End-to-End Encryption: The Path to Improving Public Safety

Encryption has been in the forefront of the news lately as the FBI sought access to an Apple iPhone used by terrorists in San Bernardino. While thwarting terrorism is certainly in everyone’s best interest (no argument here) the need for end-to-end encryption for mobile phones and other internet-enabled devices has never been greater.

Telephony companies like Apple and Google, along with the growing usage of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, are bringing technology advances that are designed to improve the human experience. Today, we can pay for groceries with the wave of our iPhone. We can collect health data simply by walking around and our healthcare providers can use that data to make informed decisions to improve our wellbeing. Our thermostats can adjust heat based on our presence in the home. Our cars can drive themselves. All of these technology advancements deliver on their promises by collecting and storing personal data, be it financial, medical, or personal. And all of this data, if not protected carefully, can be used by individuals, governments, and even terrorists to endanger public safety.

In an article earlier this year at The Intercept, National Security Agency Director, Adm. Mike Rogers, supported the need for more widespread use of encryption following the massive hack on the Office of Personnel Management, where data from 20 million people who have undergone background checks was compromised.

A CNN Money article also referenced General Michael Hayden, former NSA Chief, who stated:

I actually think end-to-end encryption is good for America. I know encryption represents a particular challenge for the FBI, but on balance, I actually think it creates greater security for the American nation than the alternative: a backdoor. I can just win this argument on practical grounds. When was the last time you saw the success of legislation designed to prevent technological progress? It’s just not gonna happen.

Our enterprise-level solution, Cryptanium, has two main components that can help mobile device manufactures introduce the security needed to prevent threats. The first is Cryptanium Secure Key Box, a white-box cryptographic library that implements standard cryptographic algorithms in a way that completely hides the keys. The second is Cryptanium Code Protection, a comprehensive tool for hardening software applications on multiple platforms. These two components work together to increase security protection against threats.

The connected world we live in today goes beyond computers and mobile devices to automobiles, home appliances and medical devices; the security solutions that we rely on need to work harder to protect the people that rely on these devices. End-to-end encryption will do more to protect and improve public safety than allowing backdoor access to these devices.

Photo credit to WOCinTEch Chat.