Secure emails

About Suffolk County Council’s approach to secure emails, and how it is planning for the end of the government’s GCSX method of securing emails.

We have a standard secure email system called Office 365 Mail Encryption (OME). Users and organisations use this when they need to decrypt sensitive emails received from us.

Our enhanced system, TLS (Transport Layer Security) sets up a secure connection between us and your organisation. It means that recipients do not need to decrypt sensitive emails.

We also set out how we're preparing to stop using Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSX) mailboxes, as announced by central government.

Our standard secure email system is called Office 365 Message Encryption (OME).

Sensitive emails are marked at the council end, which automatically encrypts the emails.

Recipients then need to decrypt the email, either by requesting a “one-time passcode”, or signing into a Microsoft or Google account (if they have one).

Read more in our guide on sending and receiving secure email using OME (PDF, 284KB).

Our enhanced secure email system is called Transport Layer Security (TLS) and is a secure connection between two organisations.

Once a TLS connection is set up between the council and your organisation, secure emails can be sent just like normal emails because the connection between us is guaranteed secure. TLS is a government-recommended standard and is free to implement.

If you can supply us with the details of an IT person who provides your email services, our IT team can work with them to configure the TLS connection.

Read more in our guide on sending and receiving secure email using TLS (PDF, 183KB).

If your organisation uses GCSx mailboxes to send secure email, you may know that the government has announced that the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) infrastructure, which includes GCS, will end from April 2019.

If your organisation uses GCSx mailboxes to send secure email to Suffolk County Council, read our guide on the end of GCSx, a guide for partner organisations (PDF, 183KB). The guide explains what the council is doing to prepare for the end of GCSx and what your organisation can do to ensure a smooth transition.

A point to note is that GCSx connections were only ever secure if both the sender and recipient both had GCSx mailboxes. The new solution being put in place by the council ensures both ends of an email connection are secure.

Some partners of Suffolk County Council may be using the Egress Switch secure email system to send sensitive emails to the Council.

In these cases, the Council can accept these emails.

Please note that Suffolk County Council staff will have to use a separate Egress viewer to open the emails.

Contact details

Email information.management@suffolk.gov.uk if you would like any further information about how we manage secure emails.