End-to-end encryption is one of the top features of secure messaging communication tools. It’s a feature the team at Forsta takes pride in and something technology specialists look for in their tools. However, even today, many people are still unsure what this feature is and why it’s important. This guide will help business owners understand the value of encryption for their companies’ tools to ensure compliance, customer security, and brand protection across all levels of organizations.
END-TO-END ENCRYPTION IS LESS COMPLEX THAN YOU THINK
As the name suggests, end-to-end encryption ensures that messages are protected from one end of the transfer process to the other. For example, an encrypted text message will be sent by one party and remain locked until the desired recipient accesses it. Internet and application service providers, as well as hackers and government organizations, are unable to access the message and the content inside. While the name sounds complex to people unfamiliar with the term, encryption is simply the digital equivalent of putting a lock on a box during shipment.
The use of end-to-end encryption has increased in popularity over the past few years. Several public figures have seen their devices hacked and unencrypted information shared with unintended parties. Companies and government agencies attacked by hackers have discovered that sensitive documents have been made public. People are increasingly more sensitive to the weaknesses of technology, which leads private citizens and large organizations alike to invest in encryption tools for protection.
ENCRYPTION CODES MESSAGES IN WAYS THAT MAKE THEM VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR UNINTENDED PARTIES TO DECODE
To fully understand why end-to-end encryption is a popular security feature, you need to understand how this form of technology works. Once a recipient sends a message, its code becomes indecipherable in a way that’s almost impossible for any other entity to read. No matter how many servers and systems the communication passes through, the communication won’t make sense to unintended recipients. Once the message reaches its recipient, the data is unpackaged so that the intended recipient is able to understand the message being communicated. Text files, video clips, and audio messaging can all be encrypted to protect content.
The team at Lifewire has explained this information in a glossary for readers who are new to the concept of end-to-end encryption. You can see how unencrypted data varies from its secure counterpart and how people can keep their data safe:
- Encrypted data is also known as cyphertext.
- Unencrypted data is called plaintext, and it can be used to describe information that has been opened through encryption keys or information that was never encrypted in the first place.
- An encryption algorithm is the code that runs to lock data and protects that during transit from one party to another.
- An encryption key is what secured parties apply to data when sending and receiving messages.
Think of the encryption key as a lock that keeps the contents of a communication safe through all parts of the transit process. Only authorized parties who have these keys can discover the messages inside.
THE AVERAGE COST OF A BUSINESS DATA LEAK IS $4 MILLION
To prove that encryption isn’t only a vanity feature or an option that business owners should consider, CNBC reported that the average cost of a data breach for a business was $4 million in 2016, a 29 percent increase since 2013. The report further shares that the $4 million loss amounts to an average of $158 per record, which can rise to more than $358 per record in sensitive industries such as health care.
Business owners can take away a few items from this information. No business is safe from data loss due to hacking. Start by taking the number of sensitive records in your company and multiply that number by $158. Add a higher value to that figure if you operate within a health or financial industry. Can you afford that type of cost to your organization?
The next item to learn from this information is that hackers are accessing more information types than ever. The information that they’re able to access simply by decoding certain messages is growing, meaning companies lose more when their information is compromised. The average cost is expected to grow in 2018 and beyond.
Investing in encryption isn’t an optional choice for companies that want to protect their customers and save money. It could be the tool that prevents regulation fines for your company.
COMPANIES CAN SAVE ON ENCRYPTION TOOLS AND IMPLEMENTATION
As the desire and need for encryption has increased, companies that offer encrypted services have stepped up to respond to the challenge. This item is good news for small businesses and organizations of any size that want to use end-to-end encryption in their communication but lack the resources to develop their own algorithms and keys.
Instead of asking internal teams to develop encryption strategies, managers should look for tools that are sensitive to their security needs. For example, Forsta offers a secure messaging app that specifically meets the security regulations of legal, health care and finance agencies. The encryption levels make compliance easy and allow organizations to communicate in the best ways possible without limiting messaging options.
You wouldn’t hire an internal team to develop a search engine tool for employees to conduct research: You would simply direct them to search engine providers such as Google. The same can be said for encryption development. Why build something new that runs the risk of growing outdated or leaving loopholes when you can select a tool that already has what you need?
Your company can’t afford not to communicate through encrypted technology, tools, and apps. If your employers are sharing unencrypted messages and communicating with clients, then your company could put private information at risk, leading to exposed sensitive information and fines from compliance regulators. Now that you understand the importance of end-to-end encryption for secure business messaging, learn how Forsta can offer end-to-end encrypted messaging for mobile phones and devices featuring on- or off-the-record communication.