Intermedia has been on my back telling me that businesses need to consider encrypting their email. I kept ignoring them, but finally decided to at least ASK, is encryption really that important? Take a look at this short Q&A from Intermedia’s COO Jonathan McCormick, you’ll probably learn something new, like I did.
So in essence what businesses have been doing for years is not good enough – having regular email on an email server.
Email from a reputable hosting provider, or in-house with the appropriate and constantly updated security and anti-spam tools, is sufficient in most cases. Encryption adds another layer of protection to your email, beyond what is on your or your providers’ servers. It makes the email virtually unreadable as it travels across the Internet, protecting sensitive information about you or your customers. Use it when regulations require it or when you are sending sensitive information – such as social security numbers, credit card number, account numbers, dates of birth, etc.
Is this for all businesses or only some (in regulated industries or dealing with secure information) need to be concerned?
A good rule of thumb is to consider an encryption solution if you answer yes to one or more of these questions:
- Do you share confidential information about your business or customers over email – like account numbers, dates of birth, or highly sensitive internal strategy documents?
- Do you operate in a regulated industry like healthcare or financial services, or in a state with privacy regulations like Massachusetts or California? These regulations may hold you financially accountable for data leaks. Healthcare is a great example. Encryption helps medical organisations comply with HIPAA because it protects patient data from being read by unwanted parties. Policy-based encryption is especially important for such companies, because it allows businesses to set up centrally-managed rules and policies, against which the content of all outgoing emails is scanned. Such a solution helps ensure that compliance is managed automatically and behind-the-scenes and minimizes the risk of human error.