The security of digital communications has increasingly become an important issue for internet users. To placate such concerns, Microsoft has now announced that it will be launching email encryption for Office 365 users come 2014.
Email is probably the most popular tool for business communications as well as any other private communications online. Recent leaks by Edward Snowden suggest that NSA has access to the emails hosted by most popular companies such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.
This has raised many questions about the security of these email services. In fact, many tech companies have been accused of willfully sharing the exploits and vulnerabilities in their email services with NSA, so that the latter could use them, for purposes of surveillance.
Microsoft has now announced that it will be offering email encryption for all communications via Office 365, starting from early 2014. This encryption will be applied to all emails sent by an Office 365 account and will remain encrypted even if the message is forwarded or if any reply is appended to it.
“No matter what the destination — Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail, Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Squirrel Mail, you name it — you can send sensitive business communications with an additional level of protection against unauthorized access” says a post on Microsoft Office blog.
While this is a good step by Microsoft in ramping up the security of Office 365 communications, one hopes that agencies such as NSA don’t already have the decryption tools for such encrypted communications. If that is so, there remains little else to safeguard the emails from.