The world of email encryption has changed significantly in the past few years. The leading tools are evolving, each in their own way:
- HPE/Voltage SecureMail is now part of Micro Focus, part of an acquisition of other HPE software products
- Virtru Pro has extended its product with new features and integrations
- Inky no longer focuses on an endpoint encryption client and has instead moved into anti-phishing
- Zix Gateway rebranded and widened its offerings
- Symantec Email Security.cloud has added integrations
[ Email encryption review: HPE/Voltage Secure Email vs. Virtru Pro vs. Inky vs. Zix Gateway vs, Symantec Email Security.cloud | Get the latest from CSO by signing up for our newsletters. ]
Before I get into the details of these tools, let’s look at several trends in the email encryption arena.
Email encryption trends
Vendors are widening the focus of encryption
Encryption continues to become easier to use and more capable. Now encryption is moving in an interesting direction. Vendors have begun to see the encryption forest instead of individual trees and have widened their focus. Email encryption has become just one feature in an entire email protection portfolio that includes anti-spam, anti-phishing and data loss prevention (DLP). No single vendor offers a complete portfolio, and some are stronger in certain areas. I will get to those specifics in the next section.
Support for G Suite and Microsoft Office
Second, most vendors now offer support for the complete Google G Suite and Microsoft Office product lines, including desktop, mobile and cloud instances of both vendors’ software tools. In some cases, this extends backwards to earlier Office and Outlook versions.How to prevent business email compromise in Microsoft 365https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.433.1_en.html#goog_702480820Volume 0%
Partnerships have become more important
Almost every major encryption vendor has either made key business acquisitions, integrated their technology with other application vendors or their own DLP products, expanded their partnership and reseller programs, or some combination of these elements. As encryption has moved beyond messaging applications, it must take into consideration protecting all kinds of data transfer, whether they be simple file shares on a network drive, records in a database, or emails. This places more of a challenge on vendors to deliver full-fledged solutions that can be deployed across the entirety of a corporate digital domain.
Email authentication protocols becoming more popular
While not encryption, authentication protocols are useful tools to filter out spam and phishing messages. According to a study done earlier this year by 250ok of more than 25,000 domains, adoption has increased by 5% overall since last year and nearly a quarter of these domains show some level of adoption.
This could be caused by two factors. One is the use of DMARC, DKIM and SPF protocols has been encouraged thanks to the mandate by the U.S. federal government issued in 2017. Second is as phishing attacks continue to plague corporations, IT managers have become more motivated to use these protocols to protect their digital infrastructure.