What Is An Encrypted Message And Why Should You Use It?

20 January, 2016 by omrisigelman

If you think about just how much data is floating around the web, unprotected and for anyone to view and exploit, then it’s almost obvious that adopting certain cybersecurity measures, like message encrypting, is an absolute must. This is especially true in seeing that high profile corporate security breaches are becoming more and more common; there’s no guessing who might have access to your business’s confidential information and what they might do with it.   That said, the most basic way to protect business messages from being hacked, seen, or stolen, is to encrypt messages.  

What Is An Encrypted Message?

Message encryption shields messages and attachments from being read or opened by anyone except the intended recipients. It does so by scrambling the message’s text using complex mathematical calculations. It then takes a password or some other type of credentials to unscramble the text and read the message or attachment. That way, only the people with the explicit password can access the message.   Still, another important part of message encryption is server encryption — meaning, to ensure that the messages are as safe as they can be, the server from which you send the message must be encrypted, too. This is because, for a quick moment, while a message is traveling over the Internet from the sender’s server to the recipient’s server, the message is free-floating and easily accessible to anyone looking for it. But, if the server is password protected, then cyber criminals wouldn’t be able to tamper with the messages that are in transit.  

Why Should You Use It?

In business matters especially, message encryption is great for when managers share confidential information regarding enterprise products and affairs, exchange files containing financial data, credit card information, social security numbers, and confidential medical records; even general discussions regarding day to day business dealings of a company are to be kept within the company’s exclusive ownership. Essentially, it’s beneficial for any industry to adopt message encryption as a form of cybersecurity.   In addition, as ransomware targeting enterprises is predicted to increase this upcoming year, and insider threats that include inadvertent misuse by employees is currently the leading cause of business security breaches, encryption ensures that these issues never expand into a larger problem. Rather, with message encryption, everything is contained and within the business’s control.  

Secure Messaging As An Alternative

Nevertheless, encrypted messages (namely emails) aren’t ever truly encrypted; there are several vulnerabilities most people aren’t aware of. In addition to potential cracks in networks, servers, and even devices, encrypted emails only ensure that the message and attachment text are scrambled, not the header information. This means that your address, the recipient’s address, subject, date, and more, are all still in plain text and available for anyone to read. It kind of defeats the purpose of encryption, doesn’t it?   There are dozens of ways to encrypt emails and attachments (like public key cryptography, for example) but it takes time, effort, and most importantly, tech savvy. Believe us, it’s a pain to encrypt individual messages because you’d have to do it for everyone you want to send your message or attachment to. Maybe it’s worth it for one or two people, but for a team of ten? No way.   This is why a platform with protection built into the service is particularly useful—the coding, encryption, security is already in place and, truly, there’s nothing needed on your part. (Well, except your content and attachments that needed encrypting, of course. That’s on you).   Fortunately, secure group messaging platforms solve these problems. First, there is no header information to worry about because it’s just back-and-forth messaging. Second, everything is contained within the application, so potential vulnerabilities in your recipient’s network or server aren’t a concern. And, lastly, a secure platform includes end-to-end security that boasts several layers of encryption, meaning messages are encrypted at every moment: at rest, in transit, and at the user’s device.   Taking into consideration that messaging is the fastest growing communication channel, and the main substitute of email; encrypting messages as a form of cyber security is especially essential for businesses today. In today’s digital world, where everything lives freely on the Internet, it’s important that secrets remain secrets and highly confidential information doesn’t land in the wrong hands. Of course, the only way to prevent this, is to adopt secure messaging features that encrypt messages at every point along the way.