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Secure MIME (S/MIME) is an Internet standard for digitally signing MIME-based email data and its public key encryption. It was initially developed by RSA Security, Inc. and is based on the company's public key encryption mechanism. Most email services and software use S/MIME to secure email communication.
S/MIME enables email security features by providing encryption, authentication, message integrity and other related services. It ensures that an email message is sent by a legitimate sender and provides encryption for incoming and outgoing messages.
To enable S/MIME based communication, the sender and receiver must be integrated with public key and signatures issued from a certificate authority (CA). A digital signature is used to validate a sender's identity, whereas a public key provides encryption and decryption services.