Email Security Blog

Email Security vs. Email Privacy: What You Need to Know

About 300 billion emails are sent and received each day around the world.1 That’s no surprise when you think how vital email is to our work and personal lives. In fact, most organizations would likely struggle to run without it. And as simple as the concept of email might seem, it has brought more risk into businesses than most people realize.

Email was never intended to be private or secure. It was designed in the earliest days of the internet when only a tiny fraction of people were online — and not one them could envision email becoming such an important part of billions of people’s daily lives. At its birth, email was just a way to standardize the transmission of messages between different varieties of computers. That standardization required emails to be readable by anyone who could access network traffic. In other words, it required email to be unsecured and open.

To this day, not much has changed when it comes to how email works. We want to send emails conveniently and receive them promptly, no matter where we are or what device we’re using. Given that the average professional spends 2.6 hours of their day reading and writing emails,2 few would advocate for email becoming a more cumbersome process. And yet, the simpler email is, the more you have to worry about your company’s privacy and security.

Business email compromise (BEC) cost U.S. companies more than $1.7 billion in 2019 alone.3 And BEC is just one of the ways your company’s email system can make you vulnerable to cybercrime. To protect yourself, you need a robust strategy.

How to Improve Your Email Privacy

While privacy and security are related, they are not synonymous. Privacy is about ensuring that unauthorized people can’t access or read your email, while security is about ensuring cyber criminals don’t use email to exploit your company for criminal gain.

How can unauthorized people see your email? Email can be seen:

  • On your device
    If you walk away from your computer or mobile device, anyone nearby can simply open your email and read it.

  • On a network
    Anyone using an unsecured network can have their device hacked into. Additionally, your company’s network system can be infiltrated, exposing your emails.

  • On a server
    Hackers can get into your email server, whether it’s in-house or through a cloud-based email service provider. Given that many people keep years worth of emails in their account, anyone who gets into your server will likely gain access to a lot of information.

  • On the receiver’s end
    The person receiving your email has the same device, network and server vulnerabilities you do.

And it’s not just hackers who might want to invade your email privacy. Your email service provider may want to scan your emails for marketing and service purposes, law enforcement entities might want access to your emails while pursuing an investigation and business associates and competitors might want to know what you’re up to.

To stop prying eyes, you need one tool in particular: encryption.

You likely already use passcodes for devices and encryption for your network. That’s good, and you should regularly remind your employees to frequently change passcodes and never use an unsecured network when out of the office or working remotely. But passcodes and secure networks aren’t enough. To ensure full privacy, you need end-to-end email encryption. Encryption protects your private email by jumbling up your messages and making them impossible decipher. That means that the email is encrypted the moment it’s sent, remains encrypted on any server where it’s stored and doesn’t become unencrypted until the receiver enters an encryption key after it’s delivered to their device.

While email encryption services exist, ensuring end-to-end encryption isn’t always easy, particularly if you have hundreds of contacts. To maintain absolute privacy, everyone you email needs an encryption key and they all need to reply with encryption. That’s a lot to ask and manage — and is rarely done to that level.

How to Improve Your Email security

A cybercriminal doesn’t have to hack into your email system to victimize your organization. All they have to do is execute a successful phishing attack.

According to the FBI, phishing scams are the most common type of internet crime.3 And that makes sense. A cybercriminal only needs to fool one employee with one phishing email to cost your organization money. That’s what makes email security so important — and so hard to achieve without help.

Today’s phishing threats are a lot more diverse and sophisticated than many realize. Modern cybercriminals excel at spoofing emails and landing pages, forging brand identities and executing spear phishing, CEO fraud, whaling attacks and other schemes designed to trick your employees into divulging credentials or transferring funds into fraudulent accounts.

Fortunately, you can help your employees identify and stop phishing attacks with the assistance of an email security solution like INKY. INKY is next-gen security bestowed with unique intelligence and guided by unprecedented vision. Powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision, INKY:

  • Sees what humans can see and the millions of things humans cannot.

  • Identifies and blocks everything from common spam to the most sophisticated phishing threats, including zero-day attacks.

  • Uses intuitive banners on emails to offer gentle — but persistent — cues when something amiss is detected.

  • Integrates seamlessly into any environment and provides a single user experience across desktop and mobile.

  • Adapts quickly to evolving threats and remains active 24/7/365.

Stopping phishing attempts is the key to good email security. And, since phishing emails are often the source of malware designed to provide cybercriminals with access to your email system, good email security can even help you maintain email privacy.

Help your company achieve better email security. Visit INKY today for your free demo.


INKY® is the emerging hero in the war against phishing. An award-winning cloud-based email security solution, INKY® prevents the most complex phishing threats from disrupting or even immobilizing your company’s day-to-day business operations. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, INKY® is the smartest investment you can make in the security of your organization. INKY® is a proud winner of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge and finalist in the 2020 RSAC Innovation Sandbox Competition. Learn more about INKY® or request an online demonstration today.