SMCU was searching for an email encryption solution to protect the sensitive data of its more than 70,000 members, including their account numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.
“We want all of that data to be encrypted when it’s sent to our members through email,” says Brian Thomas, network administrator for SMCU. He adds that SMCU wanted to be proactive about finding a secure email solution, and not wait for requirements to be communicated by external auditors in response to regulatory compliance demands. “We knew that implementing a secure email solution would be in the best interest of our members regardless,” he says.
Thomas and members of his team evaluated several email encryption solutions, but he says SecureMail stood out because of its ease of use. “We saw the demo and knew it was the right solution for our organization,” says Thomas. “Ease of use was a key factor in our decision. Clicking the Voltage SecureMail ‘Send Secure’ button inside of Microsoft Outlook is probably the easiest thing for anyone to do.”
According to Thomas, the SecureMail solution was deployed, installed and available to all of the credit union’s 200 employees within just one afternoon. “We decided to use the virtual appliance and a representative from Voltage helped us set up everything quickly,” he says. “The employees needed very minimal training to get started. And since we’ve been using SecureMail, there have been no maintenance issues for our team.”
Thomas adds that the member experience with SecureMail, which SMCU offers to customers as part of its “eSecure” service, also has been positive. “The IT department has received very few support requests from our members regarding secure email,” he says. “Decrypting and replying to one of our secure email messages is similar to the experience of using a web-based email client such as Gmail or Yahoo, so it’s familiar and easy to understand.”
Not long after SMCU started using the SecureMail solution, the credit union’s real estate department experienced an unexpected benefit: the ability to send very large email attachments to members with ease. “To improve efficiency and reduce costs, our real estate department has been downsizing the amount of paper it uses and sending fewer documents via overnight delivery services,” explains Thomas. “They have been digitizing loan documents, which are often very lengthy. It’s not unusual for some of these files to have 100 pages.”
Thomas says real estate staff not only had trouble sending large attachments – some larger than 40 MB – but they could not receive large attachments sent by members. “Emails with large attachments, which often include scanned pages, were getting blocked by ISPs – and that was slowing down business,” says Thomas. “By implementing the Large Attachment Delivery functionality in SecureMail, we solved the problem. We are now able to accommodate pretty much any file size we need to send out or receive. And even if a document doesn’t need to be sent securely, it is with SecureMail.”
He adds, “Because our members now have a secure method of emailing loan documentation to our real estate lending team, SMCU saves time and money by avoiding the use of couriers. Additionally, SMCU can better serve its members because the delivery of critical loan documents will not be impeded due to the size of email attachments.”