Why Your Business Email Needs to Be Encrypted
How often do you use your business email to send along information that could be considered sensitive? On a related note, how well protected are your correspondences over email? Your email could be making your business more vulnerable than you might imagine. This is precisely why it is so crucial to encrypt your emails.
What is Encryption, and Why Do Your Emails Need It?
The term encrypt first appeared in the 1950s, derived by combining the word “in” with the ancient Greek “kryptos”, which means “hidden.” This combination is a fairly accurate one, as encrypting something basically means to hide its contents. When you encrypt data, it becomes effectively impossible to read without having the key to decrypting it.
Don’t just take our word for it. This is an example of an encrypted sentence:
Of course, that looks like complete gibberish. Without the decryption key, that’s exactly what it is. You would have absolutely no way to know what the sentence says. But if you have the decryption key, you can then gain access to the knowledge contained in the encrypted message:
With the key, the sentence above reads:
“Without the decryption key, you have no idea what this text originally said.”
Today there are more threats on the Internet than ever before, and if your business routinely sends and receives messages that have sensitive information, personally identifiable information, or other data that you don’t want to share with anyone else, it is important to use encryption to your advantage. Encryption makes the data you encrypt impossible for a cybercriminal to read directly, making it pointless for them to intercept the message in the first place. Without the key to unlock the encryption, it would literally take them several years to crack a simple encryption code. Today’s encryption is impenetrable, and reliable. With the proper encryption, your data is protected from snooping eyes until it reaches its actual recipient, whether it was intercepted or not.
How Encryption Works
Most often, encryption boils down as follows:
You are given two digital “keys.” One of these keys, the public key, can be made publicly available. A message directed to you can be encrypted with this public key, hiding its contents. The second key, your private key, is kept to yourself. When someone sends you an encrypted email using your public key, your private key will decrypt it and allow you to view the message. When you send out a message, you can use your private key to provide the recipient with a confirmation that it comes from you.
Ideally, encryption has to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Consider if you were a cybercriminal, which message would you be most interested in: the countless unencrypted ones, or the few that someone had bothered to encrypt? However, if all of your messages are encrypted, the hacker won’t want to waste time hacking an encrypted message just to find someone’s well wishes for a happy work anniversary, with all of your other messages to go through.
What to Encrypt
Of course, you will want to encrypt more than just your messages. In addition to your incoming and outgoing correspondence, you should also encrypt any messages you have stored, as well as the actual connection to your email provider.
If you’re ready to protect your email correspondence and the data it contains, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.. We can assist you by implementing encryption into your email solution, as well as see to many other IT security and functionality requirements. Call (508) 622-5100 for more information.