Both companies and individuals are beginning to encrypt e-mails for increased security. Much of this push for privacy and security is due to the admissions of former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, who revealed that the federal government partakes in widespread surveillance of electronic communications, especially e-mail.
Encryption works by changing the appearance of the e-mail’s contents to nonsensical figures that remain unclear until the message arrives at its destination. Once it makes it to the recipient, the coding disappears and the text is revealed.Companies take several approaches to encrypting e-mails as outlined below.
Privacy at the Workplace?
The corporate sector wants to keep the contents of their employees’ e-mails private not only to protect their interests but also to protect the privacy and security of their customers. Plenty of companies use e-mail to communicate not only internally but also with their customer base. If customers begin to suspect their e-mails are being read by third parties, including the federal government, they will be less likely to do business online and especially with the companies that do not provide encrypted e-mail communications.
Internet and email service providers such as Comcast have started working towardsautomatically encrypting all e-mail.Unfortunately, that doesn’t ensure confidentiality unless the recipients’ e-mail provider does the same thing. The corporate response has been not only a willing acceptance of e-mail encryption but a strong push for it.
Plenty of companies use secure e-mail software to guarantee the privacy of their electronic messages. Encryption software empowers corporations to send compliant email transmissions, thwart data loss, secure proprietary information and instill client confidence. In addition, imposed encryption points range from one-click options to enforced policy-based encryption methods. This software goes beyond merely privacy safeguards. It also offers users an administrative console, compliance reports and the ability to sort and track messages.
Some companies go out of their way to find encryption security that works with a variety of DLP filters (Proofpoint is an example), other security software programs and e-mails that are sent on mobile devices. E-mail encryption can also be integrated with a company’s current business applications.
Most businesses view the encryption software’s encryption point as being its most important feature. While small to medium sized businesses might feel comfortable empowering a few skilled IT employees to pick and choose the company e-mails that should be encrypted, large companies will take encryption responsibilities out of employees’ hands and use automatic filters.
These filters convert e-mail text to illegible coding after it is sent from company computers and all the way through e-mail servers and portals. The extent of this security can be modified by each company’s desired level of policy filter security.Companies also go to great lengths to ensure that the encryption functions with various integrations like Outlook plugins, mobile phone emailing, email protocols, archiving methods. After all, what use is encryption if it doesn’t work with mobile technology like smartphones, tablets and laptops? It must also be compatible with programs that businesses use like GroupWise and Salesforce as well as Internet and content filters.
While it is true that encryption makes e-mails secure, it often does not meet the specific security measures and regulatory requirements that are unique to many companies. Corporations go to great lengths to ensure that their encryption service meets these security standards.They pick out highly customized and specialized encryption software.Corporations with strict regulatory requirements use policy based and user initiated encryption software with plenty of options such as blocking messages that contain “non-sharable content.”
Simply put, security conscious companies realize that it is not enough to merely encrypt e-mail messages. Encryption services understand this and they are taking the extra step to provide additional security layers that can be shaped to the unique desires of individual companies.