There has been a lot of debate, recently, around Australia’s encryption laws. The enactment of ‘TOLA’, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Act (2018), has caused quite the stir.
The act has been compared with similar laws in many countries. The verdict of many experts is that we may need to take a better look at its end-to-end encryption laws.
The issue may lie with the lack of awareness of how important end-to-end encryption is to cybersecurity. Today, we feel that as experts, we need to look at how we can improve non-experts’ understanding of this subject.
Of course, end-to-end encryption is a controversial topic for many reasons. While it makes digital forensics difficult to investigate, it supports other security benefits.
Today, all modern products and services feature in-transit encryption. It’s what safeguards your data against unsecured networks. Yet, there’s a need for a more secure type of encryption like end-to-end encryption.
Without it, our data is more vulnerable to insider threats and external compromise. This includes high-stakes credentials.
A deeper dive into why end-to-end encryption is so important
End-to-end encryption has a single purpose: to make data unreadable to anyone but the user.
It really is the perfect way to protect users’ digital communications. This is because it prevents service providers and third parties from accessing this information.
The main advantage of end-to-end encryption is that it restricts access to transmitted data to anyone but the recipient. Think WhatsApp—it ensures the privacy of your communication. When you send someone a message, it travels from you to the recipient in encrypted form. Only the recipient’s device can decrypt it.
The aim, here, is to ensure the integrity of our online communication. If you open an encrypted message, it is exactly what you have been sent. It is not tampered with in transit.
Like we mentioned, in recent years, several popular messaging apps have adopted end-to-end encryption. It is even a feature on popular platforms like Facebook, Messenger, and Telegram.
This kind of encryption safeguards users against virtual eavesdropping. This includes when it’s done by actors inside or outside the service infrastructure.
Integrating end-to-end encryption can reduce the impact of certain cyber attacks. It helps you comply with data privacy and security regulations. You can also limit the impact and the repercussions of a data breach.
Why is end-to-end encryption controversial?
Research suggests that many don’t understand the benefits and limitations of end-to-end encryption. It is suggested that this may result in encryption not being used more securely.
It’s important to note that this is not because of poor usability or interface design.
It is due to the poor understanding users have of end-to-end encryption. Some believe that certain communication approaches are more secure without end-to-end encryption. Others believe that all safeguards are useless in the face of skilled adversaries.
These beliefs can lead to decisions or behaviour that put users at greater risks. Worse yet, users may underestimate valid risks like vulnerability when it comes to malware at endpoints.
Mitigate enterprise risks and ensure regulatory compliance with end-to-end encryption
End-to-end encryption is a flexible solution. It can be incorporated into corporate policies and industry regulations. You don’t need to choose between compliance and strong encryption. Any industry can use it. You can also align it with regulations and policies, and integrate it with IT workflows.
At Triskele Labs, we believe that when executed well, end-to-end encryption can provide a powerful form of protection. It protects your data from external parties, even the third parties you work with.
Reach out to our team to find out how we help you ensure the integration of end-to-end encryption and other strategies like cryptography. We help you bolster your information security safeguards.