E-mail is like a postcard

Unsecure and readable for everyone - Why you should encrypt e-mails

Companies and the public are confronted with an ever increasing volume of electronic communication. Messages and files containing sensitive information need to be exchanged securely and conveniently around the globe.

Consumer platforms and apps, mostly financed through collection of data and advertising, steadily grow and extend their reach.

Meanwhile, organisations see themselves confronted with multiple challenges and threats: Criminals, competitors and foreign governments want to get hold of their sensitive data.

Why most companies need encryption

In order to protect businesses and their clients, there are laws, regulations and internal compliance standards that have to be followed. The European EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/E that is expected to be replaced soon by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) are just two of many examples in the field. Aside from such general regulations there are also topic- and industry-specific laws like the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that makes sure that patients’ data are handled in a secure way or in the real estate business, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulates the privacy of clients. While these are only a few examples there is an increasing tendency for more laws and specific regulations to come.

But not everyone wants to use e-mail encryption.

While employees are used to the convenience of consumer grade technologies, those tools rarely comply with carefully established security standards and privacy regulations. Current available technologies such as S/MIME or PGP are often too complicated to install and use, leave metadata vulnerable and do not solve the problem of exchanging large file attachments. Professional solutions that try to resolve those issues can be very costlyand are typically complex.

Advantages of e-mail encryption with Cryptshare

  • Encryption of e-mail
  • No size limit for transfer of files
  • Documentation of all activity for compliance
  • No user accounts needed
  • No exchange of certificates needed
  • No software installation needed
  • All stored files encrypted
  • Encrypted transfer of files
  • LDAP Integration

Pros and Cons of the e-mail

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Universally available but insecure and can't handle large files. Click on the following panels to learn more.

E-mail is already the backbone of communications in most companies it is established and effective and so unlikely to change and it is paid for already. Cost increases when very large data stores are allocated for each user and when policies for use are breached so these need to be managed.

Unless supplemented by expensive and complex encryption e-mail is not secure. Beyond enterprise boundaries loss of confidential information in e-mail is one of the most common security and compliance breaches.

Good governance demands some level of incremental security above that provided in e-mail. This may be though classification of data such that inly the least secure need is handled by e-mail and all other transactions are through a stronger specialist mechanism.

E-mail is very easy to use which is its strength and its weakness. It is easy so it is used by us all, all the time. But we sometimes assume it is secure and so use it for the wrong kinds of communication.

Encrypted e-mail (PGP & S/MIME)

Secure but expensive. Never available when you need it. Doesn't solve the problems of large files.

Complex and expensive and suited better to security between known senders and recipients encrypted e-mail is very expensive to buy to install to administer and to run. Whilst the cost is high there is no doubt of the strength of security offered albeit with lost flexibility.

Encryption of e-mails and file attachments is end to end and so highly secure. By not helping the ad hoc transfers there is a risk of breach by use of removable media when this demand arises.

Because of the high cost, inflexibility and slow execution encrypted e-mail is often not deployed in favor of greater flexibility. In particular the fact of needing a client to exchange files creates a significant weakness as real world needs extend into third party companies.

For the user inside the domain ecrypted e-mail is simple to use once set up. However if the requirement is to exchange files or e-mails beyond the firewall things are not so easy. Furthermore first set up is very complex and time consuming.

How e-mail encryption works with Cryptshare:

A short animation

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The key to securing business e-mail

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