At Work

Why Email Encryption Should Be a Leading Priority for Your Business

Email encryption software is a must-have for every company, but more than that, it should be at the core of every business strategy. This may sound over the top, but it’s true: With cybercrime widespread and steadily evolving, your firm has an obligation to keep its data safe.

It’s basically risk management 101: You should be minimizing the potential for damage to your business. That starts with email encryption.

Keep It Simple

When we say you should make email encryption a top priority, we’re not suggesting you need to do anything radical. At its core, encryption is a fairly simple process. You can apply it to just about any system, including such popular platforms as Gmail.

Even better, Gmail for Work is so encryption-friendly that you can even set it to require transport layer security (TLS) on both outgoing and incoming emails. Enable this system throughout your office and you’ll see overall security levels increase immediately. You can do the same with Outlook and many other email programs.

You should avoid encryption systems that require your employees to go through a series of steps, or even having to push a button, in order to ensure their messages have been encrypted. We all forget sometimes, especially when we’re busy, and you wouldn’t want to leave any room for error when it comes to protecting your data and communications.

Make It Mobile

Another way your company can prioritize email encryption in its business strategy is to make sure that whatever encryption system you choose is mobile. More than ever before, people are working remotely, and that means they may not have access to the in-house servers.

Depending on your current system, this can prevent them from depending on encryption services, as well as other email security filters. So this year, consider converting to a cloud-based encryption service if you aren’t using one already.

Cloud-based encryption is available anywhere, which makes it ideal for the worker on the go. Your encryption system should be as mobile as your employees are.

There are added benefits to cloud-based encryption. You’ll save money with these systems compared to static encryption software, and they’re designed to respond to growth.

As with other cloud-based software programs, your company won’t have to undergo costly migrations and time-consuming upgrades when you hit your user limit. Just increase the size of your subscription or data plan, and keep your business moving.

Keep Track of Threats

No matter how good your encryption practices are, it’s vital for your business to make the tracking of email threats a priority. This may be a job for IT or for security professionals, but no matter who it’s assigned to, someone needs to be alert to potential security incursions because there’s always going to be a new one.

Just this past December, Office 365 was hit by a new cyberattack that specifically targeted business email users. Though Office 365 is of course equipped with multiple security layers, this particular phishing attack exploited internal weaknesses and could embed malware within a company’s emails.

It could also hijack company contacts and send out further phishing attacks, steal internal data, and even interfere with invoicing. According to one cloud-security platform, Gmail shares similar security weaknesses to Office 365, so it’s crucial not to develop a false sense of security.

There isn’t a platform on the market that could be regarded as utterly immune to such threats.

Mind the Law

Finally, as you manage your company’s email encryption practices, keep a close eye on political conversations that address encryption and privacy rights. Even if your firm is operating entirely within legal boundaries, law enforcement policies evolve steadily alongside technology.

We recently saw the FBI try to carve a backdoor into encryption practices in its case against Apple, and this probably won’t be the last time such a thing happens. You may not have thought about email encryption as a strategy decision in the past, but it should play a key role in your corporate practices and philosophy.

This isn’t just about data protection; it’s about your approach to client relations, risk management, and professional operations.