Data protection is the biggest hurdle in developing data-driven business models for companies. This article will consider the concept of end-to-end encryption and how reliable it is for protecting business-critical data.
How to stay secured with end-to-end encryption?
At the beginning of the Internet, communication between end devices took place without further security measures. The data exchange was sent in plain text. As a result, the data could be easily intercepted and easily read. Data is now usually exchanged in encrypted form.
Nowadays, business communication mainly takes place via digital channels. Telephone calls are made via the smartphone or the IP telephone system; the video conference takes place via Microsoft Teams or Zoom, and chat apps carry out the transmission of messages and e-mails wandering back and forth in the business world.
As a matter of course, all parties involved assume that the data they transmit will only reach the people involved in the communication. At the sender, the data packets are first broken down via the Transmission Control Protocol and only reassembled at the recipient, who is identified by the Internet Protocol. But the data on the way from A to B is not always mainly secured. And this is precisely where end-to-end encryption (E2EE) comes into play. But what exactly is end-to-end encryption? How does end-to-end encryption work? And is it as safe as is commonly assumed?
Data encryption is the process of using an algorithm that converts standard text characters into an unreadable format. With this method, data is encrypted using encryption keys so that only authorized users can read it. This method is also used for end-to-end encryption. However, it goes one step further by securing communication from one endpoint to another. It is the most crucial security measure for most data management services, like virtual data rooms. For example, it means that service providers on whose servers the data may be temporarily stored during transmission cannot access it. They know where the encrypted information should go so that they can route it there appropriately.
Why is this method so important?
E2EE is primarily used when data protection is of the utmost importance. Examples of privacy protection are sensitive issues such as business documents, financial details, legal proceedings, medical data, or personal conversations.
All content is encrypted at each endpoint and decrypted at the other endpoints involved with end-to-end encryption. With E2EE, the data is secured between the endpoints or meeting participants. It means the data is encrypted before it leaves the sender’s device. They are passed on encrypted by the respective platform provider and only decrypted when they reach the recipient’s device.
This method is used in the following cases:
- Secure communication (Messaging apps);
- Password management (1Password, BitWarden, Dashlane, and LastPass);
- Data storage (Virtual data rooms).
Benefits of end-to-end encryption
The most significant advantage of end-to-end encryption is that all data between sender and recipient can be encrypted and transmitted securely. As a result, the confidentiality of the communication can be guaranteed. It has a positive effect on data protection and data security.
Another advantage of this method is that the recipient can only be decrypted and read permanently encrypted messages. It means that messages are also protected from alteration or tampering. Many encryption methods now use a “destruction function.” If the ciphertext is attacked, the function is activated immediately. The content of the message is thus made unusable and protected against data misuse.