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How does Encryption work

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#1 Michelle Exner

Michelle Exner

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 10:36 AM

We often see comments or questions about how or why some mail is encrypted and other mail is not. 

The following is some basic information on how the Barracuda Encryption Service works on the Barracdua Email Security Gateway (BESG) and the Barracuda Email Security Service (BESS)

1. incoming mail is checked to see if it meets ANY policy that would cause it to be encrypted as part of the normal spam scanning. This is not a special or extra step, it is just part of normal scanning.
2. If a rule or policy is found that would cause the mail to be encrypted that encryption only happens IF the mail is delivered. If the mail is quarantined or blocked then the mail is not delivered so is not encrypted.
3. For mail with a scanned image please note that Barracuda does not use OCR to view or read these documents. We use OCR to find known spam content based on the "coding" of the image. It is not used to determine if an email has content filters that you may have added.
4. Encryption does not ever over-ride any other filtering. You will need to add a specific rule to over-ride other filtering that would cause the mail to be quarantine or blocked. Then if the mail is delivered and it "hit" a policy to encrypt the mail it will be encrypted.
5. The BESG is not considered a secure device. Mail that is encrypted is not supposed to stay at rest on a non-secure device. To ensure that this does not happen mail that is delivered as encrypted is not saved on the BESG.  It does save the header and delivery data so that it can be tracked if required. To review the original mail the sender would need to review the outbound folder in their mail client.


Michelle Exner
Product Lead Support Engineer
Barracuda Email Security
(408) 342-5300