End to End Encryption

What is End to End Encryption?

In 2018 alone, more than 600 data breaches were reported, an aspect that did put online user’s information at considerable risk. The latest studies indicate that anywhere from 43% to 60% of cyber-attacks target small to medium-sized business entities. 

There are several data security measures that business entities need to put in place in a bid to protect not only their businesses but also the information of their customers. One of the most efficient and effective ways is seeking partnerships with companies that rely on end-to-end encryption (E2EE).

What is E2EE (End-to-End Encryption)?

End-to-end encryption is a current trend whose adoption has surged tremendously. E2EE is a highly secure communication line that effectively shields third-party groups from accessing data on transit. The moment you employ E2EE to send a message or email to someone, anybody monitoring the network cannot see your messages – not the government authorities, not hackers, and not even the firm that aids your communication. 

The moment you send or receive a message from a firm that does not use end-to-end encryption, such as Hotmail or Gmail, it means that the firm can quickly get access to the content of your message based on the fact that they hold encryption keys. However, E2EE eliminates this scenario since the service provider doesn’t possess the keys to decrypt user information or data. 

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End-to-end encryption: How does it work?

To comprehend how E2EE works, you may have to look at the diagram below. Let’s assume that Bob intends to say hello to his friend, Alice, but in private. Alice does possess both the public key and a private key. While the public key can be easily shared with anyone, only Alice has got the private key.

In the first place, Bob will use Alice’s public key as a means of encrypting his message to her. He will turn “Hello Alice” to become something referred to as ciphertext. A ciphertext is a scrambled and seemingly scattered/random characters. 

While sending his encrypted message using the public internet, it passes through multiple servers, including those of the ISP or email service they are using. Even though such firms may attempt to decipher and read Bob’s message (or also share them with other third-party groups), such firms can’t make the ciphertext readable. 

Only Alice can achieve such using her private key the moment Bob’s message hits her inbox. This is because Alice is the only person with the possession of the private key. If Alice replies to Bob, then the whole process repeats itself, where Alice encrypts messages intended to Bob while using Bob’s private key.

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Advantages and Challenges of Resorting to End-to-End Encryption

Without a doubt, there are plenty of advantages that accompany the use of end-to-end encryption services as opposed to conventional encryption services that a lot of companies utilize. While the benefits are a bit many, some of the most common ones include:

  • It ensures that your data is safe from hackers – E2EE will see few parties gaining access to your unencrypted data. Better yet, if bad actors interfere with the server where your private data is stored, it will be impossible for them to decrypt your data since they have no possession of decryption keys. 
  • Your data is kept private and confidential – Are you fond of using Gmail? If so, Google can capture all the intimate details that you put or write in your emails. Still, it can easily save all your emails and delete them. But again, E2EE put you in control over who gets to read your messages. 
  • It’s ideal for democracy – all of us have a right to freedom. E2EE does work best in protecting free speech while shielding dissidents, activists, and journalists from instances of intimidation. 

Despite the challenges that come with E2EE, there are a few challenges associated with this type of service. Even though E2EE protects information or data that’s transmitted from one person to the other, sadly, it doesn’t sufficiently shield those endpoints.

For example, while your email employs end-to-end encryption while sending messages, that does not mean that a hacker or any other person with bad intentions cannot try to access the endpoint, which is your inbox in this case.

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E2EE: Why HTTPS is not truly enough

There are certain limitations associated with HTTPS, even though business entities across the globe feel that it is a positive development. With HTTPS, bad actors with ill intentions can make fraudulent sites that appear secure; an aspect tricks users to try them, believing that they are protected and safe to log in using their details. 

While HTTPS makes it appear as if the data is encrypted, in the real sense, it ignores what happens to user data the moment HTTPS gets terminated. Additionally, HTTPS is blamed for leaving out the encryption of data or any other information at rest, an aspect that impacts the security that exists at the two ends of communication or transmission. 

You may be using HTTPS, thinking that you are safe, but you can’t confidently say that you are encrypting your data. The only way to achieve this is to resort to end-to-end encryption services since it secures everything from the sender to the receiver. 

Conclusion

There seems to be no end in sight when it comes to data breaches. In fact, we are bound to see a surge in data breaches over the years to follow. People’s private information will continue to be subjected to constant leaks, an aspect that could lead to even more damaging effects. However, not all is lost, though. With end-to-end encryption, you can keep your data and every other private information safe and secure from unauthorized parties.

PureVPN offers state-of-the-art AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption that secures your online data against all forms of cyberattacks. Even if your online connection were to get tapped, all the hacker would get is gibberish information which is of no use to anyone on this planet. Maybe the aliens will find it interesting, who’s to know.

With end-to-end encryption, anybody else monitoring the network cannot access your private information. Additionally, ISPs cannot profit from you by gathering and selling your data to marketers and advertisers. To be on the safe side, look no further than end-to-end encryption. 

Ather Owais is a tech and cyber security enthusiast, and a Kodi expert. He follows technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

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