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Chase Hatchery Group

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Bennett Julissa
Bennett Julissa

The Cost of Not Using Encrypted Email

Email remains a primary mode of employee communication, yet an article published by ZDNet in 2023 emphasizes how unencrypted emails leave sensitive data vulnerable to cybercrime.

Email encryption provides protection in transit against snooping and eavesdropping, yet must also be easy for employees to use to be effective.

1. Security

Email is often the preferred communication platform of many small businesses, and can contain sensitive data ranging from travel plans and appointment confirmations with doctors to insurance quotes and employee PII. Email can contain enough sensitive data to cause serious data breaches in the wrong hands.

Studies demonstrate the vulnerability of encrypted email to hackers, according to a 2022 ZDNet article highlighting that phishing remains one of the main tools cybercriminals use to steal information. Furthermore, employees could unintentionally send out emails containing confidential data which compromise their security.

End-to-end encryption, such as that provided by, ensures that only the sender and recipient possess the key, making email encryption indispensable for any business. Without it, emails could be archived and forwarded with scrambled content or leaked on dark web marketplaces, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by malicious parties.

2. Compliance

Email can contain sensitive data such as login credentials, financial data and protected health information (PHI). HIPAA and state recordkeeping and patient confidentiality regulations mandate covered entities and business associates to protect PHI at all times, even while in transit.

As well as data breaches caused by unauthorized access, email leaks often occur due to simple human error. For instance, when a doctor sends unencrypted emails about a patient's condition to an inappropriate recipient due to mistyping the name or email address.

Without encryption, files that traverse outside your infrastructure and lack audit trails expose your organization to compliance violations, fines and reputational harm. Atakama addresses this trade-off between data security and usability by offering a fully integrated email encryption solution that protects all file transfers with end-to-end security.

3. Reputation

Many companies exchange sensitive data through email messages, such as login credentials, credit card and social security numbers - information which, without adequate email encryption measures in place, could fall into the wrong hands.

Hackers have access to your private information, which could be misused against you in order to damage your reputation and incur costly legal and remediation expenses.

Email encryption helps address these concerns by ensuring that only intended readers of your emails can read them. This is accomplished with two keys - one public and the other private - used to decode it. Alternatively, simply including "encrypt" in the subject line of an email will cause it to automatically be encrypted - this feature is available across UTHSC accounts.

4. Time

Email encryption helps reduce the risk of hackers breaking into your network through one of their primary entryways: email. Taking time and care in protecting all email communications could save the expense and penalties associated with a data breach.

Email may appear to be an effortless journey from one computer to the next, but its path often entails multiple stops along the way.

Standard security tools like firewalls and anti-virus programs don't offer enough protection to email messages traveling over the Internet in today's high-risk climate, only email encryption can do that. By encrypting emails healthcare organizations can prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands while mitigating cyberattack impacts.


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