Secure email service will change this summer

Protecting information transmitted via email is vital to the digital security of UT Health San Antonio. The secure email service will be changing this summer as we continue to migrate back-end email services to the Office 365 platform. Office 365 enables efficiencies for smoother, easier and more secure operations on a single integrated platform.

Secure email, sometimes called encrypted email, is triggered when you put “++” in the subject line of a message or if you send Protected Health Information (PHI), a Social Security number (SSN) or credit card number in a message. This system ensures that sensitive data is protected from snooping while in transit over the internet.

Currently, secure email is processed by our Cisco email server. Later this summer, it will be processed by Office 365 instead. This will result in a different experience for many recipients of secure messages.

The process to send secure messages will not change, and recipients at some trusted partner organizations, such as University Health System, now referred to as University Health, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will not see any changes in how they read such messages. However, most other external recipients will see a change.

Currently, many external recipients receive secure messages in the form of a regular email while others receive a message that has to be opened with a username and password. After the change, these recipients will instead receive a message that will require a one-time passcode — much like a two-factor code — to open. That code will be sent by email when the user initially clicks to open the message. Replies to these messages sent to UT Health San Antonio recipients will require the same passcode process to open.

This change is scheduled to take place in early August. See detailed instructions for the new process.

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