Email security is important for every organization. Attackers often use email to gain access to sensitive information, and companies can face serious legal and financial consequences if important data falls into the wrong hands. However, many of the most common cyberattacks can be subverted through effective secure email services.
How can secure email services protect your information?
When you send an email, it travels from your device to your email service provider’s server, then to intermediate servers that can be in far-flung locations, possibly in other countries. The email then arrives at your recipient’s email service provider, where the recipient can download it to a personal device. Messages can be stored at any server along the way, and someone with access to any of the involved servers can view unencrypted emails.
End-to-end encryption means that the message is always encrypted, whether it is traveling or stored on a server. Recipients who don’t have a secure email provider can log into a secure web portal to view messages. This remains one of the most effective ways to ensure information is protected both in transit and at rest.
Data thieves can steal your password or trick you into revealing it, but two-factor authentication can protect you even if your password is exposed. When a user tries to sign in from a device that the system doesn’t recognize, two-factor authentication requires a second verification of identity, such as a code sent to a phone or alternate email.
According to Verizon’s annual Data Breaches Investigations (DBIR) report, more than 90% of data breaches start with phishing. Attackers send emails designed to look like a trusted business such as a bank or service provider, and they trick employees into providing sensitive information.
The best secure email services offer a spam filter to identify emails that are likely to be phishing attempts. Effective spam filters can help prevent the human error that makes phishing so effective.
Email server outages can interrupt business, lowering productivity and costing money. Your email service provider should have measures in place to protect against downtime.
What to look for in a secure email service provider
Your secure email service provider should be able to provide all the standard methods of protecting your data. To choose the best provider for your needs, consider the following tips:
Is the provider new?
Look for a provider with a track record, and read reviews. If a company has just started providing email services, it’s harder to evaluate whether they can protect your data effectively.
Does the service allow you to comply with government regulations?
The regulations your company needs to follow will depend on your industry. For example, a healthcare provider needs a secure email provider that complies with HIPAA, which governs healthcare privacy in the United States. Other industries including legal, financial services, government and education will have different requirements, both to ensure legal compliance as well as to provide peace of mind to clients and employees.
Does the price work with your budget?
Free services may be adequate if your business doesn’t handle particularly sensitive information and your staff has high levels of security awareness. Some email providers have a basic free service, but let you choose more features by paying for premium services.
If you have any employees who may be susceptible to phishing attempts, it may be more cost-effective to pay for an email service that offers effective phishing prevention. Secure email services usually bill by the month or year, and prices vary with the number of authorized users. High-quality cybersecurity doesn’t have to be beyond the financial reach of businesses even with a tight budget — instead, prioritize the specific concerns most relevant to your workplace to get the most out of your cybersecurity spend.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.