What is the difference between e-mail and a digital postbox?

E-mail is often a corporation's greatest vulnerability when it comes to IT security. And e-mails are far from a secure form of communication for important, sensitive or confidential information. That is why every corporation should carefully consider the alternative: a digital postbox.

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Tine Havkrog Brandenborg
Tine Havkrog Brandenborg
Senior Business Development Manager

E-mail

Is not instant messaging in a closed network, but the good news is that you can make e-mail communication secure by using an encrypted digital postbox

Why are e-mails not secure?

In today's digital world, an e-mail is like a postcard: on the journey from sender to recipient, anyone can read the contents.

Of course, it is rather inconsequential when a snooping mailman reads that you are on holiday in Italy, and the weather is nice. However, when corporations communicate through e-mail, whether internally, with customers or business partners, they should exercise caution – especially when sending sensitive or confidential information.

 

What risks are associated with e-mail?

The fact that e-mail is not the most secure form of communication is perhaps not a secret, but many users do not fully comprehend the extent of their exposure once an e-mail is sent. It is important to understand that e-mail is not instant messaging in a closed network.

This means that, in addition to well-known risks like phishing scams, viruses and spam, there is a risk that unauthorized third parties – people other than the e-mail's intended recipient – can get access to the contents. And that is why any corporation, as an absolute minimum, should develop a plan to protect sensitive personal data when communicating through e-mail.

 

What alternatives to e-mail exist?

Despite the pitfalls of e-mail, it remains an inescapable form of communication on the internet and a fundamental requirement for accessing the vast majority of services we use. The good news is that you can make e-mail communication secure by means of encryption. Encryption, to further the analogy, corresponds to putting your postcard in an envelope – an envelope which can only be opened by the intended recipient.

Fear of cyberattacks is not the only driving force behind corporations' need for more secure e-mail infrastructure. If, for instance, your company is active in Europe and it sends unencrypted e-mails containing sensitive data, it is in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which the EU has amended and can now impose fines of up to five percent of a corporation's global turnover for breaking the law.

According to the EU, encryption is a fitting security precaution for both public and private players.

Another option that allows you to securely send sensitive data is the digital postbox. A digital postbox can be used to send digital post safely between public authorities, citizens and corporations.

 

What is the difference between e-mail and a digital postbox?

In contrast to ordinary e-mail, users of a digital postbox are protected. Whether you are a citizen, public authority or private corporation, a digital postbox protects you against unwanted mails, advertisements, phishing attempts, viruses, and spam. This is a significant difference that distinguishes a digital postbox from an email where anyone can send and share an email with others.

When using a digital postbox, all communication happens in a closed network, and due to its secure electronic ID login process, only verified and approved users have access to the network. This means that the identity of each and every user, whether a private citizen, public institution or corporation, is validated by the login process, which in turn provides the sender with the peace of mind that the recipient is in fact the intended recipient. In other words - with a digital postbox, you have full control – not just of who receives your communications, but of whose communications you receive. This very much differentiates a digital postbox from an e-mail account.

In Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and Greenland, e-Boks delivers a platform for digital post used by citizens, public institutions and corporations alike – which live up to and even exceed the demands of the GDPR and each nation's specific legislation. At e-Boks, security is the highest priority – all precautions are taken, all communications encrypted, and every technical detail considered.

 

 A digital postbox from e-Boks is created using a privacy-by-design approach. This means that data protection is incorporated at every step of the way – from development to end-user delivery. It is an integrated part of e-Boks' IT structure, business processes, value chain, and product life cycle. This guarantees that any information transferred using an e-Boks solution, no matter the type or sensitivity, fulfills the current demands of the GDPR as well as any country-specific legislation.

When a corporation makes use of e-Boks, that corporation can rest assured that only intended recipients will be able to access information, that all its most sensitive documents and communications are protected to the fullest extent possible, and that it is in compliance with all applicable national and international data security and privacy laws.

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  • For more than 20 years, we have helped public authorities and businesses securely digitise their communication flows.
  • We proudly provide the governments of Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Ireland with national digital post solutions.
  • Well-renowned international banks, insurance companies and energy service providers have chosen to use the e-Boks platform instead of pursuing their own solutions.

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