What Is An Email Encryption Gateway?
2 min

What Is An Email Encryption Gateway? (Definition & Explainer)

Posted by Picture of Sam Kendall Sam Kendall

An email encryption gateway is an essential tool for securing a business’ enterprise email communications. It makes sure that any sensitive information contained in email messages is protected from unauthorised access by encrypting them before they are sent to external recipients.

Email encryption gateways are a key component of an outbound email security strategy. They are used to encrypt email communications between your organisation and external parties, protecting the confidentiality and integrity of message content as it passes through unencrypted channels.

In addition to email security, they can also be used for compliance with data security regulations, ensuring sensitive information is not leaked during transmission or stored on servers without proper protection.

Some email encryption gateways are hosted on-premise and fully managed by internal company administrators. Other gateway solutions provide a managed service run on cloud-based technology.

Inbound vs. Outbound

Email encryption gateways have two primary functions:

Outbound email encryption encrypts sensitive emails on delivery.

Outbound encryption gateways are a powerful tool for encrypting your communications with anyone outside your security infrastructure. This can include customers, partners, vendors, or any staff working remotely.

When you send an email to someone outside of your company infrastructure, only the intended recipient of that email should be able to decrypt it. This protects sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Inbound email encryption plays a couple of roles. It:

  • Handles incoming encrypted emails securely, making sure they stay protected until the intended recipient needs to gain access.
  • Decrypts incoming encrypted emails so that the intended recipients can read them and download any attachments they contain.

In many cases, organisations can configure a gateway to only allow and route encrypted emails from certain senders using a whitelist of approved domains.

This approach allows for better control over what data is protected, as well as who has access to that data once it's been decrypted.


On-Premise vs. Cloud

Companies can choose to install their email encryption gateway software on their server, or their provider’s. If a company chooses to host their encryption gateway, the data will usually be stored on-premise, whereas a managed service will store data in a cloud installation managed by their provider.

There are benefits to both installation types, depending on a business’ needs. On-premise deployments give an organisation full control over its infrastructure, which for regulatory requirements, may be preferential. Cloud deployments offer scalability, cost efficiencies, and third-party support.

Regardless of the installation type, most gateway vendors support integrations with major mail servers including Exchange, Office 365, G Suite and IBM Domino.


How To Get Started

The benefits of email encryption gateways are clear, but there are many things to consider in choosing your provider. At Beyond Encryption, our team supports you to deploy our email encryption gateway, Mailock, every step of the way.

We offer both on-premise and cloud installation options, and you’ll benefit from the authentication features that make Mailock the most secure email encryption gateway and the solution of choice for UK financial service providers.

If you're still unsure about which type of email encryption gateway is right for you, book a call with our technical sales team for a free consultation.

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