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Secure Communication Apps and Why You Need Them

Ciphr Team
June 03, 2020 - 10 min read

Secure Communication Apps and Why You Need Them

Like most companies, our team strives to maintain an optimistic, “glass is half full” outlook on the world we live in. The grim reality of today’s digital landscape, where internet users seem to be losing faith in digital privacy, makes it hard to accept the status quo.

And we get it; it seems that wherever you turn there are reports of targeted hacks, data breaches, and corporate abuse of personal information.

Privacy might seem impossible, but their apps that can offer you secure communication and restored faith in the digital world. Good to know, right? In this article, we look at how private chat and email apps work, what happens when security fails, and how encrypted apps can safeguard digital communication. You’ll come away from it sharing our optimism!

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Why secure communication is at risk

Some consumers think that since they have nothing to hide they can save a penny or two on information security. This is a mistake. To understand why, consider the massive amount of information you exchange online, who stores it and for what purpose.

When signing up, most email, messaging and cloud storage apps require you to hand over personal information including:

  • Age
  • Family status
  • Gender
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Address

Some apps even ask you to leave your bank or credit card details with them. You don’t know where and how this personal information is stored, which means it could all be vulnerable.

You may be wondering “So what if my information is leaked?" Recent studies conducted by the Insurance Information Institute and the ISACA place the median cost of a breach somewhere between $375 and $450 USD per consumer breach. Ignoring information security can cost a lot more than protecting your information.

Social platforms and chat apps also store our personal messages, images, videos, and voice notes. Cloud storage services and team collaboration tools store company information, team correspondence, proprietary market research and more. What does this mean? The company providing the app has massive amounts of data about its users.

In many cases, the app provider also has the ability, if not the intention, to access, measure and analyze that data. Advertising companies, business competitors, and even governments are willing to pay for this information. We are forced to trust that our providers will resist the temptation to monetize our data.

It also doesn’t help that every email you send to a friend or colleague contains metadata.

This is information about who you spoke with, where, when, using what device and platform and for how long. It might seem insignificant, but large volumes of metadata can reveal a lot about a person’s communication.

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Secure communication apps protect digital privacy

Global communication has never been faster or easier. Messaging and chat apps, video and voice calls, voice notes, image sharing, email, secure storage and countless other communication tools have become integral to our social lives. Enterprises now have a myriad of collaboration, task tracking, and business management tools at their disposal. The problem is that the more apps and tools we use, the more attack vectors we expose our data to.

In recent years, high profile breaches have done a lot to raise awareness to this issue. Dropbox, Slack and countless breaches have put billions of personal, financial, medical and other sensitive records at risk or in the wrong hands. So, more and more communication app users and enterprises are taking control by switching to communication apps designed for security.

As a result, chat and email apps offering digital privacy protection are springing up on a daily basis. As much as we hate to offer a “glass is half empty” take on this; be warned, not all secure communication apps are made equal.

Some companies that claim to be secure do little more than offer very basic password protection or elementary encryption. At the end of the day, what do users need? It starts with a formidable, holistic secure communication app that can defend any kind of threat to the integrity of information security.

Encryption Is the Heart of a Secure Communication App

Transforming information into meaningless strings of letters and numbers is the heart and soul of all secure communication systems.

As the name implies, end-to-end encryption protects data so that it can only be read on the two ends. By the sender, and by the recipient. No one else can read the encrypted data and the app provider can’t collect the message content for themselves.

The problem with some forms of encrypted emails, file sharing and chat apps is that messages are usually only encrypted in transit, while they are stored in a non-encrypted form on third party servers.

Another problem is that some applications are still using outdated algorithms or protocols. Although they are technically encrypted, they are not taking advantage of the strongest methods of encryption.

To address this problem, a reputable secure communications provider adheres to the industry standard of end-to-end encryption.

Ciphr offers an advanced encrypted communication suite

Although the popularity of encryption is growing, the security it provides still falls within a spectrum. The more advanced secure communication providers, like Ciphr, take encryption to the next level. We pride ourselves on industry-leading protocols including security features such as:

  • Post-quantum Elliptic Curve Cryptography (PQ-ECC): defend against the growing threat of quantum computers. A combination of open-source quantum-proof cryptography and ECC-448 encryption.
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS): generate a unique key for every message sent and alleviate the risk of compromised encryption keys.
  • TLS, AES-256 and ECC-448.
  • Composite Key: for true brute force protection.

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We Don’t Stop at Encryption!

Some companies advertise secure communication with only end-to-end encryption to go on. Ciphr security controls ensure communication is sealed from every direction. Our app includes privacy and security features such as:

  • Peer-to-peer authentication
  • Auto-lock timers
  • Quick lock button
  • Failed password attempts limit
  • Zero-knowledge policy
  • Anonymous Ciphr ID (CID)
  • PQ-ECC zero-knowledge group chats.

Being a privacy-first app, Ciphr is designed to give users full control over your data. To that end, it includes self-destructing messages, burn emails and secure storage for notes and photo albums in the Ciphr Vault.

To ensure all endpoints are secure, our servers are only accessible by VPN. A VPN is an added layer of protection that functions as an extension of a private network. This enables encrypted traffic to travel securely between two endpoints that are configured to know about each other. In addition, we leverage a strict TLS configuration and pinned certificates. Together, these provide protection against Heartbleed, BEAST and similar attacks.

Ciphr App for Secure Communication

A good secure communications provider will do everything it takes to protect your data wherever it is. A great secure communications provider does this without making you compromise on functionality, accessibility and ease of use. Get Ciphr Secure to ensure the safety and privacy of your communications.

And of course, if you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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