Email encryption protects data and blocks attack vectors

6. June, 2024

Most cyber attacks start with an email – from phishing, ransomware and malware attachments to social engineering attacks, credential harvesting and data theft.

Email security is therefore an essential part of cyber defence for all organisations.  In addition to checking for malicious code and dangerous links, the encryption and digital signature of emails are important security aspects – and a prerequisite for secure and confidential communication in more and more business relationships.

Why should emails be encrypted?

As it travels from sender to recipient, email can pass through many servers and countries – no matter where the people involved are located. If the data is not protected as it travels through the Internet, it can easily be intercepted or even tampered with.

„Emails are like postcards,“ IKARUS CEO Joe Pichlmayr explains: „Anyone can read them, add information, forge signatures or edit address details.“

By digitally signing and encrypting emails, you can prevent them from being viewed or manipulated by unauthorised parties. It also blocks popular social engineering attacks by denying cybercriminals access to internal information or authentic email histories. At the same time, encryption protects your trade secrets and privacy, and complies with data protection recommendations when sending sensitive information.

How does email encryption with S/MIME work?

S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a secure standard for encrypting and digitally signing email using asymmetric encryption or Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The recipient’s public key is used to encrypt content that can only be decrypted using the private key. The public key can be securely exchanged via an unencrypted but signed email.

To ensure that the identity behind the keys is known, S/MIME certificates should be obtained from recognised certificate authorities that verify the identity of the applicant or the email addresses. These certificates are also automatically recognised by popular email providers and do not require any further manual intervention.

Encrypt and sign emails with IKARUS

IKARUS users have access to unique, unbound S/MIME certificates from the recognised certificate authority Certum. For ease of use, IKARUS manages the transmission of the certificate signing request and the verification of company and email addresses. The assignment of certificates to email addresses can be defined and adjusted as required – a unique advantage that enables flexible response to changing requirements.

The IKARUS Portal provides various options for setting up email encryption. The requirements of the organisation can be precisely mapped and centrally adjusted using simple rules.

The solution is client independent and requires no further action by the user. Encryption and decryption are performed automatically and according to defined rules directly through IKARUS, so no additional effort or steps are required. As a result, organisations can easily and cost-effectively implement email security and privacy compliance requirements.

Test IKARUS with S/MIME free of charge:

Contact us at +43 1 58995-500 or!

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