The Pros and Cons of Email Encryption

Email is a primary communication tool for businesses of all sizes. If you think email is secure, you are probably wrong. The fact is your communication is not as private as you think it to be. Any person with good IT knowledge and advanced hacking tools can access the sensitive information stored in an email that you don’t want others to see.

If you are sending sensitive information through email, you should at least consider the pros and cons of using email encryption services.

Pros- Protects Sensitive Information

Entrepreneurs are paranoid about sharing business plans through email as there are chances sensitive information might fall into wrong hands. With advanced hacking tools, it is not hard to intercept emails and access sensitive information stored inside it.

With email encryption, the sensitive information stays protected and only an authorized person can access it. Even if your email is intercepted by hackers, they would not be able to decrypt the email and access sensitive information.

Cons: Email Encryption is Complex

Email encryption is not simple and it cannot be done without adequate preparation. Companies wanting to use email encryption services need to study and understand topics like role and rights of different users, access level permissions, archiving of email and administration of the keys which is critically important.

To use email encryption, the recipient also needs compatible software. You will need a public key if you want to send secure emails and the sender would also need a public key to send secure emails to your organization. Many times this may look like a time-consuming and impractical way of communication and you might prefer a face-to-face meeting or initiate a telephonic conversation.

Pros- No Spam in Your Name

Email encryption is not limited to securing your email communication. It also adds a digital signature to your emails. This enables the recipient to identify whether the email was actually sent by your company. So when anybody receives from email addresses (spoofed) similar to yours, the recipient knows the spam is not sent by your company.

Also, a digital signature that is part of email encryption helps build trust between two parties which is good for businesses.

Cons- Not Everything is Secure

Many people think email encryption is a full proof solution to secure email communication. Though it is true, it is quite difficult to crack AES encryption even with the fastest computers available, it is not impossible.

According to security experts, the arrival of quantum computing has changed the scenario. One of the weaknesses of the AES system is the recipient needs the key sent by the sender to decipher the message. If the key is intercepted, the whole transmission becomes an open book.

Also, many people don’t know the sender, the subject and the addressee are not encrypted. Hence, they are visible to everyone. Companies need to ensure sensitive information is not part of the subject line for optimal privacy.

Pros- Helps Meet HIPAA Compliance

For companies in the medical field, keeping health information private is one of the compliance requirements. If the company is not able to protect sensitive information, there is a risk of heavy penalties for non-compliance and your business might be shut down.

Email encryption protects sensitive information while in transit and also while it rests on email servers. This ensures your company is able to protect sensitive patient information from 3rd parties who intend to use them for harming your business. Also, email encryption ensures your business meets HIPAA compliance at all times.

Cons- Email Encryption Services is Expensive

This disadvantage might be debated by many. The fact is the pricing of the email encryption solution depends on many factors like the type of encryption needed, guest accounts, encryption of attachments, and mobile integration.

One of the important variable element of pricing that makes email encryption expensive is larger the file size to encrypt, the higher costs your company has to pay.

It is no secret cyber-crime has reached an all-time high and businesses which are less-tech-savvy and ignorant about security are easy targets. If your business transmits sensitive information through email communication, using email encryption services is need of the hour else your company is more likely to sleepwalk into a disaster.

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