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Is Our Domain Public or Private

Posted on 2016-07-22
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Last Modified: 2016-07-26
One of my customers is a Title Company. Here is a question posed by one of their underwriters:

"One of the national title insurance underwriters that we represent is questioning if our .us domain is public or private. They are concerned about the interception of emails by crooks who change instructions for the bank account to have funds wired to.  I think what they mean is our email service provider public or private.  I assume something like gmail would be public but wouldn't MS 365 be considered private?  Should we be concerned about security using 365? By being private, does that mean having your own exchange server?"

What do you interpret this to mean?
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Question by:LockDown32
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Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 168 total points
ID: 41724695
Office 365 is a *public* cloud service. It's a shared infrastructure, multiple companies are sharing the same servers/hardware.

That being said, it's secure enough for a multitude of companies, including Microsoft itself, HP, VMWare, dozens of banks and so on.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41724705
Agree. Make sure the client does not post real email addresses in email format on their website. Make sure the client understands passwords need to be strong (most don't) and changed at least each 6 months.
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by:Eric C
Eric C earned 166 total points
ID: 41724717
.us is a top-level domain, so depending on how you have DNS set up, some of your servers/devices could be public while others could be private. The question is really too general.

Regarding email ... email travels across the internet, which is inherently not secure. Emails can be encrypted which will help ensure that only the intended recipient can read it. There are several solutions. (To answer your question - you definitely do not need to have your own Exchange server)

Outlook: If you and the recipient both use Outlook, then you can enable digital signing.

Office 365: Also available if you use Office 365:  https://blogs.office.com/2014/02/26/smime-encryption-now-in-office-365/

Service-Based:  Companies like appriver offer encryption as a service. Check out https://www.appriver.com/services/email-encryption

PGP: Symantec offers Email encryption solutions for desktops, gateways and mobile devices.  https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/data-sheets/encryption-solutions-for-email-en.pdf
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 166 total points
ID: 41726504
The question being asked isn't really a valid question to ask.  All email is handled on public domains.  Private domains are for the internal use of a company's network -- usually for handling security and communication between corporate network resources.

You really need to familiarize yourself with Microsoft's Office 365 Trust Center so you can better understand these things..

Having your own Exchange server does not make your email any more secure (in fact, probably less).
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Author Comment

by:LockDown32
ID: 41728183
I didn't write the question. I simply copied and pasted. My take on the question was simple "is your email secure" because that is how they transfer funds. I guess they got the answers they were looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 41729711
FYI, I realize you didn't write the question -- sorry if I made it sound that way -- I was suggesting that you tell these people that the question isn't a valid one -- and by helping them understand how email works a bit, they may feel more confident with it.
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