There is no way around it—the world relies on email. This reality is especially true for American businesses, where over 80% rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel. Even before the mass shift to remote working in 2020, office workers averaged over three hours daily on work email, plus two and a half hours per weekday on personal email.
Businesses rely heavily on emails, which is not necessarily bad because it allows organizations to transmit information quickly. However, efficiency and productivity don't always translate into security and confidentiality, which is why it's critical for all companies, regardless of size or risk tolerance, to develop and maintain an effective email data loss prevention (DLP) strategy.
Let's look at how email encryption works and the benefits of an email encryption service to your business.
Email encryption in simple terms
Email encryption is the process of converting data into code so only the intended recipient can view it. To understand the value of email encryption, think about why you might want to scramble (encrypt) an email in the first place. The answer may range from confidentiality to compliance requirements, but in the end, it comes down to one key factor: protecting your data.
How it works
Keep in mind that, as cybersecurity threats grow, email encryption must also evolve to stay ahead of cybercriminals. That's because over 90% of all cyber threats start with email.
Even with traditional security measures in place, such as antivirus software and robust cybersecurity awareness, the reality is that when it comes to successful email protection, encryption is a must. The question is, how does it work?
Email encryption uses public key infrastructure (PKI) to secure emails. That’s noteworthy because, even if the hacker manages to steal a mail server password, they cannot access sensitive information because of its encryption.
Regardless of your technical background, these three main points provide a clear idea of how the process works:
- PKI technology uses two associated encryption keys, a public one and a private one.
- These two keys work together to encrypt and decrypt a message.
- The intended recipient decrypts and reads the message using the associated private key.
An effective email encryption service gives you complete control over shared information, allowing you to protect sensitive data and avoid a data breach. You’re also able to strengthen your cybersecurity options by recalling emails and accessing audit reports in real time.
Benefits encryption brings to a business
Because phishing posed the highest threat during 2020, it only makes sense for your cybersecurity efforts to focus on protecting your email privacy.
Fortunately, today's businesses aren't concerned with invading forces showing up in their lobby. Instead, you must have suitable measures in place to address the threats aimed at your company's data. Cybercriminals use several techniques to compromise your email security, including phishing, ransomware, and malware attacks.
Some benefits of an email encryption service include:
- Privacy: Any company that wants to prosper in the digital economy must prioritize data privacy. Regardless of your industry, encryption protects your data from being accessed by unauthorized parties.
- Compliance: Governments and regulatory organizations all around the world have enacted a variety of data encryption regulations. Secure email encryption can help prevent a security breach and remain compliant with privacy laws and mandated regulations. That’s especially true if you wish to remain compliant with important HIPAA or other Federal or State privacy regulations.
- Authentication: Spam remains a significant problem. The average worker receives 120 emails per day, and more than half (55%) of all emails are (you guessed it) spam. Encryption aids in the identification of an authentic sender, preventing spoofed emails from compromising your company's network. Considering that the average cost of a phishing attempt on a medium-sized business is well over a million dollars, adding an email encryption service to mitigate this vulnerability makes sense.
- Trust: You've worked far too hard to let one malicious email undermine your customer's trust in your business. Email encryption provides you with the tools you need to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands and protect confidential information.
Mitigating email risk
An effective email encryption service not only strengthens your cybersecurity posture but also allows your organization to mitigate growing cyber risks, including man-in-the-middle attacks as well as unintentional acts by authorized users.
An email encryption service can also safeguard you from other potentially dangerous risks, including:
- Data loss: Email is the number one threat vector for inbound threats and outbound data loss. With email DLP and email encryption, you can increase control of your sensitive data.
- Malicious data stealing: Data loss prevention is critical. An effective email encryption service minimizes human error by anticipating those errors in the first place. That occurs by enforcing a set of mail flow rules determined by your risk tolerance, among other factors.
- Falling foul of compliance: Email encryption safeguards your confidential data and enables you to maintain compliance with regulations.
The numbers are clear—with over 300 billion emails traveling through cyberspace every day, email is one of the most critical applications for every business that wants to succeed in today's marketplace. Unfortunately, email is also a common target cybercriminals use to steal data.
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With the importance of data security, confidentiality, and compliance, email encryption is a must since it assures the content of your email messages is unreadable even if access is gained.
What is the main purpose of using encryption?
Email encryption is necessary for data breach protection. That's especially true for businesses dealing with sensitive data because encryption aims to prevent any unintended exposure of sensitive information, regardless of the user's access level.
What is secure email encryption service?
Secure email encryption service provides email users tools that enhance security while eliminating the complexity associated with email encryption. Additionally, an effective email encryption service enables your organization to stay protected from email threats and fully comply with data protection regulations.