Email encryption protects the contents of your emails from outsiders. When an email is encrypted, it’s no longer readable until it’s unlocked and decrypted.
All email addresses have a pair of keys associated with them. The keys are used to encrypt and decrypt emails. The public key is stored on a key server and is tied to your name and email address. Anyone can access it. A second key is your private key. This isn’t shared with others and is only known by you.
Email encryption utilizes public-key cryptography. When you send an email, it’s encrypted by the computer using the public key. This turns the email into complex, indecipherable, scrambled content that’s difficult to crack. Only someone with the proper corresponding private key can decrypt the email and read it.
Because it’s difficult for most to encrypt their emails, law firms and other businesses rely on their IT providers to provide this through an automatic encryption service.
This way, they don’t need to worry if their employees use email encryption. It’s automatically managed. The emails are set up to flow through a gateway appliance that’s configured to the firm’s security policies.
Email encryption services are popular with law firms because they send and receive so much confidential information:
Emails that aren’t encrypted are vulnerable to attackers looking to steal legal, proprietary or financial information. They are looking for Social Security Numbers, login credentials and bank account numbers to sell on the Dark Web. If they obtain your login credentials, they can take control of your email, document or financial accounts, or your company network.
Unless your emails are encrypted, hackers also have access to the attachments you send in emails, including private case/matter information. Email encryption also helps you verify the authenticity of a sender of a message. You and your employees will know if you’re being spoofed by a hacker who is trying to impersonate someone you know.
TLS does provide a secure channel for data transmission and ensures that all content, emails, and attachments are encrypted during transit. This is referred to as Data-in-Motion Security.
But because TLS doesn’t provide security for data at rest (in storage), archived emails aren’t encrypted and are exposed to hackers. And sometimes, the TLS connections are terminated before the emails arrive at their final destination. There’s no way to guarantee that TLS alone ensures email security.
This is why you should consider using an email encryption service.
In the past, email encryption services were cumbersome to use. Both the sender and recipient had to exchange encryption keys before sending and receiving emails to one another. As a result, people didn’t want to take the time to do this, and employees simply ignored the firm’s policies. This led to breaches in security where sensitive and confidential data was exposed.
Today we have simple and secure email encryption services that are cloud-based. Key management is automatic without any added overhead for either the users or administrators.
The first time a recipient receives an email, a unique key is generated. Emails (including attachments) are encrypted using the recipient’s key.
After the process of encryption is complete, a separate notification email containing a link to log into a secure message center is sent to the recipient. It’s accessed via a web browser using HTTPS (certified for security).
After the recipient logs in, their encrypted email messages are sent to them for viewing. At this point they can reply to the emails or download them for archiving on their computer, knowing that they are still encrypted and will be secure.
The encryption keys are stored securely in a central location. And key management is automatic without any additional work for your employees.
These state-of-the-art data centers ensure the physical security of everything while strict access control ensures that only authorized personnel have access to the message center.
For additional security, the data centers and the keys used to encrypt the data are stored in separate areas.
Tier One Technology Partners provides Email Encryption Services. Our cloud-based approach to email encryption ensures the security of your emails and attachments. It utilizes an Advanced Encryption Service with a 256-bit cipher, commonly known as AES-256.
Our Email Encryption Service provides cloud-based outbound email encryption, with multiple policies that allow administrators to specify precisely which outbound emails to encrypt. Emails that match the policies can then be sent securely (via TLS) to our message center.
For more information about our Email Encryption Services and how your law firm will benefit from them, contact Tier One Technology Partners in Owings Mills, Maryland.
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