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Why Choosing a Secure Email Service with Policy-Based Encryption Is Crucial For Your Organization

Email security is rapidly becoming a major concern for the modern organization, especially companies that deal with confidential and personally identifiable information. To that end, companies need to be extremely vigilant: they must obey email security best practices and educate their employees on email security tips and current email threats. Tools such as encrypted email protection and secured, hosted email services which are featured in Apptix Compliance and Security Solutions may further reduce risk.

Challenges Modern Companies Face With Email Security

Email remains the backbone of corporate communications, to the extent that any employee may transmit large amounts of potentially sensitive data back and forth each day. A single email account being compromised could reveal significant confidential information. As employees access their email accounts through a variety of devices and applications, unencrypted emails could potentially be compromised through unsecured access points.

Furthermore, since employees often access their work email through personal devices, a compromised device also has the potential for leaking confidential information. In particular, companies in the medical industry that are required to maintain HIPAA compliant email standards may need to take additional steps to ensure their compliance. However, companies in any industry can benefit from increased email security.

Using Policy-Based Encryption and Hosted Email Encryption to Reduce Risk

The ability to receive and send encrypted email through a policy-based encryption gateway such as the one offered by Apptix can sidestep many of email security issues with no additional administrative burden for the company. This type of encryption service will automatically encrypt emails as needed, to ensure that emails with confidential and sensitive data do not slip by.

Hosted and secured email services will remain secured regardless of the platform that is used to connect to them, as security will occur on a server-side level and will not be affected by the receiving devices. Altogether, policy-based encryption and hosted email security will reduce many of the worries a company may have with their email security and will also provide increased compliance.

Enforcing Regulatory Compliance for Private and Secure Communications

HIPAA requires that companies at least consider encryption standards. Further, any decision to not use HIPAA email encryption will need to be justified by the company. With a hosted, policy-based encryption service, encryption and compliance standards are maintained by the email service rather than the company itself. This ensures that compliance will be maintained without any additional required effort on behalf of the company. Regulatory compliance issues can be quite complex and often change from year to year. Thus, it can be both productive and cost-efficient to invest in a service that will automatically track and meet rules of compliance with no company intervention.

While companies may be able to secure emails that are coming into their server, it is difficult for them to control data that has left their server - in other words, emails that are outgoing. Encrypted email services are the solution: the recipient must log in via a secured website to access information, thereby reducing the possibility for a data leak to occur on their side. Otherwise, any data that is sent out from a company is just as vulnerable as the recipient's computer system.

Protecting Against Liabilities Associated With Privacy and Security

Companies today are concerned about confidentiality for good reason. Should a company be the subject of a data breach or leak, they may be found to be liable for the damages caused. These damages can be quite substantial depending on the nature of the information that is leaked. Medical companies may need to worry about medical histories being released, while retail locations may need to worry about payment information or other consumer data.

Through an encrypted email service, companies can show that they made every attempt to secure their data. Otherwise, the company may be considered liable as they did not do everything that they could to prevent the data breach. And, of course, this also involves a certain loss of faith. Even if the company is not found to be liable to the consumer, the company may still lose the consumer's loyalty following a data breach as the consumer may no longer trust the company to protect their confidential and personal information.

How Encryption and Hosted Services Protect Against Email Threats

Encryption services protect emails as they are being transmitted by encoding them. Thus, they cannot be read while the data is in transit. Encryption extends to the data that is being sent and stored through email. The emails are then decrypted when they are received. Hosted email services offer centralized email protection and encryption services. Rather than relying upon protection on a case-by-case basis, all employees will be equally secured. The IT department can change security settings on-the-fly or even control them on a granular level through a central resource.

Hosted and encrypted email services will additionally apprise the IT department of any known risks and quarantines, so the IT department can properly ascertain whether they are in a high risk situation and whether there is something they need to take a look into further, such as a particular employee who appears to be engaging in high risk activities.

In comparison to many enterprise-level security solutions, hosted email services and encryption have a remarkably low cost of ownership. By reducing the amount of administrative work needed to secure emails and the amount of IT work needed to maintain security, companies are able to reduce their budgets through the adoption of secured, hosted email solutions. Hosted services are also very fast and easy to deploy, again relieving a company's IT department from any significant burden.

Improving Employee Productivity With Hosted, Policy-Based Encryption

When enacting new security policies, one major consideration is employee productivity. Employees, especially those who are not particularly tech savvy, may find that many security standards inhibit their general efficiency. In fact, one of the most common complaints about encryption is that it requires additional work and maintenance to achieve. Employees may now have additional steps to access their emails or may have problems getting into their email at all. They may also find that sending emails takes much longer or that they are confused by the new process.

Hosted, policy-based encryption does not require any additional steps for the employees to take. Policy-based encryption will automatically encrypt emails based on certain security settings which can be set by the IT department. Hosted email services are exceptionally easy to use and the encryption services and security services will largely occur beyond the employee's notice. Thus, the employee can remain productive and efficient because they do not need to learn a new process or invest time in securing their own email communications. This also further increases security because employees are not tempted to cut corners in security processes to speed up their work and improve their productivity.

It's absolutely essential that companies today protect their email accounts from vulnerabilities. A great deal of personal and confidential information is transmitted through email every day. Without proper security protocols and encryption, these emails are at a very high risk of breach and exposure. Companies can use policy-based encryption services and hosted email security to ensure the security of their emails without any significant burden on their employees.

Posted: 1/22/2015 2:21:48 PM

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