At RB’s Computer Service, our customers like uncomplicated, results driven, and affordable solutions for computer and network security, set-ups, repairs, and managed IT services. As a result, we recommend Microsoft 365 for email encryption. In an era of sophisticated data mining operations run by cyber criminals and ransomware attacks, encrypted email is an essential line of defense for small businesses. It is not only uncomplicated to integrate into your business operations, but it is effective in keeping email communications secured, and its affordable.
Before we jump into how Microsoft 365 email encryption works and the benefits, let’s look at what Microsoft 365 is. Microsoft 365 used to be known as Office 365, but Microsoft 365 is now a cloud-based platform. All the programs you use to run your business in Office 365, like Outlook Email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., can be accessed in Microsoft 365 via apps, like the Word app, and your work can be saved into the apps in the cloud, locally on your computer or network, or both. Thus, when you upgrade to Microsoft 365, you not only get the encrypted Outlook email, but a cloud-based system. This allows you to securely access, work on, and save files, from anywhere. For example, say you were collaborating with a colleague to create an Excel spreadsheet. The colleague could work on it from the office, and you could work on it in between appointments outside the office.
• Option One: Do Not Forward – when this option is applied to an email, the email is encrypted, and recipients must be authenticated. Then, the recipients cannot forward it, print it, or copy from it.
• Option Two: Encrypt-Only – When this option is selected, the email is encrypted, and recipients must be authenticated. Then, the recipients have all usage rights except Save As, Export and Full Control. (Interlink Cloud Advisors Staff, Interlink Cloud Advisors, Office 365 Message Encryption Offers a Major Upgrade to Email Encryption, November 6th, 2019, https://www.interlink.com/blog/entry/office-365-message-encryption-major-upgrade-to-email-encryption).
Even if you don’t always use option one or two above, Microsoft 365 email also comes with Transport Layer Security (TLS). Transport Layer Security (TLS) encrypts the connection with a recipient's email provider. However, with TLS, the message might not stay encrypted after the message reaches the recipient's email provider. In other words, TLS encrypts the connection, not the message. One final benefit to note here is encrypted email can be sent to Gmail, Yahoo, etc. email recipients. Recipients don’t need Microsoft 365 to receive and open an encrypted email, only an “authentication” key.
Five Benefits of Encrypted Email
Privacy. Whether it be medical records, intellectual property, or classified information, utilizing encryption protects information from being viewed by unauthorized individuals.
Affordable. If you are already using Office 365, upgrading to Microsoft 365 means you can get access to the Outlook 365 app and encrypted email. RB’s Computer Service can help you set-up and configure your email encryption settings seamlessly. Contact us today for a hassle-free consultation via phone or email at: 763-441-3884, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compliance. Many compliance guidelines require encryption, like HIPAA, and most banks and financial institutions have them.
Increase Productivity. If email is encrypted in the actual email platform, employees don’t have to use additional programs to secure their emails. Rather, the responsibility lies with Microsoft 365. Instead of following a multi-step process to securely attach files, employees can type and send their messages more quickly.
Easily Spot Spam and Phishing Scams. Spam is not going away. Using encryption can help employees identify an authentic sender. Utilizing encryption shows the recipient that the sender is authentic and the message untampered. This method prevents spoofed emails from infecting a company’s system through an employee’s account (RSI Security Staff, RSI Security, 5 BENEFITS OF EMAIL ENCRYPTION, September 20, 2019, https://blog.rsisecurity.com/5-benefits-of-email-encryption/).