Zix Blog

Why is SMTP Strict Transport Security not enough?

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 10:26 by Dave Robertson
In the first post in our SMTP Strict Transport Security (STS) standard series, we reviewed the history of TLS, the need to improve its security and how the new, proposed STS standard addresses some of the faults of TLS. But does STS protect every email and every email user? At the time an employee sends an email, there will be no way to know if all of the recipients can be reached via a secure TLS connection. For most organizations, just reporting that TLS was not available or bouncing the email will not be acceptable. Organizations need to exchange email; otherwise communication and workflow...
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Hacking of Legal Firms Reinforces Obligation and Need to Protect Sensitive Client Data

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 23:30 by ZixCorp
Data breaches are a common headline. So much so that we may begin to glance over them, until an incident relevant to our personal lives wakes us up. Law firms are experiencing just that with breaking news about hackers who targeted Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, which represent Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies. From managing lawsuits to negotiating mergers and acquisitions, Cravath and Weil collect, store and exchange massive amounts of sensitive information that is valuable to both criminals and competition. The same is true of any law firm...
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What You Need to Know about SMTP Strict Transport Security

Mon, 03/28/2016 - 12:43 by Dave Robertson
Recently, a number of articles (like this one in InformationWeek ) touched on the new, proposed SMTP Strict Transport Security (STS) standard and how it will help secure email communication. Zix applauds the development of this new standard and its potential to address some of the current security vulnerabilities of TLS. But for an in-depth perspective of STS, we need to understand what STS is changing, how STS benefits email users and what security gaps remain despite this great advancement. To get us started, let’s review the methods and more importantly the flaws of TLS. TLS (...
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The Results Are In — People in the U.S. Stand with Encryption

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 05:00 by ZixCorp
Let’s talk about the “E” word. Encryption — it makes the modern world go round. Every time you shop on the Web, submit an online application for an apartment or log into your bank account online, chances are encryption is a part of the transaction (at least you should hope it is). While we — and everyone from the Director of the NSA to Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg— are advocates of the technology and understand its intrinsic value, there are some that harbor a negative opinion of it. With this duality broadcast almost daily in the media, we felt it was...
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This is the Biggest Privacy Battle in Decades

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 09:07 by ZixCorp
And it’s happening all thanks to an outdated mobile device policy. Smartphones aren’t simply just another technological convenience; containing vast amounts of data, they provide an intimate look into our personal lives and likely hold plenty of information related to our jobs and employers. As mobile devices have flooded the workplace, employees have become better equipped to perform work functions away from their desktop computers. And if you work in IT, these devices often represent a headache. It’s the responsibility of the IT department (as well as management) to set a...
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Apple, Backdoors and New State Laws – Where does it stop?

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 13:46 by ZixCorp
Recently, the California and New York state legislatures introduced bills looking to weaken encryption , specifically as it relates to smartphones. The goal of both bills is to ensure that law enforcement can access the data on the phones of criminals and victims when the devices are seized as evidence and, if passed, would effectively ban the retail sale of smartphones with encryption features. This legislation is just the latest wrinkle in a long-standing debate between privacy and encryption . On one side, we have proponents of “backdoor” access into encrypted devices, albeit...
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It’s Tax Time Again: Protect Client Data with Email Encryption

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 11:48 by Neil Farquharson
Tax season isn’t my favorite time of the year, but for identity thieves determined to grab a tax refund in your name, it is Christmas all over again. By filing fraudulent tax returns, they can not only falsify your return or the returns of your clients, but also they can prevent honest citizens from being able to file their legitimate tax returns on time, leaving them each with an identity theft mess to clean up, while the thieves ma ke off with thousands of dollars in refunds. Tax refund fraud in the U.S. is expected to top $21 billion dollars this season. Thankfully many people are...
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The Worst Passwords of 2015 Revealed

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:43 by Neil Farquharson
By now, our regular readers know how much I love to study the follies of the human condition: how intelligent people sometimes do the silliest of things. For example, the police who searched the home of Adam Magee for a robber and, when finding no-one, declared the house clear and then left - the robber was hiding under the bed. Then there is poor Gregorio Iniguez , once the general manager of the Chilean mint. The agency that presses Chilean coins minted 1.5 million 50-peso coins with Chile spelled “CHIIE.” The blunder cost Señor Iniguez his job, and the coins remain in...
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Securing Data Three Ways: At Rest, Use and In Motion

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 11:32 by ZixCorp
Sensitive data, both personal and corporate, is more vulnerable today than ever before. Pick up any recent newspaper, and odds are that some sort of data breach or vulnerability has occurred. Social Security and credit card numbers, corporate trade secrets, financial news – any data that is stored, used and transmitted online and through connected devices can be exploited and monetized by a skilled and motivated hacker. But these threats aren’t just external. The threat of a disgruntled or even rushed employee is as real as the threat from outside attackers, especially if the...
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Zix Webinar featuring Forrester Research looked at Hosted Email Encryption

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 11:03 by Neil Farquharson
Guest Speaker Kelley Mak of Forrester Research “The use of email encryption…shows your business partners, your customers, your employees that you take security seriously.” These are the words of Kelley Mak of Forrester Research during our live webcast last Thursday. During our one hour webinar, I posited that many organizations are choosing hosted email and hosted encryption that reduce costs due to organizations not needing to maintain in-house infrastructure any more. The costs are predictable and manageable. One of my takeaways from Kelley’s presentation was that...
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