Originally posted on Ian's Business & Tech Blog:
The Privacy Rights Clearing house currently tallies 542,608,451 records breached in the past 5 years. Unsecure email certainly contributes to the problem. Small business email (or any email) starts off on a secure or unsecure wired or wireless network then travels over numerous networks through secure or unsecure email servers often vulnerable to people who are in control of those servers.
There is also plenty of hacking and cracking tools bad guys (and good guys) use to sniff out that data in plain text.
With criminal hackers, government funded hackers and the various other snoops, email encryption today is essential.