December 18, 2019
‘How do I send an encrypted email?’ – the question that keeps popping up online every now and then and is yet to receive a definitive answer.
Sure, there are a bunch of articles on the internet, but somehow it does not quench the thirst for a viable solution.
Cybercrime continues to do increasingly more damage to the world of business.
Some predictions say it is bound to cost the world a whopping $6 trillion annually by 2021 so everybody and their mom begin to question their security practices.
It’s like when everyone in the office starts catching the flu.
You already have employees calling in sick and others showing up with the symptoms. You can’t walk across the office without hearing someone cough or sneeze.
Occasionally, that guy who always wears an oversized jacket with a dad tie every day (which somehow gets progressively weirder than the ones he wore the day before), blows his nose in an enthusiastic and obnoxiously loud way, heard across the entire office and probably a couple of neighboring floors, too.
It is only then that you begin to consider taking preventative measures – vitamins, supplements, or even medication – just to make sure the flu does not get to you too.
Unfortunately, cybersecurity is treated in a similar fashion.
There never seems to be the budget for cybersecurity needs, until you realize the reality of the looming threat.
Some organizations don’t realize the problem until after their security has been penetrated. But even then the likelihood of a recurring breach is almost 28%.
When not a day goes by without someone getting hacked, boosting your company’s ‘immune system’ is the only right move to make.
Naturally, you build up solid defenses where the enemy is likely to strike.
Email is known to be used as the breach vector in 96% of social cyber attacks, so it makes sense to begin looking for ways to securely send sensitive information.
Encryption seems like a valid option, but how do you get started?
Let’s clear up the confusion.
It is safe to assume you are somewhat familiar with encryption (after all you are browsing the article on how to send an encrypted email). But regardless, they say repetition is the best teacher, so let’s take a moment to re-establish the basics.
Encryption is a process of encoding the information in a way that only the authorized recipient is able to decode and access that information.
Simply put, what encryption does is it take plain understandable email content, scramble it into unreadable cypher data, and transform it back to its original form when the recipient receives the email.
This way of handling content makes the transfer over public internet much safer.
Even when your encrypted email gets intercepted, the hacker will still need to deal with the encryption to get to the content.
Just like in every Hollywood heist movie ever.
A group of criminals storm in, handle security and get to the safe. There is always that one guy (or girl) that’s on the team specifically to crack the safe and get to whatever goodies are inside.
The stronger the safe, the harder to break through it.
In the digital world, unlike the case with the safe, some encryption cannot be cracked using brute force.
Sometimes the supercomputing power to bust the key just isn’t available.
However, not everything protected with a key can be considered encryption.
It is more than just a zipped file with a password lock sent via email. Encryption protocols have a sophisticated approach to the generation and distribution of keys, and the process of ciphering and scrambling data.
The current encryption protocols that you want to care about are S/MIME and PGP as these are the protocols that the majority of encryption solutions use to ensure security.
S/MIME is a certificate-based encryption solution that allows you to both encrypt and digitally sign a message. This way, sender identity is validated and only the intended recipient can decipher the encrypted content of the email.
To successfully use S/MIME, you need to have the recipient’s public key. Only then you will be able to encrypt the content so the recipient can decrypt it with his private key.
In the meantime, the recipient needs to make sure his private keys are safe. If the private key is compromised and needs to be changed, the new public key needs to be sent out.
Basically, here are the prerequisites to exchanging S/MIME encrypted emails:
S/MIME encryption is used in Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail app, but you have probably never used it because, let’s admit, it is a lot of hassle to set up and use properly.
PGP defines its own encryption methods and takes a different approach to signing the information.
Instead of using the hierarchy of certificates to build trust around the public keys (like the X.509 PKI used in S/MIME), PGP relies on something known as the Web of Trust for decentralization of trust anchors.
Before you get confused, instead of trusting the authority at the root of the hierarchy, WoT works on a who-knows-who basis to evaluate the trust level of the sender-recipient key pair.
Essentially, it is like relying on user reviews to buy a certain product, rather than the opinion of the expert hired by the manufacturer.
Despite avoiding the single point of failure which hierarchies are more prone to, using the Web of Trust has a notable downside. If your private key is compromised or lost, you lose exclusive access to your encrypted emails.
The system thinks you still have the key (or the only one who owns it) and continues to send you the emails you cannot open. It will take time to convince the system that you no longer have the key or it has been compromised before you are able to get yourself a new private key.
As you can probably tell, both of these encryption protocols have their fair share of imperfections that put valuable data at risk.
The StealthMail team recognizes the existing problem.
The experts behind StealthMail have been working on high-profile mission-critical cybersecurity projects for 12-years until committing to create an enterprise email security solution capable of dealing with the most prominent cyber threats.
They have designed a patented Stealth Mashup technology which ensures a military-grade encryption previously unavailable for commercial use.
It means as long as you are using StealthMail, your email communication is completely immune to BEC, EAC, spear phishing, and man-in-the-middle attacks.
StealthMail enables you to send encrypted emails without having to bother with the hassle of per-user key management or trusting a third party to do it for you.
StealthMail is more than your average encryption tool, it is a state-of-the-art solution built to take the security of your email correspondence to the next level.
To find out more about StealthMail, please download datasheet at https://StealthMail.com/en/info.