Put simply, encryption refers to a process that encodes a message in such a way that means only authorised individuals can obtain access to it. Today, many people are turning to instant messaging and chat platforms for communicating, but email is still used predominantly by enterprises for exchanging important information. The contents of such emails can contain confidential company information or personal data on staff members, suppliers, and customers. To ensure that this sensitive material is not exposed when emails are intercepted, security specialists advise firms to always employ encryption software.
How does encryption work?
The most commonly used form of encryption will typically involve two keys: a private key and a public key. The private key is unique to an individual and should be kept securely and never shared. The public key, on the other hand, is made available online. When someone wants to send a private communication, they use the public key offered, and the recipient must use their private key to decrypt and read the email’s contents.
If the email is intercepted during transmission by a hacker who does not have the private key, all they will be able to see is a large block of randomised characters that make no sense. Private encryption keys can also be used to sign emails, allowing recipients the ability to verify the message is from the expected sender and not be fooled by hackers committing identity fraud.
Why is encryption essential for email?
Encryption can stop most hackers intercepting private communications sent electronically. Part of the encryption process will involve authentication at the recipient’s end, which means that it’s not only a useful method of ensuring hackers can’t read your content, but also acts as a frontline defence against identity theft. When you communicate using only encrypted emails, a cybercriminal attempting to impersonate you would need to know the private encryption key you use in order to successfully steal your identity.
When should encryption be used for emails?
The best and most secure practice is to employ encryption for not only your sensitive messages, but all of them. Imagine you are a hacker who has accessed a target’s email account. Your first step to identifying useful information to steal would be to examine what is protected and what isn’t and then narrow down your search. Decrypting emails can take days, so any way data can be filtered for useful information like credit card details or other personally identifiable information can save hackers time and effort.
Now imagine you are the same hacker penetrating an account where every email is encrypted. You take days decrypting them, only to discover they contain no confidential information. You might be dissuaded from your efforts and find an easier victim instead.
Our Galaxkey secure platform offers enterprises a complete encryption solution. Whether data is being transmitted or stored, it is always protected. This includes not just message content, but all files attached as well. Get in touch with our expert team to test drive this powerful security feature for email.