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Strategic Security: Developing a Secure E-Mail Strategy

Message encryption, along with other measures, should be a critical part of your overall security strategy. But poor planning could leave your organization compliant and yet still unprotected. Here's how

   

As an IT manager, your professional life is a balancing act in which you weigh the needs of your department against the reality of your budget. The range of potential purchases that makes up your budget proposal includes "critical" products, as well as not-so-urgent pet projects. Before you finalize next year's capital budget, better be sure you've included funds for e-mail encryption in addition to virus scanning and content filtering.

E-mail security encompasses a wide variety of initiatives that attempt to reduce risk to employees, IT networks, intellectual property and customers. Recent legislation has forced businesses to implement various e-mail security initiatives that might not have been deployed voluntarily. Although virus scan-

ning is old hat to most IT shops and content filtering is becoming just as common, encryption--a broad topic that is often overlooked by small businesses--is becoming increasingly important, especially given the rise of Wi-Fi hot spots and the use of handheld devices, such as Treos and BlackBerrys. The three types of e-mail encryption--boundary, staging server and end-to-end--offer varying levels of security. The type of encryption that makes sense for your company will depend on the kind of business you're in and the type of content you need to lock down.

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