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TLS/SSL Support inIceWarp Mail Server

Preserving the integrity of information being sent or received via email has never been more critical. Increasing security threats have elevated data encryption to a matter of necessity. Messages sent via a standard TCP/IP Internet connection are vulnerable to interception and interpretation by hackers through email or port sniffing.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transfer Layer Security) are two security protocols employed on the Internet to secure data in transit. Applied to email, these protocols work in the following manner. Messages sent between two or more mail servers using SSL/TLS secured POP3 and SMTP connections create a secure pipeline that encrypts messages at the server level. The encrypted message is sent out to the Internet in the same manner as standard email messages. Once the secured mail server receives the transmission, the message is decrypted at the server level.

In more detail, SSL requires that secure certificates be transferred between a client and a server. Once this transfer is complete, the data transmitted between the two parties is encrypted, preventing any outsider from having access to information being passed. TLS is a security protocol derived from SSL. As its successor, it provides security on two levels: the TLS Handshake Protocol, which requires the exchange of secure certificates and establishes a method of encryption, and the TLS Record Protocol, which allows the transmission of information through a secure connection using algorithms that are determined in the TLS Handshake.

IceWarp Mail Server supports the SSL/TLS protocols. It allows direct SSL/TLS connections using the POP3, SMTP, IMAP4 or LDAP email protocols between 2 or more email servers. TLS/SSL support is enabled by default when IceWarp Mail Server is installed. Secure connections through these protocols are initiated automatically when messages are sent to or received from an email server that supports these same protocols. If the email server that is being connected to does not support SSL or TLS (using the default SSL ports: 995 for POP3, and 465 for SMTP), messages will be sent or received directly through the normal POP3 (default port 110) or SMTP (default port 25) protocols. This security check is transparent and will not interrupt the flow of email traffic.

Additionally, IceWarp Mail Server allows SSL connections using WebMail, which allows access to email from any web browser. This feature is also enabled by default. Used with WebMail, this feature ensures that users connecting via their web browsers to the IceWarp Mail Server using the HTTPS (default port 32001) protocol are secure and encrypted, preventing hackers from accessing data transferred during these transmissions.

Due to the overwhelming presence of hackers attempting to exploit businesses, a method of safeguarding messages sent and received through advanced encryption has become vital to an organization's survivability. This security is provided through SSL/TLS and is included in all of the email protocols supported by IceWarp Mail Server.

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