End-to-end and client-side encryption are controversial topics for legitimate reasons. While it makes digital forensics more difficult, it also brings many positive security implications. Nowadays, virtually all modern products and services feature in-transit encryption, which protects your data against unsecure networks. Still, without a more secure type of encryption, data are vulnerable against insider threats, vendor compromise and even compromised credentials.
End-to-end encryption and client-side encryption are meant for different types of services, but their purpose is essentially the same, making data unreadable for anyone but the users. This property reduces the importance of trust from service providers and protects data against various threats. End-to-end encrypted messaging services protect against eavesdropping by both malicious actors inside, as well as outside the service infrastructure. Client-side encryption protects data even when stored with 3rd party cloud providers.
Utilizing such encryption would severely reduce the impact of many attacks, such as the recent Twitter breach or the last year’s Microsoft breach. Strong encryption can also help you comply with data privacy & security regulations, like HIPAA and GDPR. By minimizing the data which are readable and processable, you can hold data of European customers even outside of the EU. Also, you are limiting the impact and the repercussions of a breach.
Do you comply with regulatory mandates, such as GDPR or HIPAA? LIFARS Compliance Advisory is designed to understand your compliance needs, ascertain current status, provide remediation guidance, and conduct a post-remediation assessment.
Despite the security benefits, making data unreadable has its drawbacks and deploying it for all your employees may not be desirable. With data and communications encrypted, abilities to filter malware, spam and phishing are greatly reduced. Also, the incident response capabilities are abbreviated, with security teams unable to analyze files, or contents of e-mails.
Secure encryption, such as end-to-end encryption or client-side encryption can be crucial tools in protecting enterprise data, however, they need to be utilized smartly. To not hinder security teams, deploying it only for the most sensitive communications makes the most sense. Keep in mind that encryption is only as strong as are the end devices and their users. Do not underestimate the importance of security policies and security training.