Intermedia Launches World’s First Secure and Fully-Compliant Email Software as a Service

Posted by Exchange Hosting Reviews as Intermedia, Press Releases

56% of email users falsely believe that email is ‘secure’, research shows

New York, NY (February 12, 2008) - Intermedia, the worldwide leader in business email services, today introduced Secure Mail, the first Microsoft Exchange software as a service (SaaS) that both encrypts email and fully complies with archiving regulations established by a cross-section of industries. This offering represents a real, implementable solution that resolves poor email practices just confirmed by startling new research. A new survey by Intermedia of 500 business email users revealed:

76% send credit card information or social security numbers via email
87% send contracts and legal documents
56% of users believe – incorrectly – that ‘email is secure’
Intermedia’s new service means that, for the first time, small and medium businesses (SMBs) will be able to deploy Microsoft Exchange as a fully-managed service with full encryption and archiving, for just a few dollars per month in fees – instead of $100,000 or more in upfront costs, including solution deployment, integration and management. Email is encrypted directly in Outlook and can only be opened by recipients when a correct password is entered. It then gets archived for compliance purposes.

“With our new Secure Mail offering, SMBs can now afford to comply with email best practices such as encryption and archiving,” said Rurik Bradbury, VP of Strategy for Intermedia. “This is especially important in fields such as finance or healthcare, but even beyond regulated industries, companies should reduce legal risk by protecting and retaining important email. Intermedia has finally made this cost-effective.”

Many businesses must comply with regulations that enforce rules dictating email privacy and information archiving. For example, the SEC specifies that electronic storage media preserve records exclusively in a non-rewriteable and non-erasable format. Sarbanes-Oxley requires saving sensitive material for auditing purposes, while HIPAA mandates strict confidentiality around patient information. Further, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) were changed in 2006 to recognize and account for electronically stored information such as emails and instant messages.

The Secure Mail service will cost $7.95 per mailbox as a monthly fee, with a setup fee of $7.95 each. This is a fraction of the cost of traditional public key infrastructure (PKI) encryption systems, which also take a great deal of effort to deploy. A major benefit of the system is that recipients of the encrypted mail do not have to have the Intermedia software installed, but can pick up their messages via a secure Web connection.

Despite ever-increasing legal risks, many companies continue to send email without encryption – even including sensitive data – and then fail to retain it with an email archiving policy. This, despite the fact that many lawsuits have been awarded following sensitive data leaks or a failure to produce email demanded by lawyers – with millions of dollars in damages.

The Intermedia survey showed general misunderstanding among business users of the fact that email is insecure and sent across the public Internet. A high percentage of respondents admitted to sending important data by email, including strategic company documents (88%), contracts and legal documents (87%) and company financial information (86%). On a more personal level, seventy-six percent of people send social security and credit card numbers via email, even though 44% are aware that it is not secure.

More information is available at www.intermedia.net/securemail

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