Though we may try to avoid them, emails are a necessary way for businesses to communicate and send across information between colleagues and clients.
From confidential work emails to highly sensitive personal emails, emails are convenient and quick.
However, businesses especially need to be cautious when sending out sensitive information in emails and email attachments.
Any breach within private communication that holds personal data from the clients could also be a breach in GDPR if the company fails to protect their emails.
While many of the emails exchanged within businesses do not contain sensitive information, it only takes one email for the company to put clients' information at risk.
For example, sending social security number in email attachment documents that are unprotected and are then intercepted is extremely damaging to the sender and the recipients.
Likewise, client lists, medical information, and payment details are all commonly sent via email and are risky for businesses to send without protection.
Whilst human error is inevitable, businesses can employ certain security measures to ensure that employees are protecting information sent via email as best they can.
What is the best way to send sensitive information?
With more and more employees opting to work remotely, businesses are forced to communicate and transfer confidential information online, far more often than in person.
Whether over the phone or sent via email, businesses are having to decide for themselves what is the best way to send sensitive information remotely, and how to do so securely.
As email is convenient and useful for sending large files quickly, this method of communication has been one of the most popular for sending sensitive information.
Unfortunately, many businesses are also unaware of the risks that come with sending information in emails and therefore leave themselves vulnerable to hackers.
What is the safest way to email confidential information?
Since its conception in the 1970s, emails and email security has increased dramatically in usage, with phishing attacks and other email hacks also on the rise.
With so much information sent over emails every single day, it is imperative that email security software is used to ensure private information stays private.
It only takes a single email to get into the wrong hands for businesses to find themselves in hot water with their clients, GDPR regulators, or both!
Different types of email security software
How do businesses prevent confidential emails and files from being jeopardised?
Investing in email security software could help companies to prevent intercepting hackers from accessing private messages.
Choosing the right kind of email security software is dependent on what you are sending and how regularly you send sensitive data through emails.
1. Password-protected files
Password-protected files are locked so that the recipient can only open the attached documents with a password set for the attachment.
This method protects sensitive information that is stored in the attachments, however, any personal data that is in the email itself rather than the file is left vulnerable.
Additionally, the person receiving the file will need to be able to access the document themselves and therefore will need the password.
This adds a level of risk as the password would need to be sent to the recipient separately.
2. Email encryption
Encrypting the entire email is one of the safest and most effective methods used to secure emails and their attachments.
Encryption meant that the email and the files themselves are disguised so that hackers are unable to read them, and only the intended recipient can access the data within the emails.
Similar to a password, recipients have a key that they can use to decrypt the files and access the emails securely.
When employing an email encryption provider, such as Sealit, you can rest assured that every email sent is secure.
It is advised that the email provider encrypts every email so that cybercriminals are not targeting specific emails that are holding sensitive data.
Swapping email providers to a provider that encrypts all emails and sensitive data is a stress-free way to ensure that the emails are kept safe.
Another form of encryption for emails is only encrypting the attachment.
Attachment encryption is a cross between password-protected documents and email encryption, where the only email attachment is encrypted.
This is similar to password-protected files, but with the added protection of an encrypted email.
The only possible issues with this method are that it can be quite a time-consuming process and both the recipient and sender must use the same program in order to open the document.