We continue our Cybersecurity Awareness Month series to provide resources, tips, articles, and checklists to help you and your organization raise awareness and be more secure. This week, we’re focusing on encrypted email. #BeCyberSmart
Email is the most widely used tool for business communications. It is also the most frequent target of cyberattacks. For CIOs and CISOs, protecting their organization’s email is particularly challenging because hackers exploit the open nature of email and make it their favorite tool of attack. As we’ve discussed in our previous articles, phishing and spoofing emails are routinely used to compromise not only individual user accounts and passwords, but also IT administrators and servers.
These are not minor problems.
Protecting a user’s email account is a virtually impossible challenge because a legitimate contact and an attacker can both deliver their email to the same inbox. So organizations deploy a variety of stopgap security tools. They even resort to training employees to not trust email. Yet the breaches continue unabated.
What is one to do?
One solution…. a capability called Trusted Communities, which uses encryption and a walled garden of trusted users to provide extensive and fundamental email security.
Sensitive data sent through this channel stays secure even if individual user passwords are stolen, IT admins are compromised, and servers are breached.
So how does the Trusted Community – manifesting as encrypted email – help?
- Encrypted email eliminates use of passwords, and instead uses an encryption key. Unlike passwords, the user key cannot be guessed, and it is stored on the user’s device, dismissing the need to remember the password. Finally, attackers cannot access a user account remotely because it’s only accessible via the user key.
- End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and recipient can read the email.
But it’s not just email that is a weak link in the armor.
Vulnerable servers also add to the risk of being accessed and attacked. Securing the server might seem like a game of whack-a-mole as new vulnerabilities are constantly popping up and challenging the security of the server. It is almost impossible to protect against every known weakness, and new weaknesses are constantly uncovered.
However, with end-to-end encryption, email and file data on the server always remain encrypted and unreadable by attackers. Even if hackers breach the server and access all the stored emails, all they get is gibberish.
With end-to-end encryption, only the user’s device and the device of message recipients can authenticate identity and decrypt messages. The server never has access to decrypted data.
Data remains secure even when breached.
If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to us…. And you don’t have to have an entirely new email system. Our solution works on top of existing Outlook and G Suite user interfaces and doesn’t require you to switch to a new platform.