Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Secure Email Certificates

Email Security

Secure Email Certificates - Information Security 

Author: Jeff Berns, Owner/CEO Right Path Investigations March 15, 2011

In today's information age data security is becoming a crucial area of emphasis as online business and ecommerce moves toward a more mainstream user base. Corporations, government and law firms are sending more sensitive and confidential information via email than ever before. Many companies have capitalized on this and are now offering Secure Email Certificates.

Email certificates also known as SMIME certificates, are digital certificates that can be used to sign and encrypt email messages. When you sign an email using an email certificate, only the person that you sent it to can decrypt and read the email.  The recipient can also be sure that the email hasn’t been changed in any way.
If you don’t use an email certificate, your emails can be read by anyone, or any server, that is used to pass the emails to the recipient. This can be a lot people. This would be like sending a letter through the mail so that all of the postal workers and anyone who really wants to can read it. With an email certificate, you are 100% guaranteed to have secure email while it is being transmitted.

Some email servers use a different kind of certificate called a server authentication SSL certificate. This secures all email transmissions from the server to your local computer, but once you send an email to another email account on another email server, it leaves the safe haven and travels to the unprotected lines of the Internet where anyone can read it. An SMIME certificate ensures end-to-end security.

A few companies reputable that offer an excellent product at a reasonable price are CACert, Comodo, Digicert, Entrust, Geotrust, Startcom, and Verisign. If you are going to send sensitive information via email make sure you are using a reputable company and you may not want to go with free encryption services unless it is being offered by one of these reputable company. For example Comodo offers a free version of a Secure Email Certificate http://www.instantssl.com/ssl-certificate-products/free-email-certificate.html

My hope is that this information was helpful to you and may have prevented a breach in your company or organizations data security. Information, research and finding the solution it is what I love to do. Happy trails.

Right Path Investigations - "The RightPI"

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