Who Controls Your Encryption Experience?
At its core, security is an exercise of control. Security controls how our property is used, who has access to it and keeps it safe. In cybersecurity, this notion generally refers to the protection of an organization’s digital assets– keeping data safe and sound.
But what happens to this secure sense of control when data goes beyond your reach – outside your digital perimeter? You encrypt it.
Here are some points to consider for effective encryption – without relinquishing control:
- Compliance needs met with encryption Under international privacy rules, like the GDPR, non-compliance can lead to massive fines you can’t afford. And, while delivery methods like TLS or PGP are effective for protecting data in transit and end-to-end, they do not accommodate every situation – additional options are needed. If a TLS connection is not available, you may want automatic fallbacks to another secure delivery methods, such as via web portal or as an encrypted attachment – ensuring sensitive data always remains protected.
- Proactive policies leave less room for internal error
Encryption is a feature of any serious cybersecurity design – but real world application still lags, according to Echoworx data. When a platform is not user friendly and encrypting a message is difficult, there is a tendency for senders to favour the path of least resistance – sending sensitive data without protection. Setting proactive encryption policies in motion not only makes encryption mandatory based on pre-set rules, but also improves platform usability by automating a sometimes-confusing process.
Take inbound encryption policies, for example. When a customer sends an organization sensitive information, like a credit card number, over an open or unrecognized channel, there is a chance existing email filters might flag and block their message for reasons of compliance. By setting inbound encryption policies, incoming emails containing sensitive data are automatically encrypted, before being delivered to a recipient’s inbox – safe, sound and compliant.
- Stay in control of encryption controls
From the choice of email service provider to something as simple as a device-type, there are a variety of ways recipients might be inadvertently controlling their encryption experience. This unintended result can prove detrimental to their user experience – especially if there are better encryption delivery methods for their situation.
Using proactive policies, your organization can push secure delivery methods tailored to specific customers. You might, for example, set policies which restrict TLS to trusted partners only – or employ attachment-only encryption for secure statement delivery.
- Offer a consistent encryption experience
Part of a true streamlined user experience relies on a consistent user experience – regardless of device, location, location or connectivity. An encrypted message experience, for example, should offer the same user experience regardless of whether the secure message is accessed on a desktop computer or offline via a mobile device – without the need for third-party apps. This same consistent user experience also helps streamline working within collaborative environments.
Common business scenarios, for example, often involve engaging with a sensitive document across multiple devices and environments. Is the document going to look and act the same offline and online? If working collaboratively on a sensitive encrypted document, is the user experience identical for all parties involved?
- Be able to recall encrypted messages The ability to recall a compromised message even after it has been read, is a simple, yet fundamental feature enabling control of an encryption experience. Whether a message is sent to an unintended recipient or whether a message is no longer safe, control over a message shouldn’t have to be relinquished just by pressing ‘Send.’
- Branding is more than changing the colour Branding and the separation of brands is crucial to any enterprise conglomerate. The ability to brand, separate and segment customer interactions according to brand can mean anything from how a secure message is received to a desired language. Different brands should also be siloed to prevent eavesdropping from other business units.
By Derek Christiansen, Engagement Manager, Echoworx