25 Jul 2019
Compliance challenges inside and outside of marketing departments are real

Communications Compliance: Why is it Important for Your Marketing Compliance Plan?

Corporate communications, including marketing communications, are subject to enough external regulations and internal controls to make even the most unflappable CCO shudder. Here, we’ll talk about what communications compliance is, the challenges surrounding it and why encryption is now a marketing compliance solution.

What is communications compliance?

Communications compliance is simply ensuring all internal and external communications, including social media postings, meet legal and regulatory standards that govern your industry. These standards are to protect client information and ensure your communications don’t mislead consumers. This is easy to say but gets complicated quickly due to the number of standards your communications must comply with.

For example, regulations and governing bodies that affect corporate communications include:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
  • The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).

 

And the following bodies also have additional guidelines for social media postings:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • The American Bankers Association (ABA).
  • FINRA and SEC, as above.

 

In social media compliance circles, we’re seeing discussion around professionals who inadvertently violate regulatory agreements on social media. For example, in some jurisdictions, a real estate agent who tweets another agent’s listing may be out of compliance because that tweet suggests an inconsistency with an exclusive-representation agreement. Whatever industry you’re in, you must address compliance issues, and this takes extra diligence in heavily regulated industries like financial services and healthcare.

What are the challenges of communications compliance?

The challenges of communications compliance include:

  • Compliance is a moving target – With multiple regulatory bodies and guidelines to incorporate, plus the expanding role of compliance management professionals, compliance is continually evolving which makes staying ahead of the game difficult.

 

  • Audit requirements – It’s essential that your company can audit your electronic communications which means original copies must be stored properly for the right amount of time. On the other hand, this “paper trail” also highlights any compliance violations which puts you at risk for fines and even class action lawsuits. For example, there’s a class action lawsuit against Bell Canada for its Relevant Advertising Program (RAP) that tracked customer activity to build profiles for third-party advertisers.

 

  • So many communications! – Add marketing messages to customer and vendor communications and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages that leave your organization each year. Plus, with different types of messages requiring different approaches and protection, compliance gets complicated—especially if the right staff aren’t aware of the regulatory rules.

 

  • Solutions reside across multiple business units – Compliance doesn’t belong to the compliance office; instead it resides across the entire business which can make governance more difficult and complex. For example, we see more marketing teams pursuing encryptions solutions for compliance—even though encryption is historically under IT’s purview.

 

Why compliance matters in marketing

Marketing is on the frontline of consumer protection. Compliance in marketing governs how businesses communicate with clients and prospects, protects personal data from misuse and ensures the principle of honesty in advertising is upheld.

Compliance challenges inside and outside of marketing departments are real, but organizations that address them holistically and consistently stay on the right side of regulations. One piece of the compliance equation is encryption.

Four reasons encryption is a marketing compliance solution:

 

  1. Data security – Encryption protects personal information used in marketing communications while it’s in transit to and from your customers and partners and while it’s stored on your own network. For example, PCI DIS requires that emails containing cardholder data are encrypted during transmission and protected in storage. This means that sensitive or personal information such as credit card numbers can only be saved on your network if they’re encrypted.

 

  1. Secure bulk delivery – Sending mass personalized communications securely is essential in many industries including insurance, government and healthcare. For example, if there’s a proposal for natural gas drilling in a specific area, a government might need to send a personalized message about this sensitive topic to all citizens residing in that geographical area. Our Secure Bulk Mail (SBM) delivery method makes this possible.Learn more about SBM.

 

  1. Digital trust – In digital customer relationships, trust is easy to get but nearly impossible to get back once it’s been lost. Using encryption to secure your client communications protects clients and shows them your organization takes their privacy and security seriously. With our OneWorld encryption platform, you can set language policies or branding attributes to automatically apply to encrypted communications based on sender, brand, locale and receiver attributes which creates a consistent and trustworthy user-experience.Learn more about building digital trust using encryption.

 

  1. Positive return on investment – Encryption is a compliance tool that saves organizations money. For example, a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, revealed that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect an ROI of 155 per cent—with upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits and a payback period of seven months. Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

 

Whether you’re a marketing, IT or compliance professional, encryption can help your organization reduce compliance risks while protecting personal information and securing customer trust. So why wait to integrate encryption into your communications compliance strategy?

By Neyson Lins, Campaign Manager at Echoworx

18 Jul 2019
Accountants play a role in cybersecurity

Integrating Cybersecurity with Business Strategy

A common problem faced by a growing number of organizations is how to seamlessly integrate cybersecurity into their overall business strategy. As industry and commerce prepare for the next level of cyber-attacks, businesses are increasingly looking to finance professionals for help in developing risk-mitigating cybersecurity strategies that align with the organization’s mission and vision.

Identifying cyber-vulnerabilities starts with getting to know your intangibles

How well do you know your intangibles? This on the face of it seems like a strange question to be putting to an accountant, but it is a very real issue. Intangibles in the accounting world have been grouped as a separate asset class, a kind of catch all for anything that meets the asset definition (a resource that a company controls, and which is expected to produce a future economic benefit), but is not physical in nature.  Traditionally, accounting practices only record what things cost, or the resale value if possible. But, based on the difference between reported book and stock values, intangible assets now make up between 60 to 80 per cent of global corporate worth.

The lack of clear definition in identifying the business’s intangible strategic assets, and more importantly the difficulty in assigning an appropriate monetary value to the intangibles, such as intellectual property, internal software upgrades, staff and managerial expertise, customer data insights to name a few, has left organizations exposed to cyber threats, if you haven’t identified the intangible as a strategic asset, then why would you spend resources protecting it. Every business will have its own nuanced set of strategic intangibles. It is predominately these intangibles that a cyber security investment will be safeguarding. Not identifying your intangibles, or not knowing the real value of the intangibles to an organization makes it less likely that an appropriate cyber security defense strategy will be put in place to protect these intangibles.  So, get to know all your intangibles!

The second fundamental challenge deals with the ambiguous complexity of cyber threats and understanding the nuances of the different types of current cyber threats posed to their strategic intangible assets. Threats come in all forms and sizes, and not being cognizant on what the current threat landscape looks like in their own industry sector is extremely risky. The goal should not be to create a strategy to overcome a security crisis, although in too many instances it requires a breach for a company to initiate an action. Rather, the goal should be to have a cohesive integrated cyber strategy that protects against current threats and has the flexibility to adapt to future threats.

Understand the underlying prevalent cyber threats that reside in your industry.

Accountants play a role in cybersecurity

Accounting and finance professionals are uniquely placed to help a business develop an appropriate cybersecurity strategy.  Finance teams, with their knowledge of an organization’s intangible strategic assets, and expertise in implementing risk management strategies, are well-equipped to identify cyber vulnerabilities, and accountants can be pivotal in closing any security gaps by exploring, evaluating and implementing better tailored security solutions.

There is most definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, it is very unlikely you find any two large enterprise organizations having similar solutions. Even strategic business units within the same organization often have very different security programs.  By thoroughly knowing your intangibles and being versed on the ambiguous complexity of the cyber threats, coupled with knowledge of risk management techniques, accountants can take a leadership role in delivering effective and efficient cyber security strategies. The cyber security strategy within an organization ultimately becomes a competitive advantage to that organization in its own right.

Understanding total economic impact of cybersecurity

Forrester Research recently published a study identifying the challenges of choosing an email encryption solution for enterprise-level organizations – where, without the right support and processes, running an encryption platform became an onerous activity.

The study, entitled “The Total Economic Impact of Echoworx OneWorld Encryption,” is written in a style and language that will be familiar to finance professionals. Both quantified and unquantified benefits of the solution are identified, and the analysis is presented in the form of a post audit investment appraisal using techniques like ROI, NPV and payback.

I recommend CPAs read this report because it demonstrates the holistic view that needs to be considered when undertaking a strategic cybersecurity investment.

See the full Forrester TEI study here.

By Jag Heer CPA, ACMA, CGMA
Finance Director, Echoworx Corporation

10 Jul 2019
presenting to the board

Is Your Company Board of Directors On-Board with Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue. Cybersecurity is no longer measured by who has a taller firewall. Cybersecurity is no longer an out-of-the-box one-size-fits-all installable solution. Instead, cybersecurity is now a complex mosaic of solutions, ideas and mindsets which permeates throughout the entire organizational structure of a company – from warehouse to boardroom.

So, at the end of the day, who is responsible for instigating organization-wide cybersecurity initiatives?

While C-suite executives, from CEO to CISO, might be responsible for spurring action toward shoring cyber-defences, an IT department is generally responsible for the implementation and maintenance of new security solutions with existing infrastructure. But, at the end of the day, it is the organizational board of directors who need to be won over. This carefully selected group of individuals, chosen to reflect the interests of company stakeholders in overseeing organizational management, are who even a CEO must answer to – including on issues concerning budget.

For a CISO intent on spending more on cybersecurity solutions, convincing their board of directors can be difficult. And, due to the intangible nature of cybersecurity, with no visible physical benefits, at least initially, emphasizing the importance of investing in said technology is paramount.

Here are some simple probing informational conversations you need to have to convince your board of directors to pay attention to cybersecurity solutions:

  1. How much does your board of directors know about cybersecurity?

Before you launch into the meat and potatoes of your cybersecurity proposal, you need to gage how deep the knowledge base of your board of directors is when comes to this subject matter. Unless they have clear backgrounds in technology or security, it is unlikely they have a deep understanding of how exactly cybersecurity works.

You need to explain what cybersecurity is, in layman’s terms, why it is important and why cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem – but rather one of organization-wide significance. You might consider throwing out some statistics regarding the negative impact of a data breach – like last year’s massive data breach affecting the healthcare system of the Canadian province of Ontario, for example, which saw the theft of 80,000 unencrypted electronic health records.

Learn about making a business case for encryption here.

  1. How accountable is your board of directors for data protection?

When a data breach occurs within an organization, its devasting effects are felt company-wide – including at the board-level. Aside from the potential for soul-crushing fines from regulatory bodies, like those dished out to violators of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, mishandling personal data hurts a brand as a whole – with Echoworx data showing 80 per cent of customers consider leaving a brand after a breach.

As the directors of organizational tack, brand reputation is a crucial focus for boards aiming for business success. Investing in cybersecurity solutions, like encryption for communications, is an important step to preserving brand – with some solutions, like encryption, even mandatory to conduct business in some parts of the world.

  1. Emphasizing the monetary advantages of cybersecurity investment

From regulatory fines to brand damage to just cleaning up the mess, data breaches can be like termites into an organization’s finances. Investing in cybersecurity solutions insulates your organization from the detrimental effects both before and after malicious cyber-events – and can even help save money in other supplementary categories.

Take our OneWorld encryption platform, for example. According to a recent Total Economic Impact™ study from Forrester Research, OneWorld shows a return on investment (ROI) of 155 per cent – and upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits. These cost-mitigating benefits do not account for the hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars saved by the risk-mitigating features of this flexible encryption platform – offering five different ways to communicate securely with your customer base.

Get the full TEI study of OneWorld by Forrester Research here.

  1. How important is digital trust?

Every business wants their customers to trust them – a trend which transcends the digital world. But gaining digital trust online is different from doing so at brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike their offline counterparts, where brand trust is gained over years (and even generations), digital trust is fairly easy to get. But digital trust is even easier to lose – and impossible to get back.

So a board of directors needs to understand the brand value of protecting customer data as a tool for building digital trust. Nobody wants to work with a company which doesn’t protect their data. And cybersecurity investment is an excellent marketing tool for reassuring customers that your brand does. In today’s customer-centric world, with so many other options online, you simply can’t afford not to put your customers first – and your board needs to understand that.

Learn more about building digital trust with encryption.

By Michael Roberts, VP Technology at Echoworx

02 Jul 2019
Five reasons encryption is essential for healthcare organizations undergoing digital transformation:

Facing the Fax: Why Healthcare is Still Offline

Since the business world entered Industry 4.0, organizations have scrambled to digitize physical assets and integrate them into digital ecosystems. Today, we’ll talk about why healthcare organizations are so far behind when it comes to all-things-digital and how a user-friendly and flexible encryption solution can ease the transition to Industry 4.0.

Why healthcare organizations are slow to adopt digital solutions

Even though electronic healthcare records are becoming increasingly common, there are still many healthcare organizations that rely on fax and paper records to do business.

The common barriers to going digital are:

  • Limited IT resources – Healthcare organizations are dealing with stagnant or declining IT budgets and don’t typically have enough skilled IT security practitioners to keep up with day-to-day demands, let alone enormous digitization projects.
  • Daunting privacy regulations – From the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), healthcare data is heavily regulated. Healthcare organizations may think it’s easier to stay compliant by keeping patient records tucked into filing cabinets but that’s simply not true.
  • Fear of privacy breaches – With so many horror stories in the news about data breaches, healthcare organizations are keenly aware of the risks of going digital. Especially because the average cost per breached record is $380 in healthcare—more than double the cross-industry average.

These barriers are real, but they represent the cost of doing business instead of something that can be avoided – or something that can be an advantage. There’s no turning back from digitization in business, including in healthcare.

Three reasons for healthcare organizations to go digital sooner than later:

  • Increased user demand – Healthcare organizations serve millennials and baby boomers who now have technology in common. Millennials grew up with it and boomers begrudgingly learned to master the technology they now consider indispensable. Clunky, paper-based reports and systems are nearing extinction in the on-demand world people now expect.
  • The digital ecosystem is no longer optional – Industry 4.0 is digitizing and connecting everything in the supply chain and healthcare organizations can either join in or be left out. Except healthcare organizations don’t operate in a vacuum because they need to communicate with hospitals, labs, insurance agencies and business associates. At some point, it will no longer be possible to operate outside of this digital ecosystem so why not plan for a smooth digital transformation now rather than rush at the last minute?
  • Reduce churn by increasing digital trust – The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study found that health organizations experience a relatively high abnormal churn rate. They also found that when organizations cultivate customer trust around how personal data is protected, churn is reduced.

It’s time for healthcare organizations to embrace Industry 4.0—starting with encryption.

Five reasons encryption is essential for healthcare organizations undergoing digital transformation:

  • Protects patient data even if other organizations don’t – Encryption keeps your electronic health records secure on your network and while they’re in transit to and from your organization. For example, if you receive unencrypted personal information via email, Echoworx’s One World encryption platform automatically reroutes this sensitive incoming data to an encrypted web portal. This is one way encryption builds digital trust.
  • Provides flexible delivery methods – Choosing a user-friendly encryption solution with flexible delivery methods allows healthcare organizations to handle multiple business scenarios. This means patient data stays protected whether it’s delivered through secure PDF, web portal access, TLS and encrypted attachments or S/MIME and PGP.
  • Makes it easy for staff to protect patient data – Unfortunately, healthcare has more breaches due to insider threats than outside malicious agents. Accidental disclosure of personal information happens because of mistakes or when staff bypass a clunky security protocol. Implementing a user-friendly encryption solution with definable policies that control which communications require encryption (and what delivery method to use) greatly reduces the risk of these inadvertent disclosures.
  • Simplifies compliance – These same definable policies simplify compliance processes and keep healthcare organizations on the right side of privacy regulations. This is useful since HIPPA fines are becoming substantial; in 2018, Anthem Insurance was fined $16M after a 2015 privacy breach.
  • Delivers a substantial return on investment – A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study found that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can accelerate the adoption of digital document delivery, save $1 per paper document delivered digitally instead of through the postal system and accumulate a three-year cost savings of $1.5M. The same study indicated that organizations adopting Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect a return on investment of 155% and a payback period of seven months. Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

Healthcare organizations operating in the fax and paper world are using systems that are on borrowed time. There’s a better way and that starts with finding the right encryption solution to fuel your healthcare organization’s digital transformation.

Learn more about how encryption can help you get there.

By Steve Davis, Director Products, Echoworx

26 Jun 2019

Keeping Electronic Healthcare Records Safe in Transit

Electronic healthcare records aren’t stationary documents that remain protected behind a single wall of defence. They travel between healthcare organizations and third-party business associates frequently and each journey carries the risk of security breaches. Today we’ll talk about the type of personal data exchanged in healthcare and how encryption helps keep that data secure.

Personal data exchanged in healthcare

Electronic healthcare records are a treasure trove of sensitive personal information including:

  • Medical history, medications and immunizations.
  • Diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
  • Lab reports including radiology images and test results.

 

To create a unified electronic health record takes collaboration between multiple parties. This means medical information—including colonoscopy test results—is in transit more than you think and probably more than you are comfortable with.

Electronic healthcare records travel between these organizations in various routes:

  • Hospitals.
  • General practitioners.
  • Specialists.
  • Laboratories.
  • Clinics.
  • Insurance agencies.
  • Homecare agencies.
  • Third-party business associates including companies that process claims, administer benefits, transcribe medical reports, store and dispose of documents, etc.

 

The cost of unprotected digital patient records

Unprotected electronic health records—in transit and otherwise—are a costly disaster waiting to happen. The personal data found in patient records is valuable to nefarious agents—so valuable that breaches are common and costly in healthcare. And the more records that are breached, the more the breach costs. Data breaches cost on average $141 per breached record—except in healthcare where the average cost per breached record is $380.

As you saw from the list above, many organizations receive and send digital patient records as part of business processes. In the summer of 2018, for example, CarePartners, a homecare company and business associate of the Ontario government was hacked, and 80,000 patient records were affected. To add insult to injury, the hackers told the CBC that the data they stole wasn’t even encrypted!

Too many electronic health records are at risk because healthcare organizations are dealing with stagnant or declining IT budgets year-over-year. But deprioritizing cybersecurity is short-sighted because the average cost for a ransomware incident is $76,000 and the average hacking breach costs $2.4M.

But research indicates that implementing an organization-wide encryption solution is a cost-saving initiative. For example, the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study suggests that the top three factors that reduce the potential cost of data breaches are having an incidence response team, using encryption extensively and training employees. Additionally, a recent Total Economic Impact™ study conducted by Forrester Research revealed that organizations which adopt Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect a return on investment of 155 per cent and a payback period of just seven months.

Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

How encryption protects electronic health records in transit

To protect the private data in digital patient records in transit, encryption is essential. We recommend implementing a flexible and user-friendly encryption solution – like Echoworx’s OneWorld platform which employs up to five secure encryption delivery methods.

Four ways encryption protects your electronic health records in transit:

  1. Multiple flexible delivery methods – Not every healthcare organization will have the same cybersecurity measures in place so your encryption platform must be able to handle multiple business scenarios. These include Secure PDF (e.g., secure record delivery) and web portal access, TLS and encrypted attachments and support for S/MIME and PGP.

 

  1. Inbound encryption – When organizations accept inbound emails without encryption, the information is stored in clear text on their network or not accepted at all. Inbound encryption allows organizations to automatically reroute sensitive incoming data to an encrypted web portal.   

 

  1. Secure Bulk Mail (SBM) – This functionality automates the process of emailing mass personalized documents securely. In 2017, the British National Health Service lost 900,000 patient letters—including test results from physicians—which might not have happened if a SBM solution was in place.

 

  1. Privacy by design – When your encryption platform includes definable policies to control which communications require encryption and how they’re sent, it relieves busy healthcare administrators of the burden of making security decisions while processing patient records. This encryption solution also means organizations stay compliant with regulations like the US’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the US’ Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

Healthcare organizations have an obligation to protect sensitive patient information in electronic healthcare records in three scenarios: when the personal data is on their network, leaving their network and arriving at their network. When healthcare organizations implement a flexible and user-friendly encryption solution, they protect this personal data across all three scenarios. Isn’t it time for your healthcare organization to get encrypted?

By Alex Loo, VP Operations, Echoworx

21 Jun 2019

Encryption in Healthcare Recruitment: Gain an Edge in Your Headhunting

Whether it be higher pay, tax-free incentives or just a chance to see the world, lures for healthcare professionals to relocate internationally are as numerous as they are attractive. And, from nurses to doctors to medical technicians to a whole plethora of crucial background staff, international hospitals and medical organizations require massive amounts of skilled workers to ensure their operations run smooth.

But getting, connecting and sending healthcare professionals overseas is a delicate, personal and often time-sensitive operation with many moving parts – where effective secure communication plays a central role. And, given the international nature of this industry, with its minefield of privacy rules and regulations, combined with massive amounts of sensitive personal data, there is no room for error.

Many recruitment agencies still rely on fax (or snail mail) – a trend even more prominent in the healthcare sector. This can lead to delays, clunky user experiences and, ultimately, applicant drop-offs due to time-constraints or on-boarding processes which ask too much of candidates.

Here are some ways your healthcare recruitment organization can streamline its recruitment processes using secure encrypted lines of communication:

1) Remove the bumf from digital onboarding

Healthcare recruitment organizations are head-hunting experts – dealing with startling amounts of personal data. Depending on where a recruiting hospital or medical organization is located, a candidate might be required to show sensitive health records for visa applications or they might be required to undergo extensive criminal background checks, for examples. Most job application packs also require original scans of education credentials, medical licenses and passports. All this information makes its way to a recruiting hospital or healthcare organization through a recruitment agency or direct from the candidate – with the potential to cross international privacy jurisdictions along the way.

To avoid bureaucratic headaches, missing application deadlines or just to remove unnecessary back-and-forth bumf, a recruiting party can leverage the power of a flexible encryption solution. From the ability to exchange Secure PDFs to enabling secure TLS connections for instantaneous secure communication, there are different ways this can be for a frictionless digital experience– making paper processes a thing of the past.

Take your onboarding processes digital with these secure encryption delivery methods.

2) Maintain your digital brand

Healthcare recruitment is a highly competitive industry, where timing is everything and other options exist for applicants wanting to get the job. But sometimes a combination of speed and strong security can come at the detriment of the applicant – leading to confusion, spam-looking messages and a poor user experience.

With our OneWorld encryption platform, your brand can leverage airtight encryption without losing a full-branded experience. This allows candidates to send their supporting documents to your healthcare recruitment organization without becoming confused, worrying about spam or doubting your ability to protect their sensitive data.

See how large enterprise-level organizations are sending full-branded encrypted messages.

3) Maintain compliance with digital privacy regulations

Whether recruiting candidates, sending their personal data overseas or even keeping sensitive data on your servers, rules regarding privacy, and the jurisdictional laws which apply to it, need to be observed. The brand damage of mishandling candidate information isn’t worth it, and you can’t afford the sharp-toothed fines which are dished out for not respecting the rules.

Take the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example. This overarching set of privacy rules, which apply to all EU countries, also applies to all their citizens – regardless of where they reside. This means that a travel nurse from San Diego, who happens to be a German citizen, for example, applying to a nursing job in Toronto is technically protected under GDPR jurisdiction – and armed with its sharp-toothed fines.

But hiding under an offline rock isn’t going to make it all go away! Implementing proactive cybersecurity measures, like applying encryption to sensitive digital communications, allows healthcare recruiters to leverage the real-time convenience of digital communication while staying compliant with privacy regulations – zero fax given.

Here are some of the flexible ways you can send secure messages with encryption.

4) Build digital trust with healthcare candidates

Healthcare recruiters are quite literally dealing with humans – so why wouldn’t you want candidates to trust you with their information? Regulatory-compliance aside, protecting personal information is just good customer service – and maintaining digital trust is the new currency of business online. You need it, they need it – we all need it.

So why take chances with your candidates’ most valued personal info? With other healthcare recruitment options in abundance, including options to apply directly to hiring hospitals and medical organizations, you simply cannot afford to lose the faith of your candidates. And starting to build digital trust with your candidates starts with showing you care about them – by investing in proactive cybersecurity solutions, like encryption, which protects their personal data.

See how encryption can help build digital trust with your candidates.

5) The future of healthcare is digital

From exchanging Electronic Healthcare Records between hospitals to something as simple as booking a doctor’s appointment online, healthcare is slowly uploading to a digital environment. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS), for example, recently announced an organization-wide ban on fax machines – meaning no more business done by fax in the near-future. You need to be ready for a new digital age in healthcare or you risk being left out of the conversation.

Learn more about the flexible ways you can securely send applicant documents with encryption.

By Nicholas Sawarna, Sr. Content Marketing Specialist, Echoworx

14 Jun 2019

Thinking Inside the Box: Addressing Internal Cyber Vulnerabilities

In cybersecurity, it’s easy to become obsessed over external malicious factors and lose sight of the whole picture which includes internal vulnerabilities. When it comes to cybersecurity, the best defense includes shoring up your internal defenses because many critical vulnerabilities are too close to home for comfort.

What is an internal cyber vulnerability?

A vulnerability is a flaw in a system that exposes the system to risk of attack. In cybersecurity, these vulnerabilities can be related to the computer systems and processes and procedures you use. While you may know famous software vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and WannaCry, internal vulnerabilities can be much more mundane. For example, someone leaving the default password on a router or assuming your employees know how to recognize spear phishing attacks can lead to a lot of heartache for a chief information security officer.

As they say in sports, “The best defense is a good offense.” In this case, a good offense includes taking a proactive approach to identifying and fixing vulnerabilities, which we’ll cover next.

How to identify cyber vulnerabilities in enterprise-level organizations

Before you can identify cyber vulnerabilities, you must have a clear idea of your organizational assets, including intellectual property. Frédéric Virmont, a seasoned cybersecurity expert, says, “You have to identify what’s critical for the business: servers, applications, everything. Once you identify those critical assets, then you can make a plan to secure them and ensure they’re maintained with security patches.”

After identifying your critical business assets, you can expose and triage any vulnerabilities through various security tools—and then patch them up.

Put staff on your list of organizational assets as cyber vulnerabilities include accidental and intentional insider attacks by employees.

Six ways to reduce internal cyber vulnerabilities with pre-emptive measures

1) Encrypt data and communications – Protect your data while it’s in transit and at rest with a user-friendly encryption solution. Billions of emails are sent every day and without encryption each one represents a security risk. And in 2018, 4.8 billion records were stolen during breaches and less than three per cent of those records were encrypted.

2) Teach employees about cybersecurity – A recent PwC report in the US found that 32 percent of respondents consider insider threats more costly and damaging than external incidents. Because employees are on the frontline of cybersecurity, it’s essential to educate them about the importance of using security programs and processes and how to identify and report suspicious incidents. Cybercrime is increasingly sophisticated—especially social engineering and spear phishing—which is why regular and effective cybersecurity training is necessary for all staff.

3) Beef up your security policies – Make sure your policies support your security efforts. Some of the best practices include:

  • Limiting user access through assigning appropriate permissions to non-IT employees
  • Setting appropriate guidelines for creating strong passwords or enforcing two-factor authentication
  • Limiting Internet usage by defining or controlling what type of content can be viewed
  • Defining file storage locations for employees and denying usage of USB drives or personal cloud storage
  • Choosing policy-based encryption with flexible delivery methods for communications
  • Effective vetting of third-party vendors

 

4) Have an up-to-date disaster recovery plan – A disaster recovery plan allows all staff to act swiftly—using prepared strategy—when disaster strikes. This way, organizational efforts can go towards closing the vulnerability and monitoring it, rather than trying to figure out what to do in the middle of a crisis.

5) Don’t migrate vulnerabilities to the cloud – While there are many benefits to offloading on-premise servers and applications to the cloud, organizations must avoid bringing along existing vulnerabilities with them. Implementing security tools prior to cloud migration is essential.

6) Communicate effectively with the board – Since they may not always understand the technical assets, many boards shy away from cybersecurity risk management. Instead of communicating about tech specs, talk to the board about the cost of not implementing security measures, return on investment trends and reputation management with clients. Raphael Narezzi suggests talking to the board of directors like this, “It can be a cost today, but I guarantee you, the scenario we see when a board acts before an event, is a completely different scenario than when they don’t act at all.”

The benefits of closing internal vulnerabilities

Closing internal vulnerabilities takes time, resources and expertise and is now part of the cost of doing business. But there are benefits. As mentioned above, data security results in customer-centric benefits such as building reputation and digital trust and helps pave the way for competitive differentiators.

Closing internal vulnerabilities takes time, resources and expertise and is now part of the cost of doing business. But there are benefits with a solid return on investment. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, for example, revealed that a typical enterprise-level organization can expect a seven-month payback period and slash $2.7M off their bottom line by employing our flexible OneWorld encryption solution. Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

With so much at risk, isn’t it time to shore up your vulnerabilities?

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do. Our OneWorld encryption platform and cloud security services are a natural extension to existing security programs and offer a wide range of flexible options for secure message delivery. You can learn more about the ROI of Echoworx OneWorld encryption here.

By: Randy Yu, Senior Manager Technical Operations & Support, Echoworx

07 Jun 2019

Holy Ship! Why Digital Transformation is Taking the Shipping Industry by Storm

In Medieval Italy, sea merchants invented the bill of lading to confirm receipt of all goods in a shipment. Hundreds of years later, many international shipping firms still rely on paper bills of lading for this same purpose. But paper-based transactions are falling out of favour in shipping, especially with shipping and logistics start-ups coming onto the scene as digital natives. Today, we want to talk about why digital transformation is taking the shipping industry by storm and the risk and rewards that come with it.

 

Four reasons the shipping industry is ripe for digital transformation

 

  1. Paper-based processes are slow – From bills of lading and paying at-sea employees to ship certificates required by the International Maritime Organization, running ships as big as the Empire State Building on paper processes just isn’t efficient. According to a recent article by The Economist, Maersk found that processing one shipment of avocados from India to the Netherlands involved 200 communications across 30 parties! In an era when shipping companies support consumers’ same-day delivery expectations, it’s essential to save time in port and at sea. This means moving away from fax, paper and telephone communications and moving towards digital systems and processes.

 

  1. Industry 4.0 is transforming the supply chain – Industry 4.0—also known as the fourth industrial revolution—is bringing automation, data and the internet of things to the global supply chain. For this to work effectively, all players must be connected to the digital supply chain. As digitization becomes business as usual across the supply chain, shipping companies that can’t connect to this global infrastructure will be left behind.

 

  1. There’s increasing pressure on profit margins – Low vessel utilization rates continue to put financial strain on shipping companies. Implementing digitized operations reduce costs by optimizing shipping capacity and routes.

 

  1. Digital trade-finance platforms are growing – Governments, banks and insurers are working together to create digital trade-finance platforms to digitize trade and financing activities for importers and exporters. This will lower costs and reduce risk of double financing and fraud. Greater adoption of digital trade finance platforms—such as Marco Polo and we.trade—puts pressure on shipping companies to go digital.

 

Cybersecurity risk in the shipping industry

 

In 2017, the UK shipping company, Clarkson PLC, fell victim to a massive cyberattack orchestrated through a single compromised user account, which provided access for hackers to a vast trove of sensitive customer details. It goes without saying that with increased digitization comes the increased risk of cybersecurity attacks, data breaches and insider threats. Instead of shying away from digital transformation, shipping companies must simply embrace the cybersecurity risk management and staff education that comes with it. It’s also essential to get the help they need to integrate secure digital processes, communications and a user-friendly encryption solution into their businesses.

The rewards of digital transformation in the shipping industry

 

Undergoing digital transformation in shipping reduces errors, improves customer satisfaction and trust through increased logistics transparency, speeds up formerly manual processes and increases connectivity for crew and off-ship asset management personnel. Of course, we strongly recommend building privacy by design into any digital transformation projects, including a flexible encryption solution that protects all ship to shore communications (and vice versa).

And while there are costs associated with digital transformation, enterprise-level organizations can recoup some of these costs with a proven encryption solution. For example, a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, revealed that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect an ROI of 155 per cent—with upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits. This same study showed that using the OneWorld platform to replace on-premises legacy encryption solutions meant organizations could save the full software cost of previous solutions and avoid other legacy-related costs for a three-year savings of $793K.

Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

With encryption as part of your digital transformation project, you can also assure your customers that their goods and containers have more protection than a 15th century Venetian piece of paper can offer.

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do. Our OneWorld encryption platform and cloud security services are a natural extension to existing security programs and offer a wide range of flexible options for secure message delivery. You can learn more about the ROI of Echoworx OneWorld encryption here.

By: Kevin Foxton, Technical Operations and Security Team Lead, Echoworx

05 Jun 2019

Securing Silos: The Case for an Omnichannel Approach to Digital Government

What if government worked like a business? What if a bureaucrat in one department could communicate seamlessly and securely with a politician in another?  What if departments could work collaboratively on procuring contracts?

When a government embraces a digital first strategy, effective secure communications serve an important function for their system to operate in a streamlined fashion. From frontline citizen-facing tasks, like sending a prescription or a temporary driver’s license, to more complex internal tasks, such as the procurement of a new multi-million-dollar research vessel, the need for flexible, frictionless and secure lines of communication exist at almost every level.

1) Omnichannel is about collaboration

In marketing, an omnichannel approach to sales implies a seamless shopping experience regardless of where a customer is located or what a customer is looking at. For government, an omnichannel experience implies a barrierless collaborative environment between all departments, all ministries and all levels within. In other words: a digital government, which aims to streamline all services, should be striving for an omnichannel environment.

2) Encryption needs to be part of the conversation

From the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to regional privacy laws in the US, like California’s AB375, privacy continues to be a major driver of policy surrounding all-things-digital. So when it comes to streamlining communications between ministries, the public, third-party vendors, lobby groups or other external organizations, messages containing sensitive personal data need to be secured with airtight encryption to help mitigate the risk of headline-grabbing data breaches.

3) Encryption should enable a digital government – not hinder it

In the private sector, encryption is becoming a competitive differentiator – with customers preferring organizations who value their personal data. This aspect of a customer-first mantra should be no different for digital government. In addition to offering a frictionless encryption experience, both for internal and external users, an effective encryption tool needs to be flexible enough to suit every government use case – from complex government procurement orders to something as simple as a doctor sending a prescription to a patient.

Check out how these enterprise-level organizations are leveraging our OneWorld encryption platform.

4) Good encryption should pay for itself

Since they are bankrolled by the very people they serve, governments need to justify every dollar (and penny) spent. So adopting a robust flexible encryption solution with all the trimmings is usually not top-of-mind in terms of how to allocate their budgets. But, although an effective encryption platform can be expensive, the cost-mitigating benefits should outweigh the overhead.

Take Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform, for example. According to a recent Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Research, implementers of OneWorld can experience a payback period of less than seven months – in addition to both a return-on-investment (ROI) of 155 per cent and upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits.

See the full TEI study by Forrester Research here.

Digital is better. Period.

While initial worries might include questions regarding accessibility for those members of the public not comfortable with digital correspondence, or perhaps more abstract questions regarding security, at the end of the day, citizens of any digital government soon appreciate the benefits of encrypted communications over snail mail. The ease of access offered by the instantaneous nature of digital messages, paired with an excellent user experience and secured by airtight algorithms is hard to argue against.

See if Echoworx is right for your government.

By Michael Roberts, VP Technology, Echoworx

04 Jun 2019

Encryption Mosaic: The New Diverse World of Secure Communications

Dial back the clock several million years and you find a crowded ocean of creatures surrounding lush green lands devoid of any vertebrate activity. Then one fish walked out of the sea and changed our terrestrial course forever. But did this ambitious fish have revolutionary intent? Certainly not – instead focusing on more immediate needs of food and new territory.

The same can be said about contemporary demands for secure digital communications. While digital communications enable transcendence from the world of paper mail, making the sending and receiving of information instantaneous, they inadvertently make our most-precious personal details more exposed and more open. And, with no way to turn back the clock, the case for encryption protection of sensitive information grows – and evolves.

But, as more and more industries migrate online, we are beginning to see that this brave new digital world is not one-size-fits-all – especially when it comes to secure digital communications. From different customers to different jurisdictional regulations protecting them, an encryption solution needs to be as flexible as the diverse array of organizations it serves.

Here are key points to consider in determining the factors affecting secure communications, why needs are so diverse and where exactly you might start placing your organization in the encryption mosaic:

1) Regulatory fines with sharp-teeth

Where an organization is located can influence how much they are expected to protect their data. In Denmark, for example, encryption is now mandatory for all communications containing the personal data of Danish citizens under its jurisdiction, according to its own interpretation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affecting EU country members. Failure to comply with the GDPR, and other similar regulatory bodies or laws, like Canada’s recently-updated Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), for example, can lead to devastating fines and even more devasting brand damage.

Echoworx recognizes that not all countries protect the personal data and the privacy of their citizens the same. To help prevent prying bureaucratic eyes or to avoid non-compliance with jurisdictional regulations, Echoworx’s cloud-based encryption solutions are available on AWS Cloud in 13 countries. We also have SOC2 and ICO-certified data centres in the US, UK, Germany, Ireland, Mexico and Canada, ensuring all sensitive data stays close to home.

2) Different industries – different business cases

While organizations operating in the banks, financial services and insurance (BFSI) realm were the first wholesale adopters of encrypted communications, the technology is exponentially permeating through to other industries. According to a recent Ponemon study, for example, manufacturing and services organizations are beginning to crack into the encryption market – accounting for 12 and 11 per cent respectively.

And, as new industries begin to implement encrypted secure communications, so does demand rise for a flexible encryption solution to adapt to different business use cases. At Echoworx, for example, we offer a cloud-based scalable encryption solution featuring multiple secure user-friendly delivery methods to fit any business process.

Learn more about the different ways you can send secure information with Echoworx.

3) Users are changing

From mobile banking to Generation Z, how users send information and what exactly they are willing to send is changing at a rapid clip. Today’s users are tech-savvy and quick to provide personal details but even quicker to move on if an organization mishandles their data. They demand instantaneous communication and a streamlined user experience with organizations they work with. To avoid going the way of the dodo bird, you need to go above and beyond to make sure they come first – all while ensuring that their sensitive personal data is protected.

With Echoworx, you can tailor every aspect of your encryption experience to put your customers first – from the way they access a secure message to something as simple as the ability to brand. And, to further avoid any negating situations affecting user experience, Echoworx offers services in 22 languages for all our flexible delivery methods – ensuring nothing is lost in translation.

Explore these different delivery methods here.

4) Encryption isn’t just an IT issue anymore

From headline-grabbing data breaches to something as simple as customer experience, encryption is no longer a backroom IT issue – it’s a business issue. But implementing an encryption program isn’t as simple as adopting a solution and flipping a switch. There needs to be a universal internal change of culture at most organizations. For example, while 50 per cent of CEOs are concerned most about possible detrimental impacts to user experience when adopting a security solution, 88 per cent of IT professionals view encryption as costly, difficult and a constraint on business productivity.

Echoworx works with companies to ensure encryption solutions are as non-intrusive and as streamlined as possible – from deployment to the end user. In our capacity as a third-party encryption provider, we support our clients, reducing the additional strain of user help queries, and, with nearly two-decades’ worth experience in the encryption market, we can adapt to any business case.

Learn more about working with Echoworx.

By Nicholas Sawarna, Sr. Content Marketing Specialist, Echoworx

Sources:

  • Ponemon Global Encryption Trends Study – April 2018
29 May 2019
Secure Digital Communications for a Digital First Government

Secure Digital Communications for a Digital First Government

In addition to caring for its citizens, a good government communicates with and listens to its citizens’ questions, concerns and comments. But, in today’s digital world, where private sector corporations are lightyears ahead, a government cannot effectively communicate with constituents via snail mail. From the internal costs associated with printing and stuffing envelopes to the disappointment of a constituent receiving a plain white envelope stuffed in their mailbox well after the fact – requiring postage for return correspondence – snail mail just isn’t good enough.

But there’s more to sending a digital communication then clicking ‘Send.’

Here are some questions to consider when sending a secure communication to a constituent:

  1. Is the data sensitive?

As a rule, most government communications being pushed to a constituent are going to contain personal information one way or another. And, from identifying medical information to something as simple as an address, a sender and their ministry or department can be on the hook for massive fines if this information is lost, breached or misplaced.

The Ministry of Natural resources in Canada, for example, might be responsible for communicating information regarding fracking to constituents living in an area which is licensed to be drilled for natural gas. Instead of initiating a massive snail main campaign, requiring postage, envelope stuffers, among other factors, the Ministry might opt for a bulk mail digital communication pushed direct to concerned constituent mailboxes. In order to avoid fines associated with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the Canadian equivalent of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), these communications need to be protected.

The Secure Bulk Mail (SBM) delivery method, a feature of the Echoworx OneWorld encryption solution, is perfect for situations as outlined above. In addition to offering a personalized and user-friendly message environment for mass lists of recipients, SBM protects communications with encryption complete with tracking metrics – so a sender can ensure their message safely reached its intended destination.

Learn more about Secure Bulk Mail.

 

  1. Who is receiving an encrypted message?

Like customers of a large enterprise-level corporation, a government serves a whole diverse population of different organizations, corporations, lobbyists and citizens. But, unlike large corporations, a government is a coagulation of many different moving parts – some with little to nothing in common. Any encryption solution employed by a digital first government needs to be flexible and accommodating to all situations – from a doctor sending a patient file to another hospital to a bureaucrat procuring a contract from a vendor.

While sending an encrypted message should not be a complicated task, one does not simply ‘encrypt’ a message. In addition to common secure channels, like TLS, any modern-day encryption platform will offer multiple encryption delivery options to ensure a message can be received and is not sent in the clear – without protection.

But, in today’s customer-centric world, encryption is as much about user experience as it is security. Depending on who is on the receiving end of a message, or whether the message is a part of something more collaborative in nature, a sender needs to make sure their message doesn’t look like spam. Secure messages need to be consistent in look-and-feel and device-agnostic to provide an excellent user experience.

See how large organizations, like government, are leveraging encryption.

 

  1. Do international privacy regulations apply to government?

From the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which protects the privacy of citizens of EU member countries, to Australia’s controversial government-mandated backdoors, in the name of national security, there is a whole patchwork of international privacy laws to be aware of outlining how data can be collected, what data can be collected and for what purpose. As a rule, it is generally recommended to abide by more extreme privacy regulations, like Denmark’s mandatory encryption rules, for example, to avoid headline-grabbing fines for mishandling data.

The best way to ensure data being sent by a government abides by privacy regulations, whether its own or those applicable to citizens covered under international laws, is to protect data at all points in transit. While encryption may be enough to satisfy these regulations, additional safeguards are necessary to prevent data from making compromising touchpoints in countries with more relaxed privacy rules.

With data centres in Canada, the US, Mexico, Ireland, the UK and Germany and operating in 30 countries around the world and counting, Echoworx is fully prepared to ensure private data stays private and doesn’t make any unwanted stops along the way – from sender to recipient.

Learn more about Echoworx’s secure safeguards.

 

  1. What language do constituents speak?

Multi-lingual service options are musts for many governments and their respective ministries and departments around the world. These needs are no different when it comes to sending secure communications. In addition to alleviating confusion for recipients, having a flexible encryption platform capable of supporting multiple languages is just good customer service.

For better, more-inclusive, secure communication, the OneWorld encryption platform supports 22 languages and the list is continually growing. This ensures messages are available in all official languages of an electorate and that nothing is lost in translation.

Learn more about the customizable branding options of OneWorld – including languages.

 

  1. When should a government ask for help?

Unlike nimble tech start-ups, or even seasoned financial services organizations, a government can be slow to move and quick to over-acquire. In addition to the huge cost-mitigating factors of dedicating IT specialists and support staff to run and maintain an in-house encryption operation, working with a third-party encryption provider, like Echoworx, can help save massive amounts of cash through eliminating cumbersome paper processes – leaving more money to be allocated for more important projects.

Learn more about the cost-mitigating benefits of Echworx’s OneWorld encryption platform in a recent Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Research.

By: Christian Peel, VP Engineering at Echoworx

 

21 May 2019
The challenges of a digital government

The Wireless Government: Why a Digital Government is a Better Government

From large conglomeratic banking institutions to massive global shipping firms, the world’s ‘upload to all-things-digital’ continues at breakneck pace. And so does the patchwork list of regional, national and even international privacy regulations dictating who can and how to do business in this brave new digital world continue to grow. But are governments at-risk of slipping behind the very regulations they aim to impose on their business communities?

As American poet Walt Whitman lamented over a century ago: “That powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” The same can be said for those who run legacy government infrastructure to (finally) take their processes into the 21st Century. And, as our planet continues its perpetual rotations around the sun, the digital world might continue to grow – with or without them.

So how does a government upload their tangle of ministries, services and legislature into a wireless world?

Making digital a priority

From large digital initiatives, like the UK National Health Service (NHS)’s blanket ban of fax machines, announced in early-2019, which affects 1.2 million people, to even more ambitious total uploads of government services, like the Government of Ontario’s digital first strategy, outlined in the Canadian province’s 2019 Budget, governments are beginning to take note of the importance of digital communication. Not only is going digital environmentally friendly, but the resulting systems are streamlined, instantaneous and competitive.

And, with digital adoption, comes the need to communicate securely. From complex back-and-forth procurement agreements with vendors to sensitive citizen services, like sending health records between hospitals, encryption plays an important role at every level of a digital government. At Echoworx, we facilitate seamless transitions from cumbersome paper communications to paperless solutions.

Here’s how enterprise organizations are uploading legacy systems to the cloud.

The challenges of a digital government

Unlike the nimble tech start-ups we have become used to, most governments are the product of decades – even centuries – of incoming politicians, revolutions, legislature and mountains of paperwork carefully wrapped in layers of red tape. In other words, they are hardly the right environment for the fast-moving sweeping changes necessary for digital innovation. Combined with a contemporary customer-centric digital business model, which balances an excellent user experience with airtight secure data-protecting algorithms, and you have a true bureaucratic headache on your hands.

Working with third-party providers, like Echoworx, can help mitigate the workload of uploading an existing paper-based system online. From helping banks send millions of e-statements per day to something as simple as adding branding and language options to a secure communication, for examples, third-party providers are experts at what they do and offer seamless access to existing digital infrastructure.

Here are some advantages of third-party email security systems.

A new type of government

When a customer enters a coffee shop, they are prompted to join a queue to either place an order with a smiling barista or pick up an order they commanded via a mobile device. While in line, this customer is presented with an array of colour, branding and, most important, impulse buys or add-ons shown as tantalizing options through display case glass – just out of reach.

This coffeeshop model of greeting, presenting and selling to customers is a form of client stewardship beginning to permeate into banks, financial services and even insurance organizations. The cold professionalism of yesteryear is rapidly being replaced by a more fun, inviting and open model which puts the customer at ease and, most importantly, puts them first.

For government services, the goal needs to be the same – offering seamless digital services which add a warm pulse to sometimes cold mundane processes. And this inviting environment starts with opting out of soulless white envelopes for the more engaging and instantaneous world of encrypted digital communications.

Take the mass encrypted messaging capabilities of Echoworx OneWorld, for example. Using OneWorld’s ‘Secure Bulk Mail’ delivery option, senders can deliver encrypted, branded and personalized communications to massive lists of recipients at the click of a mouse. In addition to leveraging the monetary savings of going paperless, Secure Bulk Mail offers senders options to track the status of their messages – which is especially important to government departments and ministries who need to send out mass messages to concerned or affected citizens.

See Echoworx’s full array of secure flexible delivery methods.

Going digital keeps the treasury happy

Like in the business world, a government is always keeping an eye on its bottom line. But, while a business may experience ups and downs, answering to its board or shareholders, a government ultimately answers to its citizens – who vote during elections. In addition to streamlining services and enabling simpler secure dialogue with constituents, a digital government also has additional cost-mitigating factors to consider.

For example, according to recent Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Research, the average enterprise-level organization, such as a government, can expect cost-mitigating benefits valued at up to $2.7M. And, given an average $1 cost-per-page associated with sending communications via traditional snail mail, a government has the potential to save approximately $1.5M over a three-year period.

But the best part? With an average payback period of about seven months, a government can adopt OneWorld, a fully flexible, user-friendly and robust enterprise-level encryption solution and get their money back before election time!

See the full TEI study of OneWorld by Forrester Research here.

By Nicholas Sawarna, Sr. Content Marketing Specialist, Echoworx

10 May 2019
consistent encryption experience

The Importance of a Consistent Encryption Experience

Producing real change isn’t based on one-time occasional actions, but is rather the product of careful consistent processes. This mantra can be applied to our digital world, where the adoption of new technologies only truly takes hold when people actually use them – particularly when it comes to cybersecurity solutions.

The cybersecurity benefits that come with encryption can only be realized when the encryption experience is consistent—for your employees, your customers and your partners. This article covers why encryption consistency is difficult, a natural extension approach to encryption and how consistency enhances the customer experience.

Why it is difficult to offer a consistent, enterprise-grade user experience?

In many enterprise-level organizations, employees are scattered across the globe, working from anywhere at any time and with any device.

The realities of today’s digital workplace include:

  • Mobile employees, who expect to work from anywhere via any device
  • Evolving security demands of clients, partners and vendors
  • Zero tolerance policies for business risk and disruption
  • Controlling data after it leaves the organization, while ensuring it only reaches intended recipients
  • Cybersecurity threats – both of internal and external origin
  • International privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which dictate business processes.

 

At any given time, organizations have employees accessing secure information via desktop and mobile devices, on or off the company network. Even the reality of business travelers accessing secure documents—while on the road, without reliable access to the Internet —presents an encryption problem.

This new digital workplace makes it difficult to implement a consistent encryption experience because there are many user types, each with different needs. A one-size-fits-all solution may sound divine but is unlikely to provide a consistent experience when offered to real customers in real world situations.

How a natural extension approach increases encryption consistency

Security administrators must balance user-experience with airtight encryption algorithms and—much like a tightrope walker—when these features are unbalanced, the risk of danger increases exponentially.

While an out-of-the-box encryption solution might seem simple, it doesn’t always provide the right balance of security and usability. An inconsistent user experience can lead to frustration and open the door to less secure workarounds. For example, a recent Echoworx survey found that only 40 per cent of organizations that have encryption capabilities use them across the business.

Pairing your current solution with a suitable encryption extension gives you access to innovative enhancements that boost adoption rates and consistency.

Look for a natural encryption extension that:

  • Has a flexible platform that can quickly integrate and adapt to any environment.
  • Provides policy-based support of multiple brands and languages, based on organization, sender and recipient attributes.
  • Gives a user-friendly experience which promotes adoption for senders and recipients.
  • Is designed for high volume encryption with secure bulk messaging capabilities—to meet enterprise-level demands.
  • Offers a variety of secure delivery options, including fallback options, so that all messages are protected.
  • Delivers a return on investment. For example, a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, found that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect an ROI of 155 per cent—with upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits.

 

How consistent encryption enhances the customer experience

Offering a consistent user experience is better for your customer, wherever they are. For example, an organization with offices around the world can use Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform to deliver a consistent brand, domain and user experience across all secure communications, regardless of the sender and recipient locations.

You may wonder how this works. The platform supports 22 languages and uses organizational attributes to personalize and dynamically brand outgoing encrypted messages by brand, division or location. These rules are set up during implementation and based on business use cases.

If you take advantage of branding and language preferences, your clients will consistently see that the secure message originated from a reputable source — your organization—and that it isn’t spam. This approach builds trust with customers and while trust may be easy to gain in the digital world, it’s even easier to lose. Encryption is so intertwined with client trust, satisfaction and retention, it’s now a business necessity.

But it’s a business necessity that pays for itself.

The Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study also found that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can achieve a payback period of seven months, eliminate $67K from the cost of custom email domain branding and slash costs of on-premise legacy encryption by $793K over a three-year period.

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do, and we do it consistently. Our OneWorld encryption platform and cloud security services are a natural extension to existing security programs and offer a wide range of flexible options for secure message delivery. You can learn more about the ROI of Echoworx OneWorld encryption here.

By Derek Christiansen, Engagement Manager, Echoworx

08 May 2019
Encryption Isn’t Just for Financial Services

No End in Sight: Encryption Isn’t Just for Financial Services Anymore

From bank statements to something as simple as applying for a new credit card, discretion of sensitive personal data is an expected feature at any reputable bank, financial service or insurance (BFSI) institution. So it’s a no-brainer why, as more BFSI organizations move to a full digital environment, they continue to prioritize data protection measures – like encryption. But, while these organizations may be the overwhelming past and present juggernauts of secure communications, BFSI organizations by no means represent the sole future of this growing necessity in our digital world – a digital world where security spending is forecasted to exceed $124B in 2019 alone.

So how exactly is the realm of secure communications changing? It’s becoming a keystone of any customer-centric business plan – and, in some cases, even mandatory – regardless of industry.

Encryption no longer an add-on

As early adopters of encryption, BFSI organizations marketed their secure document delivery systems as ‘environmental-friendly’ or ‘postage-saving,’ with more onus put on the customer as an optional add-on. But in addition to streamlined, tree-saving digital features, a more substantial societal embrace of digital delivery methods has given rise to new regulations with teeth paired with expectations that sensitive personal data is being protected. Consequently, nearly 50 per cent of encryption adopters today, according to Echoworx data, state compliance as a primary reason for implementing an encryption strategy.

Encryption for all!

While BFSI organizations continue to be the more-prominent adopters of encryption, accounting for a healthy 15 per cent of respondents in a recent Ponemon study, other industries are beginning to take note. In fact, according to the same report, manufacturing and services organizations are not far behind – accounting for 12 and 11 per cent respectively.

This changing trend isn’t a trend at all – but rather an evolution of how we protect data. As a tool of customer stewardship, encryption is a way for all industries to demonstrate that they value and care about the personal data of their patrons. As a mutually beneficial relationship, the resulting digital customer trust encourages consumers to continue conducting business while enabling an organization to effectively collect adequate amounts of data without compromising their integrity – resulting in better customer service.

Echoworx recognizes that the world of encryption is becoming more three-dimensional and varied in terms of its business use cases. In order to accommodate the mosaic of industries set to explode into the encryption market, we offer a wide array of flexible, scalable and user-friendly encryption solutions to streamline any business process.

See some real-world encryption use cases here.

Changing customers, changing views on privacy

From the introduction of encryption to popular instant messaging app WhatsApp in 2016 to headline grabbing violations of international privacy regulations, like the massive €400K fine issued to Uber France for their fumbling of sensitive personal data, consumers are now more aware of and concerned for protection of their personal data.

And yet they continue to provide their most precious digital details with little prompting – less prompting than needed for them to disclose their address to a first date, according to Echoworx data. But, if digital customers are easy to get, they are even easier to lose after a data breach and impossible to get back. So why take chances with their data?

According to a recent PwC report, strong levels of digital customer trust are a keystone of any customer service plan. In terms of sharing data, for example, 88 per cent customers who trust an organization are more likely to provide accurate, reliable and consistent personal data. This, in turn, provides more information with which an organization might fine-tine their customer service program.

At Echoworx, we know that offering a streamlined encryption experience is not only good for customer experience – it helps bolster the levels of digital trust needed to build effective business relationships. As more industries go online and digital, this trend is set to occupy a more prominent role in most business use cases.

Learn more about customer experience, digital trust and encryption.

New international regulations demand encryption

By now we know the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU is spurring governments to take matters of data privacy seriously. But did you know that EU citizens are protected by the GDPR regardless of where they live or work? Did you know that Danish interpretations of the GDPR mean encryption is now mandatory for all business in Denmark? Did you know that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is eliminating fax machines completely?

Like it or not, organizations looking to compete internationally are going to have to adopt proactive data protection policies, like encryption, into every process. At Echoworx, we realize this can be complicated for massive international organizations sending out millions of sensitive messages a year. That’s why we have data centres located in six countries – including locations in the EU zones.

And it’s not just about the EU!

The encryption forecast is cloudy

While legacy on-premise encryption solutions might continue to dominate the market to the end of the decade, cloud-based encryption continues to grow. In fact, according to a recent Ponemon study, encryption in public cloud services grew over 10 per cent in 2017 – the highest year-over-year growth of any encryption use case observed in the report. We expect this trend to continue and grow stronger.

At Echoworx, our scalable and flexible encryption solutions and worldwide presence are prepared for this cloudy new world. Our team of experts can help you migrate your on-premises encryption infrastructure to the cloud without any business disruption.

In addition to gaining the benefits of multiple delivery methods, branding and language options and other natural extensions to your existing system, there are additional cost mitigating benefits of working with Echoworx in the cloud. According to a recent Total Economic Impact™ study of Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform conducted by Forrester Research, for example, additional value is unlocked by working with us as a third- party provider – including cutting down on overhead like support time and additional resources required to run encryption infrastructure in-house.

Learn more about the Forrester TEI study of OneWorld here.

Encryption is bigger than finance!

Encryption is no longer just about saving paper on bank statements – it is becoming a part of everyday conversation. From international privacy regulations to customer service to actual customer expectations, encryption is no longer an option – regardless of industry. As we continue our march toward a brave new digital world, you want to make sure your organization doesn’t fall by the wayside. Be prepared – be proactive – talk to us today.

By Nicholas Sawarna, Sr. Content Marketing Specialist, Echoworx

———

Sources:

  • Gartner Information Security Forecast – August 2018 | Ponemon Global Encryption Trends Study – April 2018 | PwC Report – Securing customer trust
03 May 2019
how to make a business case for encryption

How to Make a Business Case for Encryption

Worldwide, more than 290 billion emails are sent every day. In enterprise-level organizations, digital communication is a competitive advantage over snail mail because it’s faster, cheaper and easier to deploy. But cost savings can disappear the instant an organization experiences a data or privacy breach, which is all too common. In 2018, 4.8 billion records were stolen during breaches—that’s more than 9,000 per minute—and less than three per cent of those records were encrypted.

Today, we’ll do a quick review of two reasons email encryption is business-critical and what to look for in an encryption provider if your organization would like to minimize risks and costs associated with keeping email secure.

Why email encryption is critical in business: the high cost of losing trust

If your organization collects, manages and disperses personal information, it’s essential to deploy user-friendly encryption to secure that data as it flows through email. Of course, it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also what customers want and expect. For example, 87 per cent of CEOs invest in cybersecurity specifically to build customer trust—because once you lose trust, you lose the customer. When customer trust and satisfaction is tied into data security, it’s easy to see how email encryption no longer fits into the nice-to-have category. It’s now essential.

Why email encryption is critical in business: compliance & avoiding fines

Implementing an encryption solution also helps you keep government hands—mandated by legislation—out of your pockets.

If your organization doesn’t protect data from being intercepted on route, the fines can be substantial. Just one year in after launch of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, for example, and we are already seeing massive fines – like the €50M fine Google was ordered to pay at the beginning of 2018 for GDPR violations.

In Canada, under the newly-updated Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), it’s now mandatory to report data breaches, with non-compliance fines going as high as $100,000.

With privacy legislation expanding—California, New York and even Qatar, among many others, have created their own guidelines—organizations can no longer afford to ignore email encryption for private data. Privacy legislation now has teeth and the fines are steep.

There’s no question that taking care of your business means encryption. The next thing to do is work with an encryption provider who understands your needs and addresses them effectively.

Finding an encryption provider that works for you

Global information security spending, as a whole, is set to exceed $124B in 2019, according to a recent Gartner report —which means your organization has a lot of choice when it comes to encryption solutions. This choice is good but can also lead to overwhelm and poor decisions. For example, if an organization has an encryption solution in place, but it’s not widely used, it can mean they didn’t choose an encryption provider that could meet their needs and guide them through the process. We don’t want that to happen to you, so we put together a list of things to look for in an email encryption provider.

Seven things to look for in an enterprise-level encryption provider:

  1. Proven track record – Ask how long the provider has been working in encryption. At Echoworx, for example, we understand the risks of email management because we’ve been providing encryption solutions for almost two decades.
  2. Solutions that go beyond out-of-the-box encryption – While out-of-the-box encryption is much better than zero encryption, look for a provider that can counsel you on solutions based on your needs. Many enterprise-level organizations require flexible delivery and policy-based encryption options—which go beyond the box.
  3. Cloud solutions that reduce overhead – Sending encrypted messages simply costs more when you run a legacy on-premise encryption solution. Costs include hardware and physical on-premise servers and staff to run them. Look for a third-party encryption provider that allows you to upload your secure communications to the cloud, offload support queries, gain access to encryption experts, save money and put less burden on your IT resources.
  4. Data centres around the world – Worldwide data centres allow users to deploy communications within their jurisdictions and within regulatory compliance. For example, at Echoworx, we have data centres in six countries: Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and the United States. This helps cut costs, maintain compliance and cuts down on deployment time.
  5. Reputation management – Every time a piece of sensitive information leaves an organization’s digital perimeter, it puts a company’s reputation at-risk. An encryption provider should understand this risk and offer solutions like full brand alignment in multiple languages to support a seamless end-user experience.
  6. Systems that support dynamic scaling – Can your provider’s encryption solution scale dynamically as email demand on the system fluctuates from day to day or even hour to hour—and accommodate increased demand without delay? Is your system available in AWS Cloud in 13 countries?
  7. Vetted partners for peace of mind – Do you trust your provider to handle your data securely and responsibly? At Echoworx, we subject our business to regular audits. We are proud to be: SOC2 Certified, Web Trust Certified, a Microsoft Root Certificate Member and an Apple Root Certificate Member.

One last thing to look for in an encryption provider: a track record of positive return on investment (ROI).

A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, for example, revealed that a typical enterprise-level organization using Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect an ROI of 155 per cent—with upwards of $2.7M in cost-mitigating benefits. This same study showed that using OneWorld’s self-service support options—like automatic password resets—increases call centre productivity, removes the need for additional overhead and can save enterprise-level organizations almost $320K over three years.

Get the full Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of OneWorld now.

As you can see, the cost of unencrypted email communications is high and the risk too great. Isn’t it time you found a trusted encryption provider that can meet the needs of your business and customers?

By: Beverly Barrett, Director, Channel Management, Echoworx