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The rise of cloud email services

The rise of cloud email services

Cloud email services, also known as webmail or hosted email services, are email platforms provided by third-party vendors that deliver email functionality over the Internet. Instead of running email servers and managing email infrastructure in-house, organizations subscribe to these services and access their email accounts through a web browser or email client.


How do cloud email services work?

Cloud email services offer healthcare professionals a secure and efficient way to handle email communications without needing technical expertise. Here's how it works:

  • Sign up: When you subscribe to a cloud email service, you're essentially renting a secure digital mailbox. You'll receive login credentials (username and password) to access your mailbox.
  • Access your mailbox: You can access your mailbox from any device with an internet connection. To do so, use your login credentials to access your mailbox through a web browser or email app.
  • Sending and receiving emails: Sending an email is akin to dropping a letter into your mailbox and having it sent out. The cloud email service handles the process of sorting, routing, and ensuring security measures are in place before delivering the email to the recipient's mailbox.
  • Storage and security: Your emails are securely stored in the cloud email service provider's data centers, which are equipped with advanced security measures to protect sensitive information. 
  • Extra features: Many cloud email services offer additional features like shared calendars, contact lists, and file storage, providing healthcare teams with tools to collaborate effectively and manage their workflow within the email environment.
  • Maintenance and support: The cloud email service provider takes care of maintenance tasks, ensuring that the service remains reliable and secure. They also offer customer support to assist users with any questions or issues they may encounter.

See alsoHIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide


The rise of cloud email services

Cloud email services have gained immense popularity due to their flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. “Next to social networks and texting, email - at about 293 billion sent per day- is the most utilized cloud service in the world,” says Chris Preimesberger.

Instead of managing email servers in-house, organizations subscribe to cloud email services offered by third-party providers. This shift to the cloud offers several advantages:

  • Reduced IT overhead: Cloud email services eliminate the need for organizations to invest in the hardware, infrastructure, and IT resources required to maintain on-premises email servers.
  • Scalability: Cloud email services are highly scalable, allowing businesses to easily add or remove email accounts as their needs evolve without the hassle of purchasing additional hardware or software licenses.
  • Accessibility: Users can access their email accounts from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling remote work and collaboration across geographically dispersed teams.
  • Reliability: Cloud email services typically offer high availability and uptime guarantees, with data stored in redundant server infrastructure to ensure continuity of service.
  • Security: Many cloud email providers implement robust security measures, including encryption, spam filtering, and multi-factor authentication (MFA), to protect sensitive data and mitigate cybersecurity risks.


Types of cloud email services

Cloud email services come in various types, each offering different features and catering to specific needs. Here are some common types of cloud email services:


Basic email hosting services

These are entry-level cloud email services that provide essential email hosting functionality. They typically offer features such as email accounts with custom domain names, basic spam filtering, and webmail access. 


Business email services

Business email services are designed for small to medium-sized businesses and offer more advanced features compared to basic hosting services. They often include collaboration tools such as shared calendars, contacts, and tasks, along with enhanced security features. 

RelatedWhat are Business Email Compromise attacks?


Specialized email services

Some cloud email services are tailored to specific industries or use cases. For example, there are email services designed specifically for healthcare organizations that comply with HIPAA regulations, such as Paubox and LuxSci. Similarly, there are email services focused on providing secure and encrypted communication for businesses handling sensitive information.

RelatedTop 12 HIPAA compliant email services


Enterprise email solutions

Enterprise-grade email services are designed for large organizations with complex email communication needs. They offer scalability, advanced security features, and extensive customization options to meet the demands of large-scale deployments. 


Open-source email platforms

Open-source email platforms provide flexibility and customization options for organizations that prefer to host their email infrastructure internally or on private cloud environments. 


Email marketing services

While not traditional email hosting services, email marketing platforms offer tools for creating, sending, and tracking marketing emails to large lists of subscribers. 


Encrypted email services

Encrypted email services prioritize security and privacy by encrypting email messages and attachments to protect them from unauthorized access. 

See also: HIPAA compliant email marketing: What you need to know


Tips and best practices 

  • Choose a reliable provider: Select a reputable cloud email service provider with a track record of reliability, uptime, and security. Consider factors such as data center locations, service level agreements (SLAs), and customer reviews before making a decision.
  • Secure your account: Use strong, unique passwords for your email accounts and enable MFA whenever possible. Regularly review and update your security settings to ensure your account remains protected.
  • Encrypt sensitive emails: If you're sending sensitive or confidential information via email, consider using encryption to protect the contents from unauthorized access.
  • Beware of phishing attacks: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, especially those requesting sensitive information or containing suspicious links or attachments. Educate yourself and your team about phishing techniques and how to identify phishing attempts.
  • Backup important emails: Regularly back up important emails and attachments to ensure you have a copy in case of accidental deletion, data loss, or service disruptions. 
  • Manage your inbox: Keep your inbox organized by using folders, labels, and filters to categorize and prioritize incoming emails. Archive or delete emails that are no longer needed to reduce clutter and improve efficiency.
  • Monitor for anomalies: Stay vigilant for any unusual activity or signs of unauthorized access to your email account. Monitor login activity, review security logs, and report any suspicious behavior to your email service provider immediately.
  • Stay compliant: If you work in a regulated industry such as healthcare or finance, ensure that your email communications comply with relevant regulations and standards. Choose a cloud email service provider that offers features and safeguards to support compliance requirements, such as HIPAA or GDPR.
  • Regularly update software: Keep your email client, operating system, and any security software up to date with the latest patches and updates. Regularly check for and apply software updates to protect against known vulnerabilities and security threats.
  • Provide training and awareness: Educate yourself and your team about email security best practices, privacy policies, and the potential risks associated with email communication. Offer training sessions and resources to help users recognize and respond to security threats effectively.



Is cloud email secure?

Cloud email services typically offer robust security measures, including encryption, spam filtering, antivirus scanning, and authentication mechanisms, to protect email communications and data from unauthorized access and cyber threats. However, users should also follow security best practices, such as using strong passwords, enabling MFA, and being cautious of phishing attempts, to further enhance security.


How do I choose the right cloud email service provider?

When choosing a cloud email service provider, consider factors such as:

  • Features and functionality offered
  • Security measures and compliance with regulations
  • Reliability and uptime guarantees
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Integration capabilities with existing systems
  • Support and customer service options
  • Pricing and subscription plans.


Can I integrate third-party applications with my cloud email service?

Yes, many cloud email services offer integration capabilities with third-party applications and services through APIs or built-in integration features. Users can integrate email with productivity tools, CRM systems, project management software, and other business applications to streamline workflows and improve efficiency.

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