19 Feb 2020

Echoworx Expands European Footprint With Nordic Language Support

Nordic CEOs See Cybersecurity as #1 Risk to Growth

 

TORONTOEchoworx, the industry leader in message encryption, today introduced full support for Nordic languages, further facilitating adoption of its world-class email security solutions in one of the world’s most dynamic centres of technology innovation.

“The Nordic countries have long been leaders for tech innovation, giving us household names like Philips, Nokia, Skype, and Spotify,” said Echoworx Senior Director Market Intelligence Jacob Ginsberg. “With a population of less than 30 million, the Nordics punch well above their weight and have been an outstanding breeding ground for innovative startups and billion-dollar unicorns.”

In spite of this vibrant tech community, Nordic economies remain dominated by more-traditional industry titans, from oil and gas to logistics and shipping. Only six per cent of Nordic cloud-service start-ups are security based, meaning that firms need global expertise providers to fill legacy gaps.

Nordic firms see cybersecurity as increasingly essential, and are looking to adopt world-class services. Among Nordic CEOs, 65 per cent believe cyberattacks are a question of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’, and 72 per cent see information security as a potential competitive advantage.

“Cybersecurity is a specialist area, with new threats emerging daily,” said Ginsberg. “With best-in-class cloud encryption, responsive local support, and native-language functionality, companies are better able to dedicate more attention to innovation and focus on their core businesses.”

While Nordic firms are globally focused and multilingual, people are most comfortable conducting business, banking and other serious transactions in native languages. Even subtle differences in spelling, pronunciation or context can lead to confusion and security risk.

Echoworx’s scalable, easy to use, and configurable cloud security and email encryption solutions, have been adopted by firms of all sizes in more than 30 countries and 26 languages. Echoworx’s senior members will be at the Nordic Cyber Security Summit in Copenhagen to meet with clients, answer press inquiries, and speak with industry influencers.

About Echoworx

Echoworx is a trusted path to secure communications. As a pure-play encryption solutions provider, Echoworx works with finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and compliance professionals to tailor customer-centric secure communication solutions. Our scalable encryption platform, OneWorld, can address multiple uses across an organization. Our encryption experts take pride in transforming chaos into order for multi-national enterprises using our SaaS encryption platform. https://www.echoworx.com

Contact

Lorena Magee, VP Marketing media@echoworx.com +1 416 226-8600

20 Jan 2020

How a Choppy Merger Can Hurt Your Acquisition

Adequate preparation, due diligence and stable execution are necessary for smooth mergers and acquisitions. Failure to do so can result in a choppy path – with potential to hold back, delay and hurt any resulting M&A deal. Often overlooked in the M&A process, issues surrounding digital synchronization and cyber security can be major contributors for a bumpy transition. Here are some digital reasons why an M&A deal might go sour:

A lack of digital protection increases digital risk

Despite their devastating effects on almost every facet of business, even some of the biggest data breaches continue to go undetected throughout high profile M&A deals. In addition to their immediate damage to a deal’s value, an unnoticed data breach can literally poison another organization’s digital infrastructure upon integration. And the longer these breaches go unnoticed the more pronounced (and expensive) their effects.

Take the now-infamous Verizon/Yahoo! acquisition, for example. In 2017, Verizon acquired Yahoo! before realizing their new addition had suffered several breaches just a few years prior. Aside from nearly derailing the entire deal, the result saw a $350M reduction in purchase price, a $35M penalty dished to Yahoo! from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a subsequent $80M paid out through lawsuits to disgruntled shareholders and customers.

But hunting for a history of data breaches is more than just Googling the name of a target organization and hoping nothing comes up. You must go deeper, and you must think outside of the box. In addition to looking for an actual breach, you need to consider potential for a breach and how a lack of comprehensive cyber security safeguards might put your data at risk during a tentative integration process.

For sensitive M&A communications, for example, you need to ensure any valuable information being exchanged, from trade secrets to internal agreement documents, is protected with adequate email encryption safeguards. To help insulate your organization from risk during the M&A process, Echoworx offers an encryption solution with six flexible delivery methods and additional security tools, like message recall.

Why take a chance with your most-valuable company data. Can you ensure that any sensitive email sent, for a wide range of reasons, never goes to a recipient unencrypted?  

Legacy technology slows M&A deals

Unanticipated delays brought by poor synchronization with legacy digital equipment during an M&A affects your bottom line, your customer experience and exposes your system to vulnerabilities. Before signing the dotted line in your M&A deal, consult your IT department to anticipate any possible digital snags. This ensures when it’s time to integrate, there won’t be any major digital holdups or service interruptions for your customers.

If you do find outdated technology, or incompatible technology, third-party cloud-service providers can help bridge the gap. You might, for example, be a bank with customers in Denmark, where encryption is mandatory under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to conduct business. You cannot take a chance on a target organization with a legacy on-premises encryption platform. But what if you lack the time or resources to upgrade and upload their email infrastructure to your cloud?

OneWorld encryption platform easily migrates any legacy message encryption process to the cloud. As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, our dedicated team of encryption professionals do all the heavy lifting – so you don’t have to. A problem which might have taken your IT department time, money and resources to solve is literally done at the click of a button.

Here’s how it works:

Non-compliance is closing business doors

You might know the rules of your market and you know the potential value of acquiring or merging with a target organization. But how much do you know about their industry? Are they prepared for and working within the rules of the laws and regulations which affect their industry or geographical area? Or, alternatively, if they do not protect data in their jurisdiction, do you really want to risk trade secrets being intercepted?

In the United States, for example, you might be looking to expand your bank across the country by acquiring established financial hubs in each of your target states. But is your target organization in California prepared for the recent California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which came into effect January 1, 2020?

To keep data safe and compliant in transit under various rules, privacy laws and regulations, you need a flexible encryption solution which can quickly to any regulatory environment. Even if there are no rules, or your target cannot support encryption, there are delivery options to accommodate.

Human error is an M&A liability

From unintentional attacks by inadvertent threat actors to deliberate internal sabotage, human error continues to play a part in 95 per cent of all security incidents, according to research by IBM. And users of webmail services continue to be primary culprits contributing to this problem – sometimes without even realizing it. But human error is hard to anticipate, near impossible to fix and can happen to anyone.

Take the United States Marine Corps, for example. In 2018, this elite military organization, with all its defenses and vigilant staff, still managed to leak the information of about 21,500 marines, sailors and staff by inadvertently sending a non-encrypted email to an incorrect distribution list. You might dismiss this digital slip as a fluke, but, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent UK privacy watchdog, incidents of incorrect address information are actually quite common, accounting for 12 per cent of reported data security incidents alone in Q4 of the 2018/2019 year.

Sending a sensitive document doesn’t always have to be a complex process – one involving registration, more information, and additional authentication.

For an M&A process, where hundreds of back-and-forth emails between multiple parties and stakeholders contain sensitive information, from trade secrets to insider deal information, nothing can be left to chance. Since a single slip-up can mean the difference between a deal-signing handshake and a trip back to the negotiation table, organizations need to insulate themselves from human error.

A simple way to rectify human error for sensitive communications is to encrypt them – with secure vetted methods ensuring only intended recipients can view data or a message. But any encryption solution also needs to be flexible enough for day-to-day use. With our OneWorld encryption platform, for example, encryption can be made to fit any business case, from simple ‘Encrypt’ buttons to automatic encryption for certain message, recipient or attachment types.

By Jacob Ginsberg, Senior Director Market Intelligence, Echoworx

27 Dec 2019

Shadow IT: The Danger of Open Tech Stacks in Banking

Banking, financial services and insurance companies are in danger—and this danger is lurking at employees’ fingertips. Employees, clients and vendors are wooed daily by unvetted third-party apps that promise to make workflows easier—and if financial organizations don’t put a stop to these shadow IT environments, they could pay a hefty price. Let’s dive into what shadow IT environments are, why they happen, why they’re dangerous and how a user-friendly encryption solution helps organizations eradicate them.

What are shadow IT environments?

Shadow IT refers to third-party software your employees use that are outside the control of your IT department and network. They become part of your unofficial tech stack and leave your organization vulnerable to malicious actors. Security professionals consider unapproved third-party software and apps unwelcome additions to an organization’s network—and yet, employees continue to indulge in them.

What causes shadow IT environments?

It’s easy to blame shadow IT environments on negligent, malicious or clueless employees. But organizations in banking, financial services and insurance must be accountable for what goes on in their organizational networks.

Shadow IT environments happen for three main reasons: clunky existing tools, lack of employee education about security and insufficient IT controls to disallow rogue downloads and network access. When your organizational tools aren’t as easy to use as third-party tools, employees find easier ways to get the job done. If you don’t train employees on security threats, they won’t understand how seemingly-innocent behaviour can put the company at risk—and they’ll keep flipping company information through Gmail and using unsecure apps on free WiFi at their favourite coffee shops on work-from-home days. And without sufficient controls, you’ll miss catching aberrant behaviour that slips through even after you put user-friendly, secure options and employee training in place.

Why are shadow IT environments dangerous?

Shadow IT environments are dangerous because they allow company information to leave the security of your network and they can allow nefarious agents access to your secured network. And in many cases, staff don’t realize they put company information at risk. For example, an employee talking to a client on a cell phone might believe it’s safe to send the client some documentation through third party instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp (it’s encrypted, right?), Facebook Messenger, DropBox or their personal Gmail account.

To illustrate the problem with these third-party scenarios, let’s say you have an employee who sends confidential European data from your company through Gmail, for example. As soon as they click ‘Send,’ this sensitive information, which might include sensitive customer data, enters Google servers in the United States and can be re-purposed for other uses, like for third-party ads hosted through AdWords. In this instance, the subsequent lack of control over this sensitive data and its presence in the US can cause problems with the GDPR.

Then there’s malware and privacy backdoors that accompany third-party apps. The AV-TEST Institute, an independent German research institute for IT security, found that malware has almost doubled since 2015.

And according to a paper called 50 Ways to Leak Your Data: An Exploration of Apps’ Circumvention of the Android Permissions System, researchers studied 88, 113 Android apps and identified five types of side and covert channels they use to access private data—without permission.

The bottom line is when banking organizations haphazardly allow third party software into their tech stacks, they put client privacy and organizational security at risk.

What can be done to eradicate shadow IT environments?

To eradicate shadow IT environments, organizations must address the issues that cause them by:

  • Replacing cumbersome communication tools with user-friendly solutions that integrate so well into work flows that employees want to use them.
  • Implementing effective and ongoing training for all employees on information security, cybersecurity and data privacy.
  • Putting controls in place to prevent and/or discourage use of unvetted apps and software for company business and on company devices.

 

Echoworx OneWorld is a user-friendly and customer-centric encryption solution that helps banking, financial services and insurance companies secure client communications in transit and at rest. Because it’s so easy to securely transmit information, employees don’t need to search for third-party options that fit into their workflow.

Echoworx OneWorld features that help organizations eradicate shadow IT environments:

  • Easy and frictionless user experience – In a recent Echoworx survey, we found that 53 per cent of organizations with encryption found it “too difficult to use.” An encryption solution can’t protect client and organizational data if nobody uses it! OneWorld makes it easy for employees and customers to use and makes inbound and outbound encryption the path of least resistance.
  • Definable policies – Automatically control which communications get encrypted (and how) based on the message content, subject lines and key words. Flexible controls for every scenario means you stay in control of encrypted messages while they’re in transit and at rest.
  • Enable inbound encryption – While you can’t control what type of information clients and vendors send you via email, you can control how you receive and secure it. Emails with sensitive information are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.
  • No registration process – Encryption solutions that require recipients to register before reading encrypted emails make secure communication cumbersome. OneWorld eliminates the registration process and allows the sender to share a secret phrase—also known as a passphrase—with the recipient. To open the encrypted email, the recipient simply types in the passphrase.

Not only does Echoworx OneWorld help banks eradicate shadow IT environments, it also helps them save money. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study showed 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 only seven months.

By: Brian Au, IT Specialist, Echoworx

20 Dec 2019

CCPA vs GDPR: What’s the Difference?

In 2018, the business world shuddered as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into full force. More shuddering is expected shortly with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) going into effect on January 1, 2020 – with enforcement measures beginning six months later. But what’s the difference between these two privacy acts? This article gives a high-level overview of the similarities and differences between the GDPR and the CCPA and why you need a flexible policy-based encryption solution to deal with one or both of them.

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

The CCPA establishes data privacy rights for Californian residents and it applies to businesses that sell products and services to California residents and collect information about them.

Under the CCPA, California residents have the right to:

  • Know what personal information is collected about them.
  • Know whether their personal information is sold or disclosed and to whom.
  • Opt out of allowing businesses to sell their personal information.
  • Access the personal information collected about them—in the last 12 months—in a user-friendly format.
  • Equal service and price, no matter what privacy options they choose.
  • Erase personal data collected (in some situations).

 

Under the CCPA, Californians can opt out of almost all secondary uses of their personal information including sale to data brokers, tracking and other uses not directly related to service delivery.

Here’s what banks need to know about this law.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The GDPR establishes data privacy rights for Eurpean citizens (who may or may not be residents); it’s a uniform privacy law that applies across the Eurpean Union to protect its 512 million citizens. Companies that do business in Europe are subject to the GDPR.

Under the GDPR, Europeans have the right to:

  • Access their personal data.
  • Correct errors contained in their collected personal data.
  • Withdraw consent for data processing.
  • Stop automated decision making when the decision has a legal implication.
  • Withdraw the consent that allows businesses to sell their personal information.
  • Erase personal data collected (in some situations).
  • Access some personal information collected about them in a user-friendly format.

 

Similarities between the CCPA and the GDPR

Both acts give consumers access to personal data, the right to have companies erase some personal data, a way to opt out of having their personal data sold to third parties and claim damages through a private right of action.

Differences between the CCPA and the GDPR

The GDPR gives citizens the right to stop automated decision making when there’s a legal implication and the right to correct errors in collected data but these aren’t included in the CCPA. It’s hard to say which act is more aggressive with enforcement penalties. While the GDPR tops out at four per cent of a company’s annual global revenues, the CCPA allows fines of up to $2,500 per unintentional violation and $7,500 per intentional violation. Depending on the type of breach, those CCPA fines could add up quickly.

Advantages of the CCPA and the GDPR

For consumers, the advantages of the CCPA and the GDPR are clear: more privacy rights and the power to protect those rights through right of action damages and enforcement penalties. The advantages of the GDPR for business is that it’s one blanket regulation to conform to—which is easier than managing patchwork privacy. Imagine if every country in the EU had its own privacy regulations!

Challenges for businesses

American businesses don’t have to imagine patchwork privacy because it’s already happening with state privacy laws and laws governing cyber security, data security and data breach notification in Washington, Texas, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine and California. This means organizations that do business across America and Europe have an increasingly complex privacy landscape to navigate. Compliance must be built into the three Ps of business—people, process and products—because even sending an email is no longer simple.

National organizations, for example companies in banking, financial services and insurance, must adapt to and comply with new privacy laws because it’s unlikely the consumer data privacy trend will reverse itself.

Echoworx OneWorld: a flexible, policy-based encryption solution for GDPR and CCPA compliance

An enterprise privacy program covers everything from daily operations and compliance to policies, procedures and investigations. To build compliance across the 3 Ps of business, organizations must adopt a flexible, policy-based encryption solution.

OneWorld features that help enterprises navigate privacy laws including the GDPR and CCPA:

  • Definable policies – This allows you to control which communications get encrypted (and how) based on the message content. These policies are based on your needs, legislation and encryption best practices. Flexible controls for every scenario allow you to create a customized user experience for senders and recipients and stay in control of encrypted messages in transit and at rest. This policy-based encryption helps you stay compliant with privacy laws.
  • Easy and frictionless user experience – A recent Echoworx survey found that 53 per cent of organizations with encryption found it “too difficult to use.” OneWorld makes it easy for employees and customers to use, making encryption — and compliance — a consistent path of least resistance.
  • Enable inbound encryption – Emails with sensitive information—including protected personal information—are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.

Here’s how it works with OneWorld:

Whether it’s the GDPR or the CCPA, encryption is considered an appropriate measure for protecting personal data—and it comes with financial benefits. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study showed 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 only seven months.

Are you ready to make flexible, policy-based encryption—that’s also user-friendly—part of your compliance strategy?

By: Brian Cole, Senior Manager Security Operations and Support, Echoworx

09 Dec 2019

Protecting Trade Secrets: A Crucial Part of Mergers and Acquisitions

Under normal circumstances, you might hide trade secrets behind hardened firewalls under heavy coded locks. But what about when you’re amid a mega merger or acquisition? You need to share intimate details with a prospective buyer or learn about what a target has to offer. But you also need to protect the integrity of sensitive digital data – ensuring any trade secrets which leave point A arrive intact at point B.

To make this work, you need encryption. But you also need an encryption platform which offers the flexibility to accommodate different business situations while featuring effective risk mitigating security measures. This can be easier said than done.

Here’s how our OneWorld encryption platform can help:

  1. Definable message policies for automatic encryption

Mergers and acquisitions are delicate processes involving a lot of back-and-forth correspondence between various concerned parties. Depending how many parties, or people, are involved, things can get confusing fast. Malicious actors prey on this confusion to get what they want – valuable confidential information about your company, like trade secrets.

With our OneWorld email encryption platform, you can set definable policies to ensure encryption is automatically applied to sensitive emails or attachments. Based on a predetermined set of triggers, like keywords or attachment types or something as simple as a specific recipient, emails and their content, including your trade secrets, remain uncompromised.

Automize your email security.

  1. Multi-branding prevents M&A confusion

If you’re a large international company, chances are you operate under multiple brands, out of multiple offices or in multiple languages. This can be problematic when executing delicate mergers and acquisitions, where message authenticity is crucial. From trade secrets to secrets regarding the actual M&A process itself, a confusing encryption experience can open doors to thieves.

With support for multiple brands in up to 22 languages, our OneWorld encryption platform ensures all your encrypted communications look like they come from you. And an easy configurable drop-down menu allows your recipients to interact with your encrypted message in all offered languages. This reduces the potential for confusing, misleading or fraudulent communication.

Add multi-branding to your encrypted messages.

  1. Only intended recipients can read your messages

When negotiating mergers and acquisitions, at some point you are going to be sending confidential trade secrets and other sensitive information to a prospective buyer or partner. While providing these details over the phone, via snail mail or in-person might seem more secure – these methods simply don’t cut it in our fast-paced digital age. But sending them via email can be risky (and even illegal) without protecting the message with adequate encryption.

But how do you retain control over a message once you’ve hit ‘send?’ How do you ensure only an intended recipient sees the sensitive information in your message?

In addition to other password options, our OneWorld encryption platform allows senders to both set their own secure passwords, communicated via password hints or out-of-band to their recipient, or they can defer to a system-generated password system. Both methods ensure that even if an encrypted email is sent to an incorrect recipient, or if a recipient’s email system is compromised, access is not granted without proper password authentication.

Gain more control over encrypted communications.

  1. Detailed reporting to dot your i’s and cross your t’s

Picture this: You sent a confidential encrypted email containing trade secrets to someone crucial to your M&A process. But somehow that email has been misplaced, they’ve forgotten their password for access, or you are not sure they have received it and time is of the essence.

Instead of just resending sensitive information, further muddying the waters, you need to make sure your original message is not compromised, sent to an incorrect recipient or has even been sent. To help you check up on sent messages, and even recall them or change permissions, OneWorld offers a comprehensive set of reporting tools. As the saying goes: Better safe than sorry.

  1. Keep sensitive information safe in transit

At the end of the day, any trade secrets, or other sensitive information you might send throughout an M&A process, are only as secure as the delivery method used to send them. With six flexible secure delivery methods, to fit any business case, the OneWorld email encryption platform ensures no sensitive message goes out in the clear, no secure message is undeliverable and that your prospective partners, M&A targets or buyers can learn more about your company’s details in a safe and controlled manner.

Ensure secure delivery now.

By: Michael Roberts, VP of Technology, Echoworx

27 Nov 2019

Uniform or Patchwork Privacy Laws? How Your Bank Can Mitigate Cyber Risk

As more state privacy laws come into effect in the US, navigating privacy, data residency and jurisdictional requirements is more complicated than ever for banks and financial institutions with national and international reach. Let’s look at what these privacy laws are and how encryption helps banks and financial services institutions mitigate the risk that comes with juggling multiple privacy laws.

Patchwork privacy laws

America is gearing up for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA is now one of many privacy and data security laws that protect consumers across some states.

Current state privacy laws:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Nevada Senate Bill 220
  • Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information (Maine).

While three privacy laws might not seem like much to handle, that’s not the whole picture. There are also laws governing cybersecurity, data security and data breach notification in Washington, Texas, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.

That’s a lot for any national company to keep up with and with each new law enacted, it becomes easier for companies to fall out of compliance, especially if they don’t implement proper risk management.

National privacy laws

National privacy laws include:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.
  • The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada.
  • The Act on Protection of Personal Information (APPI) in Japan.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the USA.
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in the USA, often critcized for being outdated and having no impact.

 

What kind of privacy legislation is best for banks?

Banks and other financial institutions are subject to strict legislation outside of general privacy laws. For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) governs what kind of information can be shared with third parties and requires financial institutions to disclose how they protect their clients’ private data.

We won’t list the regulations financial services companies are subject to here—suffice to say, banks are already heavily regulated.

The best type of privacy legislation for banking, financial services and insurance companies is legislation they influence to meet their needs (and the needs of their customers).

We’d suggest that one national privacy law would be easier to manage than multiple state laws on top of international privacy laws. Whatever the answer is, banks would be wise to weigh in on the idea of a national privacy law in America—because other businesses sure are.

Why the business community is advocating for an American national privacy law

The CCPA is hailed as “America’s answer to the GDPR” but that doesn’t hold up in terms of reach. The GDPR and the CCPA are similar regulations and both allow for sharp fines for lack of compliance. But the GDPR protects citizens of nations belonging to the European Union—that’s 512 million people. There are 327 million people in the US and 39.5 million people in California.

How many more laws need to be enacted for all 327 million Americans to enjoy the same privacy rights as Californians and Europeans? For many people and businesses, the answer is “too many.”

The complications of patchwork privacy legislation is one reason the Business Roundtable—an association of chief executive officers who promote the U.S. economy through sound public policy—is advocating for a national privacy law for Americans.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, writes in a Politico article that a national privacy law is “the right thing for consumers and the industry.”

But this advocacy work hasn’t yet borne fruit so businesses must deal with what is, instead of what could be.

How Echoworx OneWorld—a flexible encryption solution—helps banks navigate patchwork privacy laws

Encryption allows organizations to enhance data protection and breach notification practices. It’s an essential risk management tool that supports an organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy.

Echoworx OneWorld is a user-friendly and customer-centric encryption solution that helps banks and financial services organizations navigate patchwork privacy laws.

OneWorld features that help banks stay compliant to multiple privacy laws:

  • Definable policies – This feature allows you to control which communications get encrypted (and how) based on the message content. This is based on your needs and encryption best practices. Flexible controls for every scenario allow you to create a customizable user experience for senders and recipients and stay in control of encrypted messages in transit and at rest.
  • Multiple options for data residency – We have six data centres located in Canada, the US, Mexico, the UK, Ireland and Germany which means our clients can stay compliant to data residency requirements outlined in the GDPR and American privacy legislation. For example, if an organization works in both the EU and US, they can’t have data residency (or third parties) in the US or else they’ll be out of compliance with the GDPR.
  • Automatic inbound encryption – Emails with sensitive information—including protected personal information—are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.
  • Secure statement delivery – Senders can batch and deliver sensitive encrypted messages, like financial statements, directly to recipient inboxes in an encrypted PDF that’s password protected.
  • Natural extensions for Office Message Encryption (OME) – We work alongside Microsoft to take Office 365 to the next level with flexible use cases, branding, audit and tracking capabilities and certificate encryption. This increases existing encryption capabilities and keeps employees comfortable and confident using their existing communication tools—which makes encryption the path of least resistance.

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.

Banks are already doing business in a patchwork of conflicting privacy environments. Why not make it easier with our user-friendly encryption solution?

By: Brian Cole, Senior Manager Security Operations and Support, Echoworx

 

25 Nov 2019

The Importance of Synchronized Tech: Mergers and Acquisitions that Stick Need to Fit

The ink is dry. The handshakes have been made. Your company has just successfully negotiated a multi-million-mega dollar monster merger or acquisition. And your newest corporate addition has all the promise of taking your business to the next level.

But what’s next? How do you begin integration with your existing IT infrastructure? What sorts of vulnerabilities should your IT department be aware of before marrying your two systems? Is your existing IT infrastructure even set up for marriage? Did your top-brass think of any of this before signing off?

Chances are they didn’t.

And, like cooking a soup on your stovetop, a merger between two organizations only works if all the great ingredients can be mixed, melted and mashed together in one pot. If they can’t, your sweet deal might turn sour in a hurry! Or, worse, if left unattended – burn.

Here are some ways conducting technological due diligence plays a pivotal role before, during and after any merger or acquisition process:

1. A history of breaches – a future of headaches

Conducting conclusive research on a prospective merger or acquisition’s digital history should be a primary first step of your courting process. Asking simple questions like “Have you had a breach?” can vet massive roadblocks further down the merger and acquisitions path. Take the now-infamous 2016 Yahoo!/Verizon merger worth an initial $4.8B, for example. In this instance, since Yahoo! reported two major data breaches of user account data just prior to the sale, Verizon shaved $350M off the final price for the deal. In fact, between 2014 and 2018 alone, there where over 10 major breaches affecting mergers and acquisitions deals, affecting billions of users worldwide.

Since breaches can affect sale prices, stall deals or even cancel them out, careful attention should be paid to poor data hygiene during any merger or acquisitions process. Update your legacy encryption system now.

Common red flags, for example, might be a company not adequately protecting sensitive communications. From legacy encryption systems to not encrypting at all, a company which doesn’t protect is opening another to risk.

With our OneWorld encryption solution, companies can reduce the complexity of legacy systems by consolidating email encryption into a single, scalable cloud-based platform – for a more secure environment for sending sensitive communications. From configurable encryption policies to detailed message reporting, our robust encryption system can help you demonstrate effective risk-mitigating security for any deal

2. Understanding IT infrastructure

When organizations begin to execute elaborate digital transformation plays, any hidden tangled wires, certifications and claims within an existing IT infrastructure suddenly come to the forefront. If left unattended, these tangles can create expensive knots for any merger or acquisition attempts. From obsolete technology lowering a product’s value to legacy systems and processes which simply do not line up.

IT issues need to be top-of-mind throughout any merger or acquisition process. Read more about our certifications.

Proper consultation with your IT department prior to a merger is an effective way to ensure elaborate paper acquisitions play out as planned – especially when you consider that over 50 per cent of initiatives throughout a mergers and acquisitions process, designed to capture synergies, are directly related to IT. A merger or acquisition candidate might claim, for example, that they are SOC2 certified, meaning their security has been vetted and approved by a credible third-party SOC2 evaluator. A member of your IT department can help determine whether this certification is valid or acquired via a third-party.

3. Protecting trade secrets

In order to protect trade secrets, prevent unwanted access and to bring order to your merger or acquisition process, you need to provide protected conduits through which information can be sent, received and replied to.

Mergers and acquisitions can sometimes be periods of organized chaos, as new faces meet new infrastructure and information flies freely from camp A to camp B. Ensure only intended recipients can read your secure message.

In addition to its six flexible secure delivery methods, the OneWorld encryption platform is fully brandable, configurable and features various secure authentication methods. For additional security, OneWorld features a flexible suite of encryption policies which automatically protect any incoming or outbound sensitive data.

4. Sanitizing IT infrastructure

Prior to plugging in to any newly acquired merger or acquisition, be sure to identify any existing vulnerabilities. This ensures that any legacy cybersecurity technology, ageing in-house communications systems and other technological cracks don’t pollute your system once the deal is signed – something 40 per cent of companies fail to do. A thorough audit of a prospect’s digital infrastructure can help mitigate the risk of dealing with expensive interventions further down the line.

Prior to plugging in to any newly acquired merger or acquisition, be sure to identify any existing vulnerabilities. Update your legacy message encryption system.

Moving non-critical systems to the cloud is a simple solution to uncluttering, sanitizing and updating an incompatible legacy system. With Echoworx OneWorld, for example, migrating legacy resource-intensive message encryption service to the cloud is simple. The resulting light, configurable and flexible secure message environment, managed in the cloud, helps organizations consolidate cybersecurity efforts and streamlines the merger and acquisition process.

By Christian Peel, VP Customer Engineering, Echoworx

22 Nov 2019

Still Selling ‘Risk Acceptance’ to Your Customers?

As organizations continue their digital migrations, the list of cyber-threats, risks and vulnerabilities grows exponentially. From a more connected workplace to new laws and regulations governing privacy and data protection, keeping up on our ever-expanding digital world can be challenging and expensive.

One method to confront cyber-risk is to adopt a laissez-faire risk acceptance approach – where the costs of prevention seemingly outweigh the consequences of doing nothing at all. In this scenario, a bank or business takes a gamble that a cyber-security incident won’t happen or that they can just pay a nominal one-time fee if it does. In other words: Instead of protecting customer data, investing in streamlined cybersecurity solutions or sealing off a vulnerability, an organization simply opts to leave the door open with the hope that no one comes knocking.

The economics of risk acceptance in cybersecurity

Is risk acceptance the most-economical mindset in the short run? Assuming an organization is not the target of a particularly devastating attack, they might come out unscathed from the initial breach, with nominal fines or nothing at all. For example, if a cybersecurity solution is going to cost $250,000 to protect a $50,000 problem – it might not make initial sense to invest. But when you factor in brand damage, changes in regulations, emerging technology, and subsequent fines and class action lawsuits there are different angles to consider – especially when something big hits.

During the 2017 Equifax acquisition, for example, when a massive breach compromised the personal information of over 140M Americans, or nearly half the country, the Equifax brand suffered irreparable damage and has been ordered to pay up to $700M in fines. This all stemmed from their “failure to take reasonable steps to secure their network.” This breach is one of the worst to ever have happened in the US and, with 13 major breaches affecting mergers and acquisitions deals between 2014 and 2018, it was hardly the only one.

Do you think it was worth it? We don’t.

Customers won’t buy risk acceptance

Issues of brand damage come to the forefront of any risk acceptance plan once a breach occurs – regardless of size. Any customer-centric organization worth its salt knows that customers care about their personal data and do not reward businesses who do not value it enough to protect it. In fact, according to Echoworx data, 80 per cent of customers consider leaving a brand after a breach.

In a nutshell: You can’t afford to sell risk acceptance to your customers.

Instead of gambling with customer data, a true proactive choice involves taking every precaution to protect them with risk-mitigating defenses. Since digital trust and loyalty of customers is rooted in user experience and demonstrated brand assurance of safety, you need to offer flexible and streamlined cybersecurity solutions that work.

With our OneWorld encryption platform, for example, you can protect customer data in transit without affecting customer experience. With support for 22 languages, multiple branding options and configurable sets of encryption policies, our streamlined encryption experience ensures nothing is left to chance – including your customers.

Start selling risk mitigating encryption now.

Risk acceptance doesn’t cut it across borders

If you are an international brand, with offices all around the world, you might be boxed out of local markets if you can’t protect your customers. But investing in the bare minimum isn’t good enough either. In order to comply with different privacy jurisdictions, avoiding the potential for hammering fines or being excluded from a market completely, an organization needs to invest in flexible, streamlined and easy-to-understand proactive cybersecurity solutions.

Picture this scenario, for example: You are an organization based in the US which does business in the EU and is looking to break into APEC. From Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) to California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) closer to home, for examples, you are now navigating a whole patchwork of privacy laws. How do you exchange your daily flow of sensitive data between offices?

Until recently, a company might be able to fly under the regulatory radar without encrypting sensitive communications. But more severe interpretations of these laws, like those regarding the GDPR in Denmark, now mean you can’t legally do business in some of these countries without an encryption solution flexible enough to accommodate different jurisdictional demands. That throws a pretty major wrench in any international business plan.

Enable your cross-border communications now.

Risk acceptance jeopardizes your digital future

As the saying goes: Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away. In the case of cybersecurity, inadequate investment in data-protecting technology can make current vulnerabilities larger, as business grows, or render an organization unable to adequately deal with future issues. And, in the case of mergers and acquisitions, not being flexible enough or set up to move with the technological tide can stall, cancel or, at the very least, lower the value of the deal.

In other words: In a world of every-changing regulations, which are not going away, and new technology, which demands flexibility, if you adopt a culture of risk acceptance, you risk being left in the dust.

As a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, Echoworx provides flexible solutions for organizations looking to update legacy message encryption technology. Many organizations, for example, need to reduce the complexity of their existing legacy solutions, like a legacy PGP system, into a single consolidated cloud-based platform. As a fully managed, infinitely scalable and geo-redundant encryption solution, our OneWorld encryption platform helps organizations get up to speed with secure communications and be prepared for whatever changes are around the corner.

Upgrade your legacy encryption system to the cloud now.

Risk mitigation is simple – yet effective

Investing in comprehensive data-protecting cybersecurity solutions for risk mitigation, as opposed to acceptance, is not a compromise for today’s customer – it’s an expectation. They expect airtight security for their valuable personal data – something they can get with or without your brand. The solution is easy: you don’t gamble with them; you protect them before something happens.

Protecting your secure communications with encryption is an effective way to ensure data in transit stays safe, you can easily adapt to new regulations and you can protect your own valuable company data and secrets. As a tool of risk mitigation, applying encryption to sensitive messages means you do not take chances when it comes to the safety of your data. This is an integral keystone of any merger or acquisition process – something that can affect the ultimate value of your deal.

A path to secure communications with OneWorld

Our OneWorld encryption platform is an important risk-mitigating addition to any customer-centric cybersecurity suite. With multiple flexible delivery methods, available in 22 languages, full reporting and with extensive options to support multiple brands, OneWorld assures your customers that you do indeed value their business and data at every point of their customer journey. And its streamlined user-friendly interface and definable customizable set of encryption policies ensures data protection occupies a central part of any organizational business policy.

Protect your communications now.

By Nicholas Sawarna, Sr. Content Marketing Specialist, Echoworx

18 Nov 2019

How to Ensure Only Intended Recipients Can Read Your Secure Message

We’ve all done it: You hit ‘send’ on a message only to notice a mistyped email address. You might reach out to notify the incorrect recipient of your error. You might try to recall the message. Or you might just send the message over to the correct recipient. Not a big deal – these things happen.

But what if the email contained sensitive information, like a bank statement? What if it’s enough to get you reprimanded or, worse, fired?

Even if the unintended recipient offers to delete the message, how can you guarantee they followed through? How do you know they didn’t sneak a peak before deleting your wayward message?

You need to know this won’t happen to you. You need control. OneWorld can help.

Sender-set passwords for encrypted messages

Once a message has been received by a recipient, there is little which can be done to control who sees it. Since even unintended recipients have the potential to view message content, this can pose problems if the message contains confidential sensitive information, like a bank statement or medical information.

With OneWorld, you can set a shared passphrase to access an encrypted email. This encryption password, which can be anything, from a name to a set of numbers, provides effective security for the content you need to protect.

And there are variety of ways to share password information, like password hints or out-of-band options like verbally via telephone, for example. All password options are designed to assure the sender that even if the message is sent to an unintended recipient, access remains protected.

A password that’s both easy and secure

For a password to be effective, it needs to be complex enough not to be guessed but not so difficult as to be confusing for the recipient. Passwords can be based on information already known to the recipient like an account number, for example, or provided by the sender along with a password hint. For added security, complexity requirements can be enforced by the system.

Selecting the shared passphrase and password hint for a message can be done directly through the OneWorld plugin for Microsoft Outlook or the Outlook Web add-in. Passwords can also be set by a subject keyword from any device or email generator application. Any previously set passwords can be retrieved or checked by the sender through their ‘sent’ emails.

System generated passwords for encrypted messages

As another option for assuring an even higher level of protection for sensitive information, a System-Generated Verification Code is another way to set a complex password. With this method, which is available for OneWorld’s Web Portal secure delivery method, a random single-use code is provided to the sender who, as in the case with sender-set passwords, can then communicate this system-generated password to the recipient. Password complexity tends to be increased with this method as the sender is forced to use a unique code for every message and DLP engines can be configured to force this type of encryption delivery.

Other solutions send a One-Time-Password (OTP) to the recipient mailbox immediately following an encrypted message, which is a bit like leaving your keys in the door.

Additional perks of OneWorld password options

Sender-set Passphrases and System-Generated Verification Codes are effective ways for organizations to avoid any type of registration process. From encrypting attachments only to entire messages, OneWorld allows you to communicate securely with your customer base without any additional steps – you just communicate the password and they gain instant access. And, with the option to reply securely, this method of seamless authentication provides a complete customer-centric circuit of secure communication.

Eliminate your registration process for secure mail now.

By Derek Christiansen, Engagement Manager, Echoworx

11 Nov 2019

California’s CCPA – What Banks Need to Know

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect on January 1, 2020 and enforcement measures are scheduled to start six months later. Banks that do business with the state of California and its residents need to protect themselves and get compliant with the CCPA, hailed as “America’s answer to the GDPR.”

A quick view of the CCPA

The CCPA establishes data privacy rights for Californians and, starting soon, this law applies to businesses that sell products and services to California residents and collect information about them.

Under the CCPA, California residents have the right to:

  • Know what personal information is collected about them.
  • Know whether their personal information is sold or disclosed and to whom.
  • Opt out of allowing businesses to sell their personal information.
  • Access the personal information collected about them—in the last 12 months—and receive it in a user-friendly format.
  • Equal service and price, no matter what privacy options they choose.
  • Erase personal data collected (in some situations).

 

This act means Californians can opt out of many secondary uses of their personal information including sales to data brokers, tracking and other uses not directly related to service delivery.

Defining personal information under the CCPA

Section 1798.140, subdivision (o) of the CCPA defines personal information and it’s a long list that includes—but isn’t limited to—identifiers, categories listed in subdivision (e) of Section 1798.80, characteristics of protected classifications, commercial information, biometric information, internet and other electronic network activity, geolocation data, audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory information, professional, employment and education information (that’s not already publicly available) and inferences drawn from information collected.

Call your privacy lawyers and experts because this list is exhaustive; staying in compliance will be complicated and being out of compliance will be costly.

Penalites and fees associated with the CCPA

Like the GDPR, the CCPA has teeth when it comes to penalites. PWC reports that the private right of action damages will be between $100 and $750 per consumer, per breach. And the regulator enforcement penalities will be “up to $2,500 per unintentional violation and $7,500 per intentional violation.”[i]

The impact of the CCPA on banking institutions

As more states institute their own consumer privacy laws, it becomes increasingly complicated for national banks to remain compliant across state borders. Today we’re talking about California but Vermont and South Carolina just passed laws about data collection and breach notification respectively.

Banks must understand privacy laws in all states and countries they do business in and have the processes and products in place to stay compliant with these regulations. They should also expect this trend of patchwork privacy laws to continue and be prepared to adapt to ever-evolving privacy laws.

Any banks that have Eurpean clients are (or should be) GDPR compliant so there’s less work for them to do now as the GDPR and the CCPA have many overlapping requirements. Part of that work includes analyzing data flows, implementing processes to meet the needs of the new regulation and clearly documenting all data and data policies.

Encrypted communications are part of the solution because encryption keeps protected personal information safe at rest and in transit. The Echoworx OneWorld encryption platform makes encryption the path of least resistance which is essential in highly-regulated industries such as banking, financial services and insurance.

How Echoworx OneWorld—a flexible encryption solution—helps banks navigate the CCPA

Encryption is a tool that allows organizations to enhance data protection and breach notification practices.

Encryption is considered[ii]:

  • An appropriate technical and organizational measure for securing personal data when implemented with other appropriate controls to protect the encryption process.
  • An appropriate safeguard for processing personal data for a different purpose than the one it was collected for.

 

But encryption only works when it’s used. And, in a recent survey of IT professionals and IT decision-makers, we found that although encryption is a priority for most organizations, less than half the organizations with encryption software use it extensively.

That’s because many encryption solutions are difficult for employees and clients to use where encryption becomes an extra step; when security is outside of the regular workflow, people are less likely to use it.

At Echoworx, we built our OneWorld encryption platform to seamlessly integrate into existing workflows and make encryption and secure communications the path of least resistance.

OneWorld features that help banks navigate privacy regulations, including the GDPR and CCPA:

  • Definable policies – This feature allows you to control which communications get encrypted (and how) based on the message content. This is set up during implementation—based on your needs and encryption best practices. Flexible controls for every scenario allow you to create a customizable user experience for senders and recipients and stay in control of encrypted messages in transit and at rest.
  • Automatic inbound encryption – Emails with sensitive information—including protected personal information—are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.
  • Secure statement delivery – Senders can batch and deliver sensitive encrypted messages, like financial statements, direct to recipient inboxes in encrypted PDF format, that’s also password protected.
  • Breach notifications – Senders can leverage OneWorld to deliver encrypted and protected communications and notifications to their customers in the instance of a breach.

 

Besides making encryption the path of least resistance, 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.

The clock is ticking on the California Consumer Privacy Act. Why wait to make our user-friendly encryption solution part of your compliance strategy?

By: Brian Cole, Senior Manager Security Operations and Support, Echoworx

 


Source:

[i] https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/cybersecurity/california-consumer-privacy-act.html

[ii] https://www.echoworx.com/project/encryption-in-the-gdpr/

 

05 Nov 2019

How to Expand Your Tech Stack Responsibly

Contemporary enterprise organizations continue their migration to the cloud to save money, increase flexibility and reduce the burden of keeping experts on staff to manage infrastructure. But, while the benefits of moving to the cloud are real, it’s essential to expand your tech stack responsibly—and that starts with security.

Contemporary security considerations for enterprise-level organizations:

 

  • Sensitive data leaving the company firewall – Once sensitive data leaves the perimeters of an organizational firewall, it’s vulnerable to malicious actors. Some firewalls protect the enterprise network and users while others protect information in transit between cloud applications. As the workplace marches towards all things cloud-based and digital, it’s essential to protect data both in transit and at rest.
  • Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and remote work culture – Companies now allow—and even encourage—employees to use their personal cell phones, tablets and laptops for work activities. This is another avenue for organizational information to leave the safety of the company network and once it moves onto personal devices, it’s a security risk. The popularity of the BYOD culture is driven in part by the uptick of remote employees.
  • Breaches, hacks and attacks – According to a recent report, 38 per cent of organizations aren’t equipped to detect a sophisticated breach and in 2017, the average cost of a data breach was $3.62M.[i] A strong cybersecurity infrastructure can mean the difference between shutting down operations and business as usual.
  • Shiny object syndrome – Everyone wants to download the latest and greatest tech gamechanger. And while most third-party SaaS solutions are safe, organizations can’t afford to jump on board (or let their employees do so) before conducting their own cybersecurity due diligence.
  • Shadow IT – Employees may be downloading or using third-party software or apps to exchange sensitive information. Organizations need to make a better effort at making the protection of data the path of least resistance.

 

Four ways to expand your tech stack responsibly

 

  1. Lay the foundation with encryption – Encryption converts information or data into a code for the purpose of preventing unauthorized access. Before you do anything else, make sure your data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Encrypting communications secures sensitive data and protects it from nefarious use by malicious agents (including insiders) and from accidental breaches by employees. Choose a user-friendly encryption platform that makes encryption the path of least resistance. With Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform, you can turn cybersecurity into a competitive edge, increase digital trust and enjoy a significant return on investment.

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 legacy on-premises encryption solutions could save the 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.

  1. Apply good governance – Is governance part of your cybersecurity framework? If not, start today. Who oversees and is responsible for managing technological expansion, assessing cyber risks and vulnerabilities and creating a way forward? If the answer isn’t clear, it’s time to make changes and get your board of directors involved too. Did you know that only 40 per cent of corporate boards participate in their organization’s security strategy?[ii]
  1. Assess your current tech stack – In the old days, IT vetted all the tech brought into the business. But in large organizations, tech slips into departments based on team needs, with little regard for the big picture. Many organizations vastly underestimate the amount of software being used across their operations, marketing, sales, human resources, business intelligence and project management teams. When you reveal the real current state, it gives you the information you need to move towards a sensible future state.
  1. Provide the tools your employees need – The biggest culprit of shadow IT are apps and programs designed to streamline employee workflow. You need to provide your employees with the best tools to do their jobs effectively and safely.

Here’s more on how you can minimize your risk of insider threats.

  1. Implement privacy by design – The Privacy by Design framework, developed by privacy expert, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, is based on seven foundational principles. They are proactive not reactive, lead with privacy as the default setting, embed privacy into design, retain full functionality, ensure end-to-end security, maintain visibility and transparency and respect user privacy. If each new item in your tech stack follows these principles, it reduces the risk and costs of taking a reactive approach to data security.

To learn more about Privacy by Design, download our white paper here.

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do. If you’d like to make secure communications easily accessible across your organization, contact us.  We’ll show you how the right encryption technology can differentiate successful digital transformations from the rest.

By: Wen Chen, Senior Manager of IT and Support, Echoworx

——————–

Source:

[i] EY Global Information Security Survey 2018-19

[ii] 2018 Global State of Information Security Survey (PWC)

29 Oct 2019

Encryption is No Longer a Differentiator — User Experience is

Organizations using encryption to secure private data used to stand out in a crowd – and the technology remains a major building block of digital trust. But encrypted communications alone are hardly what makes an organization stand out of a crowd these days. Customers expect airtight security, but they want an excellent user experience – something you need to deliver.

Many encryption solutions use the same algorithms and specs; almost all modern security products feature 2048-bit RSA encryption, 256-bit AES encryption and SHA2 signatures. But not all encryption solutions are easy for your staff, customers and clients to use—and that’s why user experience is now the encryption differentiator.

Prioritize process over product

We recently surveyed IT professionals and IT decision-makers and found that encryption is a priority for most organizations, but less than half of organizations with encryption software use it extensively. This often comes down to user-friendliness; it’s nearly impossible to roll-out a security feature that doesn’t integrate seamlessly into existing workflows. When searching for an encryption solution, carefully consider the processes that come with the product and let a user-friendly encryption experience differentiate you from the competition.

What makes an encryption solution user-friendly?

A great encryption platform is easy for customers and staff to use and easy for organizations to implement.

User-friendly encryption features for clients and staff:

  • Frictionless user experience – Customers and employees tend to take the path of least resistance. Look for an encryption solution that builds security into that path of least resistance.
  • Multiple language and branding options – For international organizations, excellent customer experience includes on-brand communications in your client’s preferred language. Did you know that 79 per cent of people take less than 30 seconds to evaluate the safety of an email? This means off-brand but legitimate emails from your company can easily be categorized as spam, decreasing your organization’s digital trustworthiness. With Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform, you can set language policies to automatically apply to encrypted communications based on sender, brand, locale and receiver attributes.
  • Multiple delivery methods – Look for an encryption platform that can deliver messages through secure PDF, web portal, TLS and encrypted attachments and offers S/MIME and PGP support. If your platform offers multiple secure delivery methods with effective (and automatic) fallback options, encryption never gets in the way of user experience.

 

User-friendly encryption features for IT decision-makers:

  • Definable policies – Definable policies control which communications get encrypted (and how) based on the message content. This is set up during implementation—based on your needs and encryption best practices. Flexible controls for every scenario allow you to create a customizable user experience for senders and recipients and stay in control of encrypted messages in transit and at rest.
  • Secure access privileges – Risk management for insider threats include building a permissions architecture that gives access based on needs and roles instead of having open access to all data. For example, in a healthcare organization, the executive director wouldn’t have the same permissions as a nurse practitioner.
  • Scalability – Your encryption solution should be able to grow along with your business whether you’ve got 500, 5,000 or 50,000 employees.
  • Positive return on investment – With the right encryption solution, your organization can provide a user-friendly experience—and save 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.
  • Implementation support – Remember how only half of organizations with encryption use it? At Echoworx, we offer account support because we believe that helping organizations understand how encryption fits into their business model means successful implementation and widespread adoption.

 

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do. If you’d like to learn more about what user-friendly encryption features are best for your organization, contact us today.

03 Oct 2019

A Sensitive Issue: Secure Message Encryption for Large Healthcare Networks

Large regional health authorities can employ thousands of people and have a volunteer network in the thousands or tens of thousands. And, since health authorities send, receive and store so much personal and medical data, secure communications are essential.

Here’s why healthcare organizations are vulnerable to privacy breaches, the consequences of mishandling patient data and how encryption makes secure communications possible for health authorities with a large staff and volunteer base.

Why healthcare organizations are vulnerable to privacy and security breaches  

According to a recent report[i], 18 per cent of all cybersecurity breaches happen in healthcare. And internal actors—including employees, former employees, contractors and business associates—cause 59 per cent of the breaches in healthcare.[ii]

Here’s why healthcare organizations including health authorities are vulnerable:

 

  • Lack of training for staff and volunteers – The top two patterns in healthcare breaches relate to miscellaneous errors and privilege misuse. Privilege misuse is about employees peeking into patient records that they have access to but shouldn’t be looking at. Training can help build a culture of privacy and security at healthcare organizations and help staff understand the real consequences of snooping. In 2018, for example, The Ottawa Hospital fired an employee for peeking at 30 patient files and the year before, a student intern was fined $25,000 for accessing the personal health information of 139 people (also in Ontario).

 

  • Outdated communication tools – Some communication tools simply aren’t secure. This includes old pager systems used to send messages—including patient information, diagnoses and hospital room numbers—over unencrypted radio frequencies. When unencrypted communication methods are the path of least resistance, they’ll continued to be used, despite privacy issues.

 

  • Inconsistent mandatory reporting – While mandatory reporting of data breaches is standard across most states and Europe, that’s not the case in Canada. Reporting data breaches isn’t yet mandatory in Manitoba, Quebec or British Columbia. Mandatory reporting is positive because it brings breaches into the public eye—which can encourage organizations to act quickly to resolve security issues.

 

The consequences of mishandling patient data

In Canada, heath information is protected under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). When health authorities mishandle patient data, patients lose trust in them, they come under fire from local privacy watchdogs and they can incur significant costs and fines. For example, at Capital Health in Nova Scotia, one employee improperly accessed the private health records of 105 people over six years—which cost Capital Health a $400K settlement.[iii]

For healthcare organizations with a large employee and volunteer base, encryption reduces the likelihood of mishandled patient data while increasing cybersecurity.

What does encryption do?

Encryption converts data and information into a code to prevent unauthorized access to the data while it’s in transit and at rest. It simply means private information is kept private. When choosing an encryption solution, algorithms aren’t the primary differentiators because almost all contemporary security products feature 2048-bit RSA encryption, 256-bit AES encryption and SHA2 signatures.

Instead, the real encryption differentiator is customer experience—how easy is it for patients, employees and volunteers to use the encryption solution? Our OneWorld encryption platform is user-friendly and seamlessly integrates into existing workflows.

5 ways the OneWorld encryption platform makes secure communications possible for health authorities

 

  1. Automatic encryption – Policy-based encryption allows you to automatically secure communications based on their content. For example, with Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform, emails with sensitive information—including protected health information—are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.

 

  1. Reporting and monitoring – In cybersecurity, it’s important to be able to identify and investigate irregular communications. For example, you should be able to see who sent any email you’re reviewing, when it was sent and whether it was opened or not. Reporting and monitoring helps you reduce the risk of internal cyber vulnerabilities.

 

  1. Communications control – With so many employees, volunteers and healthcare partners, it’s easier than ever for sensitive data to leave the safety of your corporate network, either intentionally or accidentally. You can prevent this with communications controls such as preventing email forwarding, setting automatic encryption based on the type of email, keywords, phrases and attachments and enabling a single sign-on solution—to keep sensitive information on your protected network.

 

  1. Path of least resistance – With a user-friendly encryption platform in place, regional health authorities maintain control over their communications and make security the path of least resistance for their end-users. If an encryption platform makes more work for employees, they won’t adopt it. But when it seamlessly integrates into existing daily tasks, they will. User-friendliness isn’t a nice to have; it’s what makes widespread implementation possible.

 

  1. Positive return on investment – While encryption is no longer optional, health authorities can save money by investing in the right platform. For example, the Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study revealed that organizations that adopt Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect a return on investment of 155 per cent, a payback period of seven months and the unquantified benefits that come with enhanced customer experience and reduced downtime.

 

If your regional health authority has thousands of employees and volunteers communicating with patients and other healthcare organizations, choosing the right encryption platform is an essential part of your cybersecurity program. Why wait? Reduce the likelihood of mishandled patient data by enabling automaic encryption for thousands of employees. Contact us today.

By: Michael Roberts, VP of Technology, Echoworx

 

Source:

[i] Cyber Security and Healthcare: An Evolving Understanding of Risk (Symantec)

[ii] Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report

[iii] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/capital-health-privacy-breach-proposed-settlement-1.4858784

25 Sep 2019
communications control in healthcare organizations

Maintaining Control Over Sensitive Communications in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly digital – from its adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to various online medical appointment booking and prescription systems. And, since healthcare organizations use, send and receive so much personal and medical data, it’s essential that these digital transformation projects incorporate elements of privacy by design —including secure communications.

Here’s why it’s important to maintain control over secure communications and how healthcare organizations can do that.

What is communications control?

Communications control is about setting up a system that allows your organization to oversee, track and review all digital communications. This is typically done by setting up control policies and permissions and using appropriate tools.

Why is control of secure communications essential in healthcare organizations?

Communications control allows you to protect personal and medical data that you collect, use and share as part of business operations. While it’s easy to agree that protecting client data is the right thing to do, there are many more reasons to implement communications control at your organization.

Five reasons for implementing communications control in healthcare organizations:

 

  1. Clients expect privacy – An EHR includes the most personal details imaginable, from medication lists to medical conditions, and clients trust that you’ll keep this information private and secure.
  2. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and remote work culture – It’s now common for companies to allow employees to use their personal cell phones, tablets and laptops for work activities or to operate on company networks. When this happens, sensitive internal information has the potential to travel outside an organization’s digital perimeters —which presents a security risk. The increase in remote employees is one contributor to the popularity of BYOD.
  3. External threats – According to a recent Symantec report, 18 per cent of cybersecurity breaches happen in healthcare. The average cost for a ransomware incident is $76,000 and the average hacking breach costs $2.4M. That’s about 2.4 million reasons to maintain control over sensitive communications!
  4. Insider threats – It’s an uncomfortable truth that data breaches and cyberattacks are often caused by employees—mostly accidentally but sometimes with malicious intent. Learn more about how insider threats happen here.
  5. Client demand for digital solutions – According to McKinsey & Company, consumers prefer digital solutions for many healthcare activities including appointment scheduling, prescription refills, checking personal health information and paying health insurance bills.

 

The good news is that healthcare organizations can address all these factors with secure communication controls, a user-friendly encryption platform and creating a culture of security.

Five ways healthcare organizations can maintain control of their secure communications

 

  1. Encryption, encryption, encryptionEncryption is defined as “the process of converting information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access.” Communicating without encryption is like leaving your front door and filing cabinets unlocked and wide open.
  2. Set external communications policies (aka controls) – With so many modes of communication, it’s easier than ever for sensitive data to leave the safety of your corporate network, either intentionally or accidentally. Secure communications controls can help prevent this from happening. Examples of communications controls include preventing email forwarding, setting automatic encryption based on the type of email, keywords, phrases and attachments and enabling a single sign-on solution—to help ensure sensitive information stays protected.
  3. Set policies for inbound communications – While you can’t control what people send your organization, you can control how you receive it using preset inbound policies, such as automatic encryption. For example, with Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform, emails with sensitive information—including protected health information (PHI)—are automatically identified, securely routed to the OneWorld web portal and encrypted. Encrypted delivery methods include TLS encryption, encrypted PDFs and attachments, certificate encryption and web portal encryption.
  4. Enable reporting and monitoring – While you don’t want to set up a “Big Brother” environment, it’s important to be able to identify and investigate irregular communications. For example, you should be able to see who sent any email you’re reviewing, when it was sent and whether it was opened or not. Learn more about taking pre-emptive measures to reduce internal cyber vulnerabilities here.
  5. Act on irregularities – A proper system allows you to act as soon as you identify suspicious communication behaviour. You should be able to modify user permissions, recall messages and revoke access to encrypted messages (even ones that have left your network).

 

At Echoworx, encryption is all we do. We’re proud to help healthcare organizations take control of their communications and protect their sensitive data with a user-friendly encryption solution that has a demonstrated return on investment. The Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study revealed that organizations that adopt Echoworx’s OneWorld encryption platform can expect a return on investment of 155 per cent, a payback period of seven months and the unquantified benefits that come with enhanced customer experience and reduced downtime.

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

By: Steve Davis, Director of Products, Echoworx

 

13 Sep 2019
encryption for group collaboration

Mum’s the Word: Encryption for Group Collaboration

The digital world has opened the seas of technology and revolutionized the way in which we conduct business and serve customers. At the click of a mouse we may apply for mortgages, receive a bank loan or read financial statements. The flow of information has never been more streamlined and customer-centric than it is today.

But what happens when the trappings of contemporary technology outpace our ability to control it?

While your customers embrace the instantaneous nature offered by digital communications, a whole minefield of international privacy regulations, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, demand data protection at every step of the way – privacy by design and privacy in practice.

For those operating in highly regulated business environments, like finance, banking or insurance, these contradictory market demands, dictating an excellent user experience with one hand but airtight algorithms with the other, can disrupt workflow, lead to delays and, ultimately, cause a loss in customer base. Not ideal.

Offering streamlined flexible encryption solutions are one puzzle piece of a greater solution. Without effective secure communication between your staff, their clients and their customers, your organization risks being cut off from the digital world. Here are some ways you can leverage encryption to put your customers first and your brand at the forefront – without interrupting your frictionless collaborative work environment:

  1. Keeping secure communications secure

According to Echoworx data, 80 per cent of customers consider leaving a brand after a breach. Despite this, 69 per cent of customers do not think organizations do enough to protect their data. In a nutshell: You cannot afford to have bad data practices when it comes to exchanging personal data of your customers – even internally.

With five flexible secure methods to send encrypted messages, Echoworx’s OneWorld ensures no sensitive correspondence goes out in the clear. Depending where your colleagues are located, for example, they might favour a more mobile-friendly method of encrypted communication – like sending via secure web portal.

Learn more about OneWorld’s different secure delivery methods.

  1. Offering a consistent user experience

Do your employees work primarily via their mobile devices? Are TLS connections available with your clients? Do your encrypted messages need to be available at-rest for offline working environments? How tech-savvy are your users – both internal and external?

Questions like the above can help you determine an encryption solution which works for your organizational work environment. According to Echoworx research, over half of IT professionals and decision-makers value encryption technology as very important – and yet just 40 per cent say their organizations employ data privacy technology extensively. These figures suggest their current cybersecurity solutions are not applicable to their encryption needs or perhaps offer a poor user experience.

With OneWorld you can make encryption your path of least resistance for your organization. With multiple flexible ways in which to send an encrypted message, and different ways to read and interact with it, you can streamline your collaborative workflow regardless of where users are located.

Learn more about choosing an encryption delivery method which works.

  1. Faster turnaround on important documents

From onboarding a new client to putting something out for deadline, the business world doesn’t forgive cumbersome time-consuming processes. If an important document takes too long, the process is confusing or a deadline is missed, you might lose a customer or, at the very least, make a bad digital impression. The right type of secure document delivery can eliminate these types of snags in favour of a frictionless business process.

In addition to its other flexible delivery methods, OneWorld features the ability to append password-protected encrypted attachments to otherwise normal digital correspondences. This not only allows users to work on a document in its native format, but also eliminates the need for an entire messages to be encrypted. This can improve turnaround on important sensitive documents and streamline collaborative working environments as digital messages can be exchanged in real time.

Learn more about our other secure encryption delivery methods.

  1. Stay compliant, avoid the fines

At the end of the day, the whole point of adopting an encryption strategy is to beef up cyber-defences and avoid costly non-compliance fines. If your organization does not offer a flexible, frictionless and seamless encryption experience, your customers and clients won’t like it and your employees won’t use it. For a collaborative work environment, this presents considerable internal risk for even the most mundane day-to-day workflow.

Learn more about choosing an encryption method which works.

  1. Natural extensions to existing email infrastructure

Our OneWorld encryption platform works seamlessly with existing email infrastructure, like Microsoft Office 365, to offer additional secure delivery methods. These additional options for sending encrypted communications perfectly compliment Office 365 to take your encryption strategy to the next level. From OneWorld’s ability to brand encrypted messages to something as simple, and useful, as being able to track message progress via detailed reports to additional password options, OneWorld helps your organization enhance user experience, add more security and increase work productivity.

Learn more about OneWorld’s natural extensions for OME.

By Michael Roberts, VP Technology at Echoworx