Why there is too little e-mail encryption
Everyone is talking about it: politicians and law enforcement would like to limit if not abandon it; privacy groups and companies see it as more and more important: the encryption of e-mails.

Everyone is talking about it: politicians and law enforcement would like to limit if not abandon it; privacy groups and companies see it as more and more important: the encryption of e-mails. Whether for private or business use, people are becoming increasingly aware of the potential threat of espionage and data leakage when it comes to electronic communication.

The numbers and experiences, however show that there are still relatively little actual reactions to this. Using encryption technologies would be the common step to secure their communication. Especially companies who send out customer data, orders, business figures, construction plans, and the like have competitive and often legal reasons to protect those information.

Why is e-mail encryption still not fully established?

This question was also asked and worked on by German scientist Melanie Volkamer from the technical university (TU) Darmstadt. She asked a sampled group with the initial hypothesis that people are just not sensitised when it comes to privacy in electronic communication. Her results, however, indicated otherwise. The respondent seemed to be fully aware of potential surveillance and espionage as answers like “The NSA even monitors normal citizens.” (Translated from the German answer.)

What seemed to be more of a reason for a lack of action was that very few people seem to have a real problem with their electronic communication being listened to. In private communications the attitude might be more like “As long as I don’t have anything to hide, I don’t see a problem.”

While this attitude might seem at least a little careless in the private context it would be absolutely irresponsible for companies. Whether the marketing department exchanges campaign drafts, Human Resources forwards personal files or Sales sends out contracts: there are not only law enforcement agencies potentially trying to gather data but also criminals and the competition that are interested in sensitive data.

What are the reasons for companies not to use encryption?

While there has been a lot of coverage and attention on the topic and subsequently stricter laws and regulations, there are still many companies still using conventional, unencrypted e-mail, ftp servers or freeware file exchange solutions to handle their confidential data. Either for easy messaging or handling large files – which mostly contain those critical information. The reasons for this are various. A common reason for companies not to implement successfully a security solution, however, is often missing usability and therefore a lack of user acceptance. When users have to go through lengthy set-ups, have to leave their familiar working environment or have to make the recipient install the same technology in order to securely exchange messages and files then it is almost certainly bound to fail. Nobody has got time for that.

Therefore a company looking for a successful solution that offers secure e-mails and large file transfers should make sure it fulfils the following points:

  • Exchange e-mails and large files securely from one single solution
  • Ease of use
  • Integration into familiar working environment like Microsoft Outlook or IBM Notes
  • Easy and spontaneous communication with external partners who don’t use the same solution
  • Low administration effort needed
  • Fast implementation without critical changes in it-infrastructure

Talk to us about how Cryptshare can help you make your communication secure and convenient and try our free demo system.

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