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Office 365 Email Encryption

What should I know about email Encryption?

As Moraine Park migrates email to Office 365, email encryption may occur automatically by Office 365, or you may manually encrypt your email in the Outlook web app. Automatic encryption can occur when Microsoft detects sensitive PII in the email body or the attachment. As a best practice, PII type information should only be sent via email as a last resort. Sharing the document from your OneDrive or SharePoint environment is a more secure way of handling this type of information. For more information on how to do this, please open a support ticket and we will help you learn more about those features.

What does it mean when an email is Encrypted?

Instead of the contents of the email, including the attachments, being sent to the recipient, the email is uploaded to a secure web service. The recipient receives an email with a link to view the email on the secure service.

Encrypted email to recipient example

The recipient clicks “Read the message” and is taken to the Office 365 login page. They can either sign in with their email address and password or they can opt to receive a 1 time passcode to sign into the service. **Note: If they don’t currently have an Office 365 account, it will have them set a password and create a guest account for them. Once signed in they will see the email and any attachments. They will be able to reply and upload attachments of their own. The entirety of the conversation is saved on the secure service, eliminating the risk of the sensitive information being intercepted in transit.

Email example

Automatic Email Encryption

Microsoft’s built in security service will scan emails for patterns that match sensitive PII. This could include credit card, Social Security, Passport, Driver’s License, and Bank Account numbers. If the scan finds content in a message or attachment that matches any of those patterns, it will encrypt the emails. The recipient will receive the secured email notice with a link to open the email on the secure web portal.

Manually Encrypt Email

When you forward, reply, or create a new email in the Outlook web app, there will be a new button to Encrypt the email. Clicking that button will send the email and attachments through Microsoft’s secure email service after you click the Send button.

Encrypt email manually example

Please contact the Technology Help Line at ext. 4357 or 1-877-230-3509 for further assistance.

Published by Information Technology on March 31st, 2023.