What is Email Encryption? Important , process and difference

 Encryption functions are techniques that are meant to make data unreadable to anybody who does not have access to the corresponding decryption key. Data that has been encrypted using a robust encryption technique may be sent over a public channel without the sender needing to be concerned about eavesdroppers.

Because email protocols do not come equipped with encryption by default, it is possible for anybody to read the contents of an email if it is intercepted while it is in transit. The solution to this problem is known as email encryption, which encodes private communications so that only the persons to whom they are addressed may read them.

The Importance of Using Encryption When Sending Email

It is possible for emails to include confidential company data as well as personal information that is protected by data privacy rules. If these emails are intercepted and accessed by a third party that is not permitted to do so, they may divulge intellectual property or trade secrets, putting an organisation at risk of incurring legal fines for failing to comply with relevant regulations.

Encryption of email provides a business with the ability to safeguard the confidentiality of its communications, as well as to remain in compliance with applicable regulations. As a consequence of this, it is an essential part of a business's data and email security programme, as well as a standard prerequisite for compliance with data privacy regulations.

How Does the Encryption Process Work for Email?

The process of encrypting data may be carried out using either symmetric or asymmetric encryption techniques. In symmetric encryption, the same secret key is used for both encryption and decryption, but in asymmetric encryption, also known as public-key cryptography, the encryption is done with a public key and the decryption is done using a private key that is associated to the public key.

Although it is feasible to employ symmetric cryptography for the purpose of encrypting email, doing so needs the capacity to safely communicate a secret key with the person who is supposed to receive the message. If this key is delivered via email, the email itself will need to be decrypted in order for the receiver to be able to read it. Because of this, an eavesdropper may be able to intercept this email and use the key that is sent to decode the encrypted email.

As a direct consequence of this, several email encryption protocols make use of asymmetric cryptographic methods. Because the key that is used for encryption in asymmetric cryptography is public, it is possible to send it through unsafe email or to publish it on an insecure website. For instance, this is the location of Check Point's public key, which may be used to report vulnerabilities through encrypted email.

It is possible to construct an encrypted email for a user by using the user's public key. This email, however, cannot be read by an eavesdropper. When the email is received by its intended recipient, they are able to decrypt it using the matching private key, which results in the production of the initial message.

Different Varieties of Email Encryption

The distribution and verification of a user's public key is the primary problem when using public key cryptography for the purpose of email encryption. If the public key that is used to decrypt the email belongs to an eavesdropper rather than the attacker, then the email encryption is useless.

There are a few various ways that public keys may be disseminated, and they are all dependent on the kind of email encryption being used. The following are two of the most prevalent kinds of encryption used for email:

S/MIME stands for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. S/MIME is the email encryption protocol that is used the most often since it is integrated into a large number of mobile devices and webmail platforms. For the purposes of generating, disseminating, and validating public keys, S/MIME makes use of a centralised public key infrastructure (PKI). An IT administrator, for instance, may serve in the capacity of a root certificate authority (CA), which is responsible for the distribution of digital certificates to workers and the linking of their identities to their public keys. These certificates may be disseminated to workers using the company's email system so that they can communicate securely with one another using encrypted messaging.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP): PGP depends on a more decentralised and informal way of creating and sharing public keys. PGP was developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Users are responsible for both the generation of their own public and private keypairs as well as the distribution of their own public keys. The public key for Check Point, which was discussed before, is an example of a PGP key. PGP is not incorporated into as many email systems as other encryption methods, therefore using it to encrypt and decode communications may need additional software.

The Numerous Advantages of Encrypting Email

Encryption of email is a strong technique for protecting the privacy of sensitive data. The following is a list of some of the primary advantages that email delivers to an organisation:

Email encryption provides an additional layer of data privacy and security by making it impossible for snoops to read the contents of intercepted emails. This helps to preserve the privacy and security of sensitive company and customer data that may be included in or attached to an email. This data may include either the body of the email itself or any files that are attached to it.

Authentication: Email encryption helps to guarantee that a message can only be opened and read by a person who has the correct private key. This may be helpful in protecting against assaults through email spoofing, which is when someone claims to be a trustworthy party such as a colleague or another party.

Compliance with Legislation Most regulations governing the protection of personal information require that any such information be encrypted both while it is at rest and while it is in transit. Encrypting messages sent over email is one way for a company to fulfil this second criteria.

Check Point is Here to Help You Secure Your Email

As a result of the fact that data privacy and security were not a priority concern when email protocols were initially created, many email protocols, along with other Internet protocols, are not encrypted by default. As a consequence of this, a person who is listening in may be able to intercept, read, and maybe even alter these conversations.

By preventing an eavesdropper from being able to read emails that have been intercepted, email encryption helps to reduce the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks (also known as MitM attacks). The Check Point and product known as Harmony Email and Collaboration has capabilities for encrypting emails built right in.

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