Protect Personal & Sensitive Information Sent via Email
As the "Responsible Party" ensure emails sent by your business are safe and private
It's no secret that email is prolific and remains the primary channel of communication (internally and externally) for hundreds of millions of businesses.
Business email often includes sensitive information. Whether it is company/proprietary information that could harm your business; confidential correspondence relating to payments or clients; or sending regulated data such as personal health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII), it is important to ensure that such information is only accessed by those who are entitled to see it. Since email in its native form is not designed to be secure, it can lead to incidents of data exposure allowing for abuse by a hacker or by anyone unauthorized to access such data.
Businesses that handle personal and sensitive information must consider using email encryption.
It is the "Responsible
Party" who must ensure the protection of email sent so the onus is with
the Sender to ensure that emails sent out are safe, private, and legal. Encryption
is the process of converting data into unreadable format
to prevent disclosure to unauthorized persons. Email encryption
helps to protect personal and sensitive information by only permitting the Recipient
with the decryption key - or password - to access the information.
There are several methods of email encryption depending on the level of budget, security, and convenience you require/desire. For example, you could install an email certificate like PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), which allows your employees' to share a public key with anyone who wants to send encrypted email and have the Recipient install the private key (on every device) to decrypt emails they receive. Another solution is to use a dedicated third-party encrypted email service (gateway or hosted email service). However, it is found that many of these approaches are cumbersome and yield a very poor recipient-experience, especially where redirecting “links” are included in the email that requires the Recipient to click, register and login to a sperate website or to use a special webmail client to open any encrypted emails. Cloud hosted encrypted email (as with gateways) also present an additional compliance and security burden in that your business will remain the Responsible Party, even after sending it.
There is also transport layer security (TLS) which secures the transmission stream but not the email content itself. TLS is opportunistic "at best" and its use is NOT 100% guaranteed to ensure encryption between a Sender & all Recipients, thereby leaving the email susceptible to interception or eavesdropping and Man-in-the-Middle attack.
Relying on TLS alone for secure and compliant email sending is both challenging and risky because the Sender must always check the Recipient's use of TLS protocol - and it must be done on every email. Using policies and purchasing 3rd party tools to assess TLS and then blocking or denying email sending by employees' if TLS is not used (by both the Sender and Recipient) is impractical, inconvenient and a major hindrance to productivity. This adversely affects client communications and employees' will ultimately seek out other means and methods - often insecure ones - to send information to client's, creating further business risk, non-compliance and bring about "Shadow IT".
Another major issue faced (by a “Responsible Party”) is that one is not assured about the security practices maintained by the Recipient on the devices used to open and store the email received - like, do they implement encryption on that device to secure the data at-rest on it?
So, a good approach for any “Responsible Party” to ensure security (and compliance) is to encrypt emails and/or attachments from the Sender's PC all the way to the Recipient (end-to-end encryption), and to preserve encryption and access control no matter where and on what device/s the Recipient may download it onto - but to do it in a way that is easy (and automatic) for the Sender, and simple for the Recipient.
The best way to accomplish this is to email out the data encrypted in portable document format (PDF) just like big Banks and larger institutions do today. PDF email encryption is a tried and tested approach and has become the mainstream method when emailing out personal and sensitive information, otherwise large corporations like the Banks would not be doing it. Additionally, portable document format (PDF) is ubiquitous, and many recipients are now quite familiar with receiving sensitive and personal information in this format - thanks to the big Banks and larger financial institutions – making PDF email encryption an ideal choice for any business or corporation.
However, smaller businesses do not have the same budgets as big banks have to purchase and implement such systems. Beachhead has therefore introduced software which can be implemented as an easy-to-use plugin to Microsoft Outlook on any Windows PC which requires no changes and zero reconfiguration to the mail environment (MX records) to be able do PDF email encryption.
The BeachheadSecure email encryption software is designed to offer flexibility and options, but without all the complexities, for sending out email as password-encrypted PDF leveraging a streamlined process - at a very affordable price-point to fit the budgets of any sized business.
Finally - PDF email encryption is not just for the big guys!
Now you can do it too with the BeachheadSecure email encryption plugin for Microsoft Outlook on any Windows PC. The app boasts some outstanding features and functions making it a total breeze for your business to implement and for employees to use (immediately). Doing so will make your business look professional to stakeholders and will demonstrate that you are serious about information security and sensitive data handling, even to auditors and regulators. This software will yield an instant return-on-investment (ROI) for your business.
Contact Us to request a Free Trial of BeachheadSecure Email Encryption.