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Email Encryption

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What is Office 365 Message Encryption (OME)

Traditionally, email messages sent over the internet are sent in plain text.

This presents serious security risks when sending confident/sensitive information via email including attachments. Email Encryption is the process by which the email message and the information and attachments it contains is encoded so that only an authorized recipient can decode and consume the information.

How encryption works

  • When you send an encrypted email message, it is transformed from plain text into unreadable ciphertext.
  • The message remains in ciphertext while it’s in transit in order to protect it from being read in case the message is intercepted.
  • Once the message is received by the recipient, the message is transformed back into readable plain text.

How is it implemented

RODIN has enabled and configured Office 365 Message Encryption for your company. There are two ways in which an email message can/will be encrypted:

  1. Automatically if the message contains an attachment and is sent to an external user outside of your environment.
  2. Manually either via Outlook or Outlook Web Access (OWA).

How to manually encrypt a message in Outlook

When composing a new email message in Outlook, select the options ribbon tab and then select Encrypt:

How to manually encrypt a message in Outlook Web Access (OWA)

When composing a new email message in Outlook Web Access (OWA), select the advanced options and then select Encrypt:

What does an encrypted message look like on the recipient’s side

If a recipient is within the Microsoft suite of email systems (365, Outlook, Hotmail, Live, etc.), then any encrypted email message sent to them on one of those systems is automatically decrypted. They will see a message to say that it is encrypted (below), but the message is visible as any other message would be.

If a recipient is outside the Microsoft suite of email systems (anything other than 365, Outlook, Hotmail, Live, etc., e.g. Gmail) then the message they receive will look like this:

When the user clicks the link to read the message, it will open in their default internet browser and they will have two options:

  1. Sign in with their account to view the message.
  2. Sign in with a one-time passcode.

After the recipient logs in successfully via one of the methods above they can then view the message and any attachments.

What to do if you receive the following error

  1. Close out of all Office 365 applications (Teams, Outlook, etc.) then open up Word.
  2. Sign out of my Office 365 account in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Close out of Word, then open it up again and sign back into my Office 365 account.
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