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New TLS email encryption service

Last updated: Monday February 03rd 2014

Assure UK now offers TLS email encryption. Why? In a nutshell, your private email may not be so private. Unprotected messages and file attachments (documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, etc) may as well be printed on a postcard as they traverse the internet. The news is full of bad press where voicemails have been wrongfully intercepted. However, there are also cases of email messages being hacked, sometimes with serious consequences.

Laws by the US Congress (HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Sarbanes-Oxley) require many businesses to establish controls and safeguards over the privacy of certain sensitive information. At Assure UK we use TLS email encryption as a cost effective method to help our clients comply with privacy laws and help protect data.

There are many points where an email may be intercepted as it leaves your PC and travels to the intended recipient. Every email message will be stored on at least two servers on its way; your ISP mail server and on the intended recipient’s ISP mail server. The path an email takes to get to its destination can be complex, and you have little or no control over it.

Traffic monitors are applications capable of scanning the flow of email and fishing out email that contains certain words that may be interesting to the eavesdropper. Any word in your email, such as ‘password’, ‘covenant review’ or ‘contributions listing’ or even a particular domain name, may trigger attention. With nothing other than the personal honesty of IT staff protecting your email and attachment, it is clear that your communication is very, very vulnerable to interception.

“But I have nothing to hide.”
Most people do not have anything to hide. But still, you should lock your doors to prevent loss. The reason that we lock our cars is to keep people out who shouldn’t be in there, and that’s the same reason why you should encrypt your email.

If email encryption technology has been available for years, why haven’t you been using it?
The reason is because it is hard to implement and maintain, very expensive, and often requires that you change your behaviour or perhaps you did not realise until now the importance of safeguarding your email. TLS was designed to make securing your email and file attachments as simple and easy as possible.

Does email interception really happen?
In March 2011, the BBC reported that Lord West urged an e-mail snooping crackdown (read more)

How do we start using TLS email encryption
If you would like to encrypt your email communication between your business and ours, then please contact your Client Service Partner who will be able to guide you through the process.