End-to-end encryption or data security is intended to prevent data being read or secretly modified, other than by the true sender and recipient(s). The messages are encrypted by the sender but the third party does not have a means to decrypt them, and stores them encrypted.
End-to-end encryption is a secure line of communication that blocks third-party users from accessing transferred data. When the data is being transferred online, only the sender and recipient can decrypt it with a key. In that way, E2EE can help mitigate risk and protect sensitive information by blocking third parties from accessing user data when data is transferred from one source to another.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is also a method of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another.
In E2EE, the data is encrypted on the sender’s system or device and only the recipient is able to decrypt it. Nobody in between, be they an internet service provider, application service provider or hacker, can read it or tamper with it.
The cryptographic keys used to encrypt and decrypt the messages are stored exclusively on the endpoints, a trick made possible through the use of public key encryption.
End to end encryption types
There are two types of keys available: asymmetric and symmetric encryption. Let’s look at this in terms of payments. When a consumer uses a credit card at a business, the data from that card is encrypted as soon as the data enters the payment system at a point of sale.
Let’s look at this in terms of payments. When a consumer uses a credit card at a business, the data from that card is encrypted as soon as the data enters the payment system at a point of sale. It remains encrypted until it reaches the processor or acquirer and is then decrypted
How does end to end encryption work?
At the basic level, encryption starts with cryptography. Cryptography, which is the art of writing code, is used to generate the codes that keep the information encrypted.
To transfer the data, the sender uses an encryption key, which scrambles the information. Only a recipient with the corresponding key can unscramble the data. There are two types of keys available: asymmetric and symmetric encryption.
There are a number of data security measures that small businesses should put in place to protect their businesses (and customer information) against attacks. One of those is working with partners and using products that employ end-to-end encryption (E2EE).
Advantages and disadvantages of end-to-end encryption
No unauthorized third party has access to the information, neither the state / a court (regarding the issue: Cloud act, nor Stackfield as platform operator or our subcontractors. If a third party should attempt to gain access to the data, this would be a chain of numbers and letters from which no information can be obtained. Only authorized people (i.e. members of a room with appropriate rights) can access the information.
Due to early encryption, there may be some limitations in the daily work with encrypted rooms / direct messages:
A good password management is essential: If access to rooms / direct messages has been lost, no one can gain access to them anymore. To prevent this, every user should know his own password for logging in. If two factor authentication is activated, the second factor must also be accessible. It is not necessary to remember the automatically generated passwords of the encrypted rooms / direct messages to access the data when logged in. However, the responsible room administrator should keep the password at hand somewhere.
No encrypted data is sent anywhere “outside”, e.g. to external services via calendar and notifications via email or the lock screen of the phone. In the case of an email notification, only general information about the existence of the item/activity is provided, with a reference to the extra encryption and a link to the item/activity (i.e. a forwarding to the relevant location in Stackfield).
END TO END ENCRYPTION AS A PRIORITY FOR BUSINESSES
With security such a high priority for businesses across the globe, a European Parliament committee has lent its weight to the trend by encouraging the use of online encryption for all digital communications to protect the privacy of its citizens.
We are used to apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal providing end-to-end encryption for messages, videos, photos and documents for allotted amounts of time to prevent uninvited and unknown others from reading, looking at or watching our digital interactions.
But should we use the same functionality for our business unified communications (UC) which often uses cloud-hosted apps like instant messaging, email and video, as well as calls? The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs thinks so.
A draft proposal released this week stated: “The principle of confidentiality should apply to current and future means of communication, including calls, internet access, instant messaging applications, email, internet phone calls and personal messaging provided through social media.”
This preservation of digital privacy is a sticky subject with terrorist incidents dominating our headlines of late, but it is widely agreed that citizens should have the same protection in both their online and offline lives.
This may mean that when a business chooses a UC solution, it may also list security and end-to-end encryption as must-haves on their features list.