Pros and Cons of Email Encryption

With all the issues surrounding data security today, one important thing to consider is our emails. How secure do you think it is? How accessible it is and how can you protect it?  

Email has improved our work efficiency and communication in the workplace. With our reliance on sending business information through email, an email breach can be your business’ downfall. Email data should remain confidential because a simple mistake can expose any of your company’s top secret. 

If it’s imperative for you to send sensitive data through email, consider email encryption as part of your security plan.  

What is Email Encryption?  

It is a process where email content is being secured from outsiders looking to get access to the user’s information. Contents of the email are converted into a code to protect it against any malicious threats. Once the email is encrypted, it will no longer be readable by a human. Only with your private email key can the email be unlocked and decrypted back to its original message.  

Types of Email Encryption 

There are various protocols used for encrypting emails: 

  1. TLS (Transport Layer Security) which is used by email providers like Google or Microsoft where it secures email while it is in transit. TLS encryption alone does not offer enough level of protection as it only secures and stops emails from being read after they are sent and before they are delivered.  
  2. End-to-end email encryption certifies that email contents are encrypted by the sender and ensures it can only be decrypted by the intended receiver. With end-to-end encryption, emails are guaranteed secure at every step of the delivery. There are two methods where an organization can implement end-to-end encryption:  
  • PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is an email encryption solution where it masks your email content before sending them. Each user with an email address has a pair of keys to encrypt and decrypt an email. One is tied to your email address and can be accessed by anyone, and the other is a private key that is not publicly shared. 
  • S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is mostly like PGP where it uses publickey cryptography to secure email, however, the difference between the two is, S/MIME uses digital certificates instead of keys. Digital certificates are a bunch of code provided by a Certificate Authority (CA). 


How Email Encryption Works

Pros of Email Encryption 

1. Safeguard Critical Information 

Our emails can contain a lot of sensitive information, from banking account details, critical business data, and personal informationTo prevent any data leaks on this important information, email encryption is vital for your business.  

2. Efficiency 

If your business emails are encrypted through the actual platform or program, your employees don’t need to do extra steps to secure their emails. The responsibility lies with your email provider, and your team can just quickly type and send their message without thinking about the multi-step process of securing the attached files.  

3. Authentication 

Using encryption can help your team identify authentic senders. Spam emails always exist and applying encryption in combination with digital signing indicates to the recipient that the sender is authentic, and the contents were untampered.  

4. Cost-efficient 

When your email service has encryption integrated to the server, there is no need for you to purchase any additional software or fees per user. Since all the essential features for encryption are included, you can save a lot of money by getting a trusted third-party service. 

5. Prevent Business Risk 

Without encryption, any person can get access to the information contained in your email. Nowadays, there is a lot at stake, and you don’t want to send unencrypted emails. External or internal threats are always present, and information collected can be used against your business. To prevent such risks, it is recommended to go for encrypted emails.  


Cons of Email Encryption 

Organizations opt to go for end-to-end encryption because it’s thorough in scope and goes beyond the basic protection needed, however, end-to-end encryption is not without its drawbacks. It needs to be maintained regularly and it can be a challenge to manage.  

Another potential pitfall of an encrypting email message is making sure that your email recipient has the necessary tools to decrypt your email, otherwise, he or she could end up getting it and won’t be able to read it.  


Protect Sensitive Information 

With a simply added security, you can be confident that all communications done through an email is not compromised. For additional insights on email encryption, as well as other IT Security concerns, drop us a message or give us a call today.