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How Secure Is Email Really? Without Encryption, Not Very

By in Compliance, Email, Internet Security

Email is an inherently insecure mechanism for message delivery.  The fact that it’s relied on by billions of people daily doesn’t change the fact that email is a very insecure solution in its native state.  The problem with email is a simple one to explain.  Email messages are sent to their final destination in plain-text format.  Email servers make no attempt to protect the contents of email by default.

How Secure Is Email?

Email Servers Have A Fatal Flaw

Email servers do something else that helps keep electronic mail insecure.  Email is stored in the format in which it arrives by mail servers.

This is a big problem because the email arrives in plain text.  Plain text can be viewed by anyone.  Using a simple text editor, anyone can open and examine the contents of an email message in its default format.  Emails are often relayed through many mail servers on their way to their final destination.  They may be stored in plain-text format by any of these servers, and opened using a simple text editor by ‘persons unknown.’

The idea of strange people being able to store and read emails all over the world is a chilling one to any business person who sends email daily.  This is a huge security problem and one that could result in non-compliance for many industries where electronic delivery is mandated by regulation.

This Flaw Will Not Do For Regulated Organizations

If you have to ensure privacy for your email, then you can’t send it by plain-text.  Indeed, you need a simple and reliable way to encrypt your email, which solves the problem I’ve outlined above.

Luckily, email encryption solutions protect email from prying eyes.  For example, MostHost utilizes MXSweep for encryption because it’s so easy to implement.  Compliance is a huge responsibility for every organization.  Securing email using encryption has to be performed automatically to be effective.  Our service even allows business and organizations to manage time sensitive information in real-time and enforce data embargo, which protects sensitive news from being released early.

Based on policies set down by administrators, email encryption will be enforced automatically.  This ensures compliance, based on policies set by your security officer according your organization’s data requirements.  There’s no room for error, so utilizing a robust solution that works every time you send email is the only way to ensure compliance.

Email encryption is strong security.

Email encryption meets regulation requirements because you can keep private information private using the technology.  You set the access rules that force the required actions when an email is sent or received.  If it relates to private data, you encrypt it.  Using a special key, the email will stay locked from all recipients, except ones that you approve.  This eliminates the risk associated with sending an unencrypted record that was supposed to stay private to the wrong person.

Making The Switch To Encrypted Email Is Good Business Sense

Encrypting your email is one of the single biggest improvements you can make to vastly and rapidly increase security and compliance.  Two other important steps you can take are to step up your game with anti-virus and anti-spam technology that scans all incoming and outgoing email.  Follow this up with archiving ALL email you receive and your organization is then a compliance workhorse.  Once your policies are in place and your cloud-based solution is running, you can rest easy, knowing that you solved a major headache before it happened.

Recent breaches that have been revealed are simply too catastrophic for any organization to withstand.  Huge fines and penalties could maim any organization.  Why not secure your email instead?

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