As of November 1, 2019, SmarterTools will no longer accept connections to our infrastructure that use older Transport Layer Security (TLS) versions. Moving forward, all browsers and systems will need to use TLS 1.2 or higher.
The deprecation of TLS 1.0/1.1 is not unique to SmarterTools. Technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple, as well as financial and governmental institutions have either already removed support for these encryption methods or have plans to deprecate support for them in the next year.
Because we were aware that this as early as 2015, we implemented TLS 1.2 compatibility in SmarterMail 14.2, SmarterTrack 11.5 and SmarterStats 11.0 while still offering support for other TLS versions. Therefore, if you’re running those versions, or any versions AFTER those, you will see no impact. If you’re running versions earlier than those, you will have problems connecting to our infrastructure as well as using various other servers and services across the internet.
That said, TLS encryption is almost always "opportunistic". This means that so as long as the sending client/system has newer versions of TLS available, even if TLS 1.0/1.1 are still enabled (though this is not recommended), they should be able to negotiate a functioning connection over TLS 1.2 and above. Therefore, the risk of missed email and connectivity issues should be relatively low in this type of set up.
As for the impact of the deprecation of TLS 1.0/1.1, the only real risk is communication failures if you don't update your browsers, operating systems and devices with the latest security and software updates. Likewise, older devices and software environments that can NOT be updated will also run into trouble trying to communicate with systems that have removed TLS 1.0/1.1 support. Below is a list of some of these operating systems, browsers and environments:
- Windows Server version OLDER than 2008
- Android 4.3 and earlier
- Firefox version 5.0 and earlier
- Internet Explorer 8 - 10 on Windows 7 and earlier
- Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Phone 8
- Safari 6.0.4/OS X 10.8.4 and earlier
- Chrome 72 and earlier
This deprecation of encryption protocols, across various industries and by all technology companies, is just another example of why it’s critical for you to keep Maintenance and Support active and stay up-to-date on every piece of software you use. The internet is constantly changing. New threats and new vulnerabilities are found constantly. At SmarterTools, a good amount of our time is spent staying on top of these threats, improving our products and introducing new ways to keep you and your users protected.