All businesses need to handle their confidential information securely. From customer information to HIPAA-regulated patient information, anything that is sent via email needs to be protected from cybersecurity threats. Email encryption is one excellent way to keep one’s information safe and to remain compliant with privacy regulations.
So, what is secure email and email encryption? How can it be implemented? Are the benefits really worth it? In this quick guide, we’ll break down why email encryption is valuable and how you can find the right email encryption services for your business.
Everything You Need to Know About Email Encryption for Your Business
Email encryption isn’t very complicated. However, it is extremely important to have it as part of your security and compliance strategy for your business.
What is Email Encryption?
Email encryption is the process of encryption, also known as disguising email messages for the purpose of protecting sensitive or confidential information. There are many different cybersecurity threats out there that target email. Many hackers want to find sensitive customer information for the purpose of phishing or identity theft. Email encryption ensures that those messages are not seen by prying eyes when they are sent from point A to point B. Email encryption can also involve authentication and other security measures.
Should I Use Email Encryption?
The short answer would be a resounding “yes!”
Email encryption is important simply because of the nature of email. A huge percentage of cybersecurity attacks that occur among small businesses come from insecure email practices. One would assume that email is simply transported from one device to another. The truth is that email travels through a number of email servers and various proxy servers before arriving at its destination. Anyone with a little bit of know-how can read your messages without making their presence known at all.
This may not seem like a big deal for most personal email accounts, but it is certainly a big deal for businesses. Email is often used for customer information, verification, and confirmation. Think about how often your business’s email account is used to verify purchase information and customer information like names and addresses. Confidential communication is absolutely key.
For businesses that deal with particularly sensitive information, there’s the risk of potential data leaks. Companies that operate in HIPAA-regulated industries also run the risk of compromising their customer data. It doesn’t stop there-- your business could face serious fines if your email account is not HIPAA compliant. A data leak could result in income loss, reputation damage, and possible legal threats.
The Benefits of Email Encryption for Businesses
There are many benefits to email encryptions for businesses, including:
- Email encryption is designed to target the integrity of your communication methods, particularly confidentiality and accessibility. All organizations need to have private email accounts, whether they are dealing with ultra-sensitive patient information or basic security needs.
- Email encryption is very efficient. When an encryption service is used, your staff does not have to deal with third-party programs to ensure their email accounts are secure. Instead, the email encryption provider takes on that responsibility. The result is quicker access to your email account and a more efficient workplace.
- Using an email encryption service can also help your business deal with authentication issues. Spam is annoying and potentially dangerous. Encryption can help your employees better identify authorized and legitimate email senders. Encryption used with digital signing can be used to prove that the email sent to your business’s email system is real and the message has not been altered in any way. Say goodbye to phishing, spoofed emails, and the potential for a company-wide virus.
- Using email encryption, even through a top-quality service provider is a money-saving decision. If you invest in an email service that utilizes encryption that is integrated into the server, there’s no need to pay for an additional server for email encryption. And when you consider the legal and financial repercussions of not having secured email, it’s clear that email encryption is a cost-effective choice.
- Many types of encrypted email services will offer an additional feature called email recall. In the event that one of your employees in your HR department sends an email with sensitive customer information to John Smith instead of Smith Johnson, they can recall that email at any time. This could protect your business from a potential lawsuit, especially if your business is involved in the medical industry.
- Many businesses, depending on their industry, must be compliant with HIPAA, CJIS, CFPB, and the GDRP. While encryption isn’t explicitly required, it’s really the only way to protect emails that exchange personal information between the business and the customer or patient. Failure to remain compliant could result in lawsuits, a damaged reputation, and possible criminal repercussions.
To put it simply, email encryption is an absolute necessity for today’s business. This is especially so if you deal with sensitive customer information or must abide by HIPAA guidelines. So what options are available for secure email service for business?
Protect Your Business with Email Encryption Services
It’s clear that email encryption is important. The difficult part is implementing it on a business-wide scale.