Why is PGP a big deal in email security? 

With more than 347 billion emails sent every day, email is the primary means of communication—both internally and externally—for every business.

With sensitive details shared in emails daily, it’s become the target of hackers and cyberattacks. Unintended individuals are intercepting emails and using the valuable content for malicious intentions.

This can result in losses for businesses, impacting them both mentally and financially. This is why now it's more important than ever to prioritize email security. Modern technologies provide multiple ways to ensure tight security.

To combat email security threats, Zoho Mail comes with PGP integration, an end-to-end email encryption for a robust email security. (Learn how you can get started with PGP encryption here.)


What is PGP, and how does it work? 

PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy. It’s a popular program used to send and receive encrypted emails. This program uses a set of public and private keys to achieve military-grade level encryption for email conversations.

To understand PGP, let's take a look at the following scenario.

Alex wants to send a secure email to Dave. To do this, Dave generates a set of keys, including public and private keys for himself. Dave then shares his public key with Alex. Dave’s public key is used by Alex to encrypt an email and send it to Dave. Dave uses his private key to decrypt this email.

The private key should not be shared with anyone to ensure complete security while sending emails.

Now, even if someone manages to intercept the email sent by Alex, they won’t have the Dave’s public and private keys they’ll need to decrypt the email’s contents. So they can't snoop and the email won’t be compromised.  

PGP workflow

The need for PGP today 

Email security is one area where businesses can't afford to slack off. Do you remember when we said that emails contain a lot of valuable data and, in the wrong hands, this can be damaging for any business? To mitigate the ill effects that can result from email compromise, businesses need to have stringent email security practices, such as PGP encryption, in place.

PGP is often considered impossible to hack. This is why, even after all this time, journalists, businesses, and government agencies use it as a reliable means of encryption.

These entities often send emails with sensitive information such as trade secrets, key political information, confidential customer data, health information, and other important data of this nature.

If these data were to get exposed in a data breach or email hack, it would land the organization handling those data in hot water.

Where can PGP help? 

PGP encryption is used for various purposes by businesses and organizations to safeguard their email communications.

Using PGP encryption, businesses can securely exchange confidential information and not worry about their emails getting intercepted in transit. This makes conversing with clients, partners, and shareholders stress-free.

PGP can help with compliance readiness. Regulations like HIPAA and PCI-DSS require organizations to ensure complete protection of sensitive customer information. Implementing PGP can help organizations comply with these regulations.

You can mitigate email spoofing by using PGP-encrypted email communications. Because PGP encryption uses keys to encrypt email messages, they can only be decrypted by another person who has the key needed to encrypt that email. PGP encryption also gives more confidence to the receiver by assuring that the email is secure since the encryption is end-to-end.  

Using PGP in Zoho Mail

You can now send PGP-encrypted emails using your Zoho Mail account. Once your admin has enabled this integration, you can start generating, storing, and sharing keys, all from your mailbox. These keys will enable you to send highly encrypted emails, as well as decrypt messages that are sent using PGP.

Zoho Mail also lets you stay in control of keys you share with others. You can export keys, revoke key access, and delete keys. Zoho Mail's PGP integration also lets you sign emails digitally to ensure your legitimacy as a sender.

Summing up 

Email is at the forefront of every business’s communication efforts. When sensitive details are shared in each email, it’s important to prioritize good email security practices.

Email encryption is nothing to be scoffed at. An unencrypted email can open your business up to lawsuits, loss of customer trust, tarnished reputations, and hefty fines for failing compliance laws and regulations—and the list goes on.

PGP encryption can greatly enhance the security level of your email. PGP uses a set of keys to encrypt and decrypt emails. This means that any third-party intruder who intercepts the email in transit cannot access that email's content.


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