of the email and is only provided to the intended recipient(s). That ensures the email and attachments are protected in transit.
Why is Email Encryption for Small Business Important?
Email encryption prevents unauthorized individuals from viewing emails, but is there much of a threat of that happening? What you need to consider is that emails can be intercepted at several different points in the journey of an email. The email is created on a user’s device. The message passes to an email server. The email server sends the message across the Internet, then it arrives at the destination email server, and is delivered to the recipient. Copies of the message are stored at each point of that journey and messages can be intercepted in transit. Governments monitor emails, cybercriminals actively try to obtain company emails to obtain sensitive data and business secrets, and even network operators monitor emails and can sell information to data brokers. Emails can also be accidentally exposed by sending them to the wrong person. One email study found that 58% of respondents had misdirected an email. If emails are not encrypted, the data contained in those emails is at risk.
How Does Email Encryption Work?
There are different methods used for email encryption for small business. The most common email encryption protocol is Transport Layer Security (TLS) which is used to protect many communications over the Internet. HTTPS, which encrypts the connection between web browsers and websites, is a type of TLS. TLS encryption protects messages, ensures their integrity is maintained, and it includes authentication to make sure only authorized parties can access the information. When TLS is used for email encryption, it protects messages in transit from email server to email server. End-to-end encryption provides a greater level of protection, as in addition to being encrypted in transit, the intended recipient must authenticate to view the message. That means the message cannot be viewed by anyone with access to the destination mail server.
One iteration of TLS that makes email encryption for small business more practical is TLS-Verify. TLS-Verify means the recipient of a message does not need to do anything to view the message. This solves the usability issues associated with encryption – there is no extra step required to view a message. Having to authenticate to view all encrypted messages is time-consuming and impacts employee productivity.
EncryptTitan from TitanHQ
EncryptTitan is a solution that allows email encryption for small business to prevent emails and attachments from being viewed and tampered with by unauthorized individuals. EncryptTitan uses TLS-Verify to provide end-to-end encryption, without disrupting employees’ workflows. A common problem with email encryption is the sender and the receiver of an email must have the same encryption software installed, but this is solved with EncryptTitan. There is no need for recipients to install software and since EncryptTitan is cloud-based solution, no onsite hardware is required. You also don’t need to install any software or make changes to your infrastructure to start encrypting emails. All you need is an Internet connection. Encryption is often too expensive for businesses to implement; however, email encryption for small business is affordable with EncryptTitan. The solution is suitable for all small businesses, regardless of their budget for security.
For more information on email encryption, for details of pricing, and to book a demonstration of the product to see how it works and how easy it is to use, give the TitanHQ team a call today.