What’s the best way to send and receive the encrypted email?
Encrypted email is a method where email messages are encrypted so that they cannot be read by anyone other than the person who initiated them. Email can be easily read if it doesn’t have encryption. It is important to ensure that encryption is in place for both individual and corporate communications.
There are many methods to protect your email messages via the internet. Some methods may not be as secure as others. Emails can be easily hacked using some methods. This vulnerability can be caused by weak encryption standards or the fact that messages are not encrypted at certain points in their journey.
This blog will discuss the best methods to encrypt email and how to create strong encryption protocols for your enterprise.
What is the secret to email encryption?
The email was not encrypted when it was created. There were no encryption standards and very few ways to send encrypted emails. Messages were sent in plain text. As criminals discovered how easy this standard allowed for the theft of information over time, technologists implemented security protocols to make sure messages were protected from sender to receiver.
The main protocols for email encryption today are:
- Transport Layer Security (TLS).
- End-to-end encryption
These standards are widely used and can be applied in many different ways. We will explain below.
TLS encryption email
Providers such as Microsoft and Google use TLS (Transport Layer Security), today for sending an email. STARTTLS, the most popular email encryption platform for protecting email messages during transit, is actually what you need. STARTTLS, a TLS layer, increases the protection of plain text messages. The email is protected if both the email servers and the communication use the TLS standard.
TLS offers a vastly improved level of security for email. It protects messages in transit from opportunistic man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. MITM attacks attempt to read messages while they are in transit from the sender and the recipient. MITM attacks were common before TLS protocols were developed in the mid-2000s.
TLS provides encryption for data in transit but not the data itself. Only the transmission channel can be encrypted. If an attacker can crack the encryption on the channel, the data will appear as plain text.
TLS has another problem. It only protects your email messages as they travel from your computer to the server. There is no guarantee that your message will be encrypted as it travels from your computer to the server. TLS is not a reliable security method for sensitive data or data that requires high levels of encryption.
End-to-end email encryption
End-to-end encryption, also known as Public Key Encryption, ensures that messages are encrypted on the sender’s device and can only be decrypted by the recipient’s device. The message can’t be read by servers in the middle. End-to-end encryption of email is the best way to secure communications.
Encryption is enabled in end-to-end encrypted emails by using both public and private keys. The public key of the recipient is used by the sender to encrypt a message. The message is decrypted by the recipient using a private key stored on their device.
End-to-end encryption protects messages from being read by any third party at any stage along the message’s journey to its intended recipient. As the data is only encrypted at the user’s endpoint, criminals, overreaching governments and malicious third-arties cannot access it. An attacker could only get jibberish if they went after the server.
Google used its ability to read user messages in the past to decide which ads it would serve to account holders. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2018 that Google had provided user data to third-party app companies. It also stated that “app developers generally have the right to share the data.”
Microsoft O365 does not allow users to view their emails to sell ads. The company can read emails and give personal information to government agencies, however. Microsoft filed a suit against the U.S. government in April 2016 because they were required by law to give customers’ emails and not notify customers.
End-to-end encryption, in contrast to TLS, is extremely secure. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and recipient can read email messages. No one else. Public and private keys are used to secure messages. The recipient receives his public key, and the sender decrypts it with her private key. Only users have access to their private key.
End-to-end encryption has been deemed the best method to protect data. However, there are many ways to implement the algorithm.
PGP email encryption
PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), is an encryption standard that allows messages to be sent. The original users of the platform were journalists and activists who wanted to protect their communications. PGP uses public key infrastructure to decrypt and secure messages.
Here’s how PGP works.
- Alice would like to send Bob encrypted emails.
- Bob generates both public and private key
- Bob retains the private key, and Alice receives the public key
- Alice encrypts Bob’s message with her public key, which she then sends
- Bob uses his private key to decrypt the message
PGP is highly secure and often completely free. However, there are significant limitations to it.
Issues with encrypted PGP email
PGP presents a major challenge for end-users in that managing public keys can be very difficult. End users are responsible to distribute their public keys to those they wish to communicate with.
If the device is lost, the user must go through the entire process of exchanging the public key and all correspondences again. Any email encrypted with the original keys cannot be decrypted. If the device is lost, their private key will also be lost.
s/MIME email encryption
Another platform that relies upon end-to-end encryption is the Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (referred to as “s/MIME”). Unlike PGP s/MIME uses digital certificates issued by a certificate authority (CA), for encryption. S/MIME uses digital signing to create an email signature. This is to make sure that the message’s origin is correct.
Problems with s/MIME-encrypted email
One of the biggest challenges with s/MIME is that it isn’t available for web-based email clients like Gmail. It cannot also be accessed via a web portal. Another challenge is that s/MIME allows private keys to be stored on the server to make sure that they can be recreated in case of loss or theft. Criminals could gain access to encrypted email addresses by obtaining copies of private keys from a server that has been attacked.
Another challenge is that users of s/MIME in enterprise settings have found it very difficult. Administrators spend a lot of time managing multiple certificates for employees. In an enterprise setting, s/MIME is rarely used.
PreVeil is the best way to send and get encrypted email
PreVeil, a modern end-to-end encryption system that provides the highest level of security and is easy to use for enterprises, is an excellent example. PreVeil provides:
- It is simple to download and install across your enterprise. This platform makes key distribution and creation easy so users don’t have to do it all themselves.
- Password-free solutions. Passwords can be easily cracked. They are not recommended for use by best-in-class email systems. To confirm user identity, the best-in-class systems should instead use cryptographic keys. These keys can’t be guessed, or hack.
- Protection against admin attacks. Administrators are often the keys to the kingdom. Hackers can gain access to vast amounts of company information if an admin is attacked. It is better to make sure admins don’t have direct access to user data. Administrators should instead require digital consent from a predefined group of people before they can access sensitive materials.
- Server attacks are protected with end-to-end encryption. Data is encrypted on the server all the time. Even if an attacker managed to gain access to the server’s data, it would only be jibberish.
- Integration with popular platforms such as Gmail and Outlook is seamless. Users don’t need to switch platforms to send secure emails.
PreVeil was also awarded PC Magazine Editors’ Choice because it is “very simple to use” and does not require changing to a new address. It uses high-end encryption techniques and security techniques, including a unique key recovery method that allows you to share bits and pieces with your friends. ”
Securest Encrypted Email
Email encryption may seem daunting, but there is an easy-to-use end-to-end encrypted solution. Your organization does not need to try to solve encrypted email on its own. PreVeil, a provider that provides the highest standard in email encryption and eliminates friction for both the user’s enterprise and the recipient, is a better choice.