Secure emails

This page contains details of our approach to securing emails and how we are planning for the end of the email addresses and fax communications from 31 March 2019.

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

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

OME – our standard secure email system

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

Sensitive emails marked as [CONFIDENTIAL] at the council end automatically encrypt the email when leaving our systems.

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

Read more in our guide: Sending and receiving encrypted emails.

TLS – our enhanced secure email system

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 contact details of the IT provider who supports your email services, we can work with them to configure the TLS connection.

Read more about how your organisation can implement TLS email on the National Cyber Security website.

End of GCSx mailboxes

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. The government has recommended that TLS is employed to secure communications previously sent and received via email addresses.

All email addresses will cease to function on 31 March 2019. If you use GCSx email addresses currently to exchange information with us and would like to speak with someone regarding ensuring TLS is enforced from your email domain, please contact

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

End of fax communications

Fax usage has fallen dramatically in recent years in favour of secure email communications and many organisations have now discontinued its use.  We are aiming to cease our fax facility by 31 March 2019 both to save money and to improve security of the information we exchange with our customers and partner organisations.

Contact details

Email if you would like any further information about how we manage secure emails.