Office 365 Email Encryption

Businesses that use Office 365 for email should consider Office 365 email encryption to ensure emails containing sensitive information cannot be intercepted and read by unauthorized individuals and to prevent the tampering of emails in transit. Encrypting emails will significantly reduce the chance of hackers gaining access to sensitive email data, and can prevent the theft of intellectual property, financial information, and other sensitive business information. If emails are encrypted, they will only be able to be read by the intended audience.

Encryption of emails is a requirement for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), for data sent by email by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) requires email encryption for messages sent by title agents and other professionals that handle housing transactions, and it is a requirement of the Federal Information Processing Standards. While not mandatory for compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other consumer privacy laws, encryption for email is strongly recommended for ensuring the privacy of consumer data.

The failure to comply with data privacy regulations can result in severe financial penalties and privacy breaches can seriously damage a company’s reputation. By encrypting email, businesses can prevent costly data breaches, avoid regulatory fines and litigation, stop the unlawful distribution of company data, and protect their brand and company’s reputation.

Are all Office 365 Email Encryption Solutions the Same?

There are several different methods used to encrypt emails and not all provide the same level of protection. Some email services include encryption, but do not provide end-to-end encryption, which is important for security. End-to-end encryption for email means the messages are encrypted by the sender, are protected in transit, and can only be decrypted when the message reaches the recipient’s inbox. Some email services provide encryption but the service provider – Google for instance – holds the key to decrypt messages rather than the intended recipient of the email. End-to-end encryption is typically provided using TLS (Transport Layer Security) and is strongly recommended.

Options for Adding Office 365 Email Encryption

Microsoft has recently launched Office 365 email encryption as a security feature to protect sensitive emails. The Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) service for Office 365 email encryption may seem convenient since most businesses will already have Office 365 licenses, but there are issues with the service which mean it is not suitable for all organizations.

One of the main complaints is Microsoft’s Office 365 email encryption is only available to customers that sign up for the Office 365 E3 or E5 plans, and those that have an Azure Protection license. That can make email encryption prohibitively expensive for small businesses. Some users have reported issues with the OME service and say that while it is easy to set up and use, recipients have had trouble decrypting messages and they need to pay for a TLS connection. Further, in order to view the message, the recipients need to have a code sent to the same email address, which means the emails are split into two messages. These issues have seen many businesses opt for a third-party Office 365 email encryption service that is easier to use and more cost-effective.

Introducing EncryptTitan Office 365 Email Encryption

TitanHQ has developed a full-featured email encryption solution for SMBs, enterprises, and managed service providers to allow users to securely send emails, protect against unauthorized access, and comply with federal, state, and industry regulations for safeguarding sensitive data. Encrypt Titan integrates seamlessly with Office 365 and other email services such as Google’s G-Suite.

EncryptTitan is a 100% cloud-based solution that requires no hardware purchases that can be used to send encrypted emails to all mail environments. The solution works seamlessly with Office 365 through an Outlook plugin that allows users to select whether they want encryption to be added to the emails. Keyword-based encryption is also supported, where data loss protection policies can be applied to search for specific data in emails – such as Social Security numbers – and automatically encrypt those messages. In contrast to Microsoft’s OME service, a secure portal is used to send and receive messages, so no codes need to be sent to recipients. EncryptTitan also supports read receipts, has a message recall function, and a full audit trail is maintained, including who read, printed, deleted, and replied to a message. As with all TitanHQ solutions, customers benefit from industry-leading 27/7 customer support which is not available with OME.

If you want to start encrypting your emails or if you are unhappy with your current encryption provider, we invite you to give EncryptTitan a try or book a demo to see beforehand how easy it is to use. If you have any questions, give the TitanHQ team a call.