End-to-end encryption is about more than just privacy

lan Duric, CEO and co-founder of Wire, told the audience at the FSec security symposium in Varazdin, Croatia, end-to-end encryption is about more than just privacy – it is also critical for protecting business data, and our very lives and limbs as the Internet of Things becomes the norm.

With its eponymous open source, encrypted IM offering, Wire’s (and Duric’s) goal is to disrupt the privacy selling market headed by Google and Facebook, and offer secured communication to private users and organizations.

The latter have come to realize that they need to protect their intellectual property from industrial espionage, their own internal information (political parties, corporations involved in mergers and acquisitions, etc.), and their clients’ information (lawyers, healthcare organizations).

And, with the imminent advent of EU’s General Data Protection Regulative (GDPR) and the heavy fines that will (finally!) be imposed on those who fail to protect their customers’ information, companies should definitely be eyeing workable solutions for end-to-end encrypted communications.

Duric says the information security community should work on raising awareness about the need for privacy among regular people/Internet users.

At the moment these efforts are being obstructed by Internet conglomerates, he notes, just as the tobacco industry hindered awareness raising about the dangers of smoking and passive smoking all those years ago. But those who were fighting the good fight persevered, and today everybody knowns about those dangers, and can choose for themselves whether the option is worth the risk.

People need to be aware that the great power Internet giants have over us could lead to great abuses, and ask themselves what can go wrong if they choose not to protect their communications.

But also, companies that sell security need to find good ways to do it – adapt methods that have worked in the past for other vendors, both for physical and digital security. “We are working against human nature here,” he noted.

Finally, companies must not forget that the offered products must, above all, be usable, or the whole thing will not work in the long run.

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