How could we live, operate without e-mail?
But how secure is this communication channel? Response: absolutely not!
SMTP stated, as long as other protocols, in the 70s as part of US Government's ARPANET project and was defined as a standard by RFC 821 in 1982 and extended in 2008 with RFC 5321.
What does a mail looks like? See below, it's high tech
All this is done in clear text over the wire.
So, by default, you don’t have any warranty on any element of the email, like:
Real Identity of the sender
Content of the mail, including the “From” displayed by your client
Even worse, email is vulnerable to eavesdropping.
Encrypted e-mail has become an operational necessity in today’s competitive digital business environment. E-mail encryption protects private, sensitive and valuable information communicated via e-mail. E-mail encryption can be deployed using e-mail encryption software, secure e-mail servers or secure webmail centers.
E-mail inside the company
Some of the above issues are more or less addressed by enterprise e-mail software like Microsoft® Outlook/Exchange, Lotus® Notes/Domino, Novell® Groupwise and a large range of OpenSource solution.
They are also available for mobile users including those with RIM BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Android handheld devices Users, sometimes, leave their desktop unattended, with e-mail client open.
But, do you trust your e-mail administrator? You should (probably) not!
E-mail administrators can send e-mails on behalf of other and give permissions to others do so. They can even read confidential e-mails…
So, even inside the company, the “From” is questionable and the security is weak.
The workaround: S/MIME
S/MIME is on an IETF standards track and defined in a number of documents, most importantly RFCs 3369, 3370, 3850 and 3851 dating as far as 2002.
Inside the company, S/MIME, using Smart-Cards (or USB Token) will provide you with total assurance that the e-mail is coming from the right person and has not been tampered with (signature).
If you further want to protect yourself from eavesdroppers S/MIME will provide you with e-mail encryption.
All you need to use S/MIME is a proper PKI implementation. The e-mail security comes as a free benefit of the PKI.
By partnering with leaders in PKI, RECRO can help you successfully deploy S/MIME and the underlying PKI in your environment.
E-mail outside the company
Outside of the company … it’s the wild wide west: you don’t control anything. Furthermore, Encryption of e-mail shall be policy driven and/or linked to DLP.
When choosing a solution, one shall look at key elements:
- Sender experience
- Recipient experience
- Administration tools and workload
- Integration and Compatibility
S/MIME can potentially be a solution but, even if it’s perfect for inside, it’s sometimes difficult to operate for outside.
By partnering with leaders in e-mail encryption, RECRO can help you define your business and security needs and implement the best solution with outstanding ROI in terms of risk mitigation.
As a global systems integrator and leading IT Security Solution provider, we offer cutting-edge e-mail Encryption platforms that perform end to end e-mail encryption. The Messaging Server can be used to reduce the time, cost, and risks of conducting a wide range of tasks electronically, including the distribution of financial data, HR information, contract negotiations, personalized customer communications and more.
Don’t take chances when it comes to e-mail encryption!