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The Importance of Email Encryption for Enterprise

June 30, 2015

Email encryption ensures enterprises give communications the highest level of security they deserve. No matter our job, so many of us spend a significant portion of our working day dedicated to email. As such, a huge proportion of business takes place over email. Its security is worthy of major attention and consideration and should be at the same level as any other component of an organization.

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There is no end to the private, and sensitive information that can be leaked, accidentally shared, or stolen from emails. When you don’t take the proper precautions, you put yourself in danger of being caught out, whoever you are. Just look at the problems and unwanted headlines Hilary Clinton’s lapsed email practices have attracted in the last few months.

How do you take email security more seriously?

Encrypting emails is the answer. And that’s by no means new or revolutionary, but it bears repeating when so many are simply not doing it and many who are, are not doing it right. When you share a message internally or externally, proper end-to-end encryption of your emails protects the inner contents, any attached documents and the meta-data relating to the message. Though what it’s really protecting, is your business.

You can find a number of products online that offer email encryption services for applications such as Outlook. There are even great free open source ones like OpenPGP. And while there are numerous extensions in the chrome store for Gmail – Google has also embraced an open source approach with the ‘end-to-end‘ encryption for email it’s trying to develop.

What’s the best approach to email encryption?

Some of the solutions on offer are very good at what they do. But many don’t go far enough. A lot of the solutions on offer only provide gateway encryption for emails. Essentially, the data is encrypted in transit – but not at rest at either end. When it’s on your organization’s server as well as your recipient’s, it is not stored in an encrypted format. This light weight touch can be more convenient, or at least easier to use, but is a seriously inferior approach to security. Should someone hack into your systems, rather than intercept your emails, your emails are unprotected. The trouble is, full end-to-end email encryption can be a lot harder to implement.

However, for Global Data Sentinel, email encryption is just one branch of our security solution. It’s one branch, but it comes from the same roots. As such, it fully integrates into the rest of the security solution and has the same high levels of encryption, data protection and auditing. It can be cumbersome to build and use an extensive email encryption solution, but when it’s part and parcel of your main security architecture already, it becomes much easier to implement and utilize.

Therefore, whether you are emailing someone inside your organisation, or an external correspondence, you can complete full end-to-end client-side encryption with Global Data Sentinel. Client-side end-to-end encryption protects your emails in both transit and rest – so your data is protected at all times. Regardless of your chosen email platform, Global Data Sentinel’s simple end-user interface allows you to manage the encryption keys of your emails. You control who you share your keys with, and therefore who can access your valuable data and emails.

Tools that enhance email beyond security

Global Data Sentinel doesn’t just get the security right though – its approach to email encryption and key management gives you whole new levels of control and safety tools with your emails. There are a number of things you can do with Global Data Sentinel’s email solution:

  • Send read-only email – so the email and any documents can’t be tampered with.
  • Prohibit forwarding or sharing.
  • Limit the amount of times a document can be downloaded.
  • You can even revoke access to an email after its been sent.

These tools let you correct the mistake of sending an email to the wrong person or prohibit further access to sensitive information should a situation change.

Global Data Sentinel also uses watermarks, so any pictures of your email that are taken can be tracked to a time and place. It’s an effective solution when combined with the extensive user-tracking and auditing system inherent in the Global Data Sentinel solution. In the case of screenshots however, our solution ensures any attempts to capture the screen will simply produce a blank screenshot.

Security and control of your sensitive information beyond the firewall

With Global Data Sentinel’s email encryption, when it comes to the inevitable time in your day, when you have to read and respond to emails, you can be safe in the knowledge you are doing it securely. But you can also do it with complete control over what the recipient options with your valuable data are. That’s what Global Data Sentinel is all about really: Security that travels with your data, so you know it’s safe, no matter where it is and no matter who you’re emailing.