Email communication is a vital tool for businesses, but it is far from secure and can expose an organization's sensitive information and put its data at risk.
This is why companies need to secure their data with different security solutions and one of the most important that they can use to prevent unauthorized access is enterprise email encryption.
In this article, we'll take a look at the 10 best email encryption services for enterprise clients and what they offer, so if you are looking to protect your email communications from bad actors, check out these services.
What is Email Encryption?
Email encryption is the process of protecting the email data (subject line, message, attachments) by scrambling the contents so that only the intended recipient can access and read them.
Email encryption is done at two levels - in transit (TLS) and at rest (E2EE).
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the standard in email security with most email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, YahooMail, etc. This will secure email as it travels from sender to recipient and prevents a third party from interrupting and reading the email before it is delivered.
However, Transport Layer Security only protects email communications in transit, but not before (sender) or after it is delivered (recipient), meaning on the mail servers. This is where end-to-end encryption (E2EE) comes in.
End-to-end encryption uses public/private key infrastructure to secure messages, where the message is first encrypted using the recipient's public key and then decrypted with the private key that only the recipient has.
End-to-end email encryption has two methods - Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME). While both of these email encryption methods are similar in that they use encryption keys, PGP is mostly for personal and office use for plain text, while S/MIME is more an enterprise email encryption solution and works on multimedia files as well and it also uses digital signatures.
What is a digital signature and why is it used?
A digital signature verifies the email sender's identity (that they are who they say) and protects the recipient from "spoofing" (someone impersonating the sender).
Why is Encrypted Email Important for Your Business?
Email encryption helps protect the integrity and privacy of your email messages at rest and in transit.
As email remains the primary way of communication for a lot of businesses, both internally and externally, making sure that your email messages are secure is critical.
Almost all phishing attacks (96%) come from email, while only 3% and 1% are from malicious websites and phone, respectively, according to Verizon's Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) 2021.
Email, however, remains largely insecure as it is delivered across the Internet and local network as plain text. This means the sensitive information that might be included in the email messages, subject, and attachments is vulnerable to interception by third parties such as cybercriminals and government agencies.
And that is where encrypted email comes in. To protect your organization from cyber attacks and data loss, whether we're talking about incoming emails or outgoing ones.
What Type of Email Encryption Works Best to Secure Messages?
We've already explained that email can be encrypted in transit, at rest, or both (end-to-end encryption). So which of these is the best for your organization to protect against a data breach?
Most popular email systems such as Gmail, YahooMail! and Microsoft Outlook use Transport Layer Security (TLS). And this is good as it helps the message remain secure when traveling from the sender's computer to the recipient's mail server and their computer.
Where the usefulness of TLS ends, however, is "at the ends." While TLS ensures secure email delivery and protects specifically against "Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MitM), it doesn't secure emails if only one party uses TLS and the other doesn't, nor when the email is on the mail server.
This is the domain of encryption at rest and a lot of platforms, such as Google, for instance, encrypt data on their servers (at rest) and that way protect your data from getting stolen.
However, there's a problem with this type of encryption as well. The server and the company that owns it has the keys to your encrypted messages and can decrypt them at any time. And if they can, be sure that a hacker can as well.
So, if neither email in transit nor email at rest can give you the security that your data needs needs, what kind of encryption solution can?
End-to-end encryption, such as PGP and S/MIME, secure your existing email on your device using a public/private key infrastructure that we explained before. This means that no one, including the email platform whose servers you're using can decrypt and read your email data.
Large organizations need email encryption to protect data just as, if not more than individuals and smaller organizations. However, finding a good email enterprise solution that will fully address the varied needs of an enterprise for enhanced protection is not an easy task.
PGP encryption, in particular, can be difficult for regular users to set up and use.
It requires you to install a PGP software on your device, then use that software to generate a key, back up the key, create a revocation certificate, before you can actually use it to encrypt emails.
Luckily, with Liverado you don't have to use a third-party software to encrypt email. Instead, your privacy and security are already guaranteed with the OpenPGP encryption standard on the client-side, while the messages are encrypted using ECC (curve25519 or better) keys, which is the highest in the industry.
Only you have access to your data as not even Liverado can read your messages thanks to our strict zero-data access and non-data retention policy.
Sign up today for Liverado and secure your email data.