Trend Watch: Email Encryption Needs within Local Government


Thought Leadership

Trend Watch: Email Encryption Needs within Local Government

Geoff Bibby

In tough economic times, counties and cities face the increasing challenge of providing more services to more people under tightening budgets. In managing an abundance of public works, local governments are collecting and transmitting sensitive personal information. To ensure citizen privacy and security, yet maintain open lines of communication, counties and cities are turning to email encryption.

Email Encryption enables local governments to securely transmit personal, health and financial information. In doing so, they maintain public trust and stand as a responsible community leader and an example to local businesses. Additionally, email encryption assists local governments in meeting regulatory requirements that face both public and private organizations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

To determine if your local government needs email encryption, start by asking the following questions:

•Is your organization connected to health and human services, such as senior case, mental health or addiction relief programs?
•Does your organization process and circulate individual background checks?
•Is your organization responsible for communicating tax or fiscal information?
•Does your organization partner with any outside providers who assist you with any public works?
•How many employees manage the collection and transmission of sensitive data, and how many are currently emailing that information?
•Are your employees faxing sensitive personal information that could be transmitted securely through email?
•Does your organization fall under any federal regulations?
•Is your organization regulated by any state requirements?

If you’ve assessed your needs and decided to move forward with an email encryption solution, we recommend reviewing the following questions as a solid foundation to selecting a superior solution that meets your unique local government needs:

•Should your organization encrypt email through keywords or content filters?
•What steps are required for your employees to send and receive encrypted email?
•What steps are required for external users to receive and reply to encrypted email?
•Is the solution required to be on-premise, or can it be hosted in the cloud?
•How is the solution deployed, and what resources are required for maintenance?
•Does the cost fit within your IT budget? Can you collaborate with any surrounding local governments to save resources?

Collaboration between cities and counties is a great opportunity to leverage a superior solution at a lower cost. A recent example of local governments working together occurred in Minnesota, where ZixCorp assisted 11 counties in building a collaborative. With an established reputation as a reliable solution provider to nearly half of Minnesota counties, the 11 counties trusted ZixCorp to work side-by-side in building a relationship which merged their user numbers and unified their common county needs. Collaboration between the counties enabled them to take advantage of higher user discounts, meet their budget requirements and implement the industry’s leading email encryption solution.

For more information on how email encryption plays a role in local government, please read the recent ZixIntelligence Report – Privacy Isn’t Just for the Private Sector: Simplifying Email Encryption for Government Agencies.