Ask Floh: What to do when your email encryption tool isn’t mobile friendly
In this week’s episode of Ask Floh, we learn why most email encryption tools won’t play nice with mobile and what you and your company can do about it.
- A lot of email encryption tools are old or were built for very specific use cases
- Because of the way mobile operating systems work, these tools don’t work well on mobile
- Infrastructure: bridging between different email platforms is hard to do in a secure way
- For technical reasons, it’s difficult for email encryption tools to work across multiple devices
- What to do? Talk to IT about the risks of not deploying a secure app that works both on desktop and on mobile
If you’re on the go and need access to your files on mobile as well as on desktop, Peerio offers a secure way for you to work across devices. All your messages and files are automatically synced in real-time and available on all of your devices when you login. So you can pick up where you left off, seamlessly. And as always, everything inside the app is end-to-end encrypted by default. Only you and the recipient of your file or message has access.
Right. Hello, and welcome back to your favourite cyber hygiene Q&A show. My name is Floh, as always, and today’s question comes from Juan in San Jose. And he says:
“We have an email encryption tool at work. But it sucks. And it only works on desktop, what do I do? I have to travel a lot and I need to access my emails on mobile.”
Whoo boy, I am sorry, I think this is a relatively common thing if you are in a type of business where you have some sort of email encryption tool, and you have high data security requirements. Unfortunately, a lot of the email encryption tools around are pretty old. And or they’re just built for something really, really, really specific.
And often because of the way mobile operating systems work, they don’t really play nice with mobile. So for a lot of technical reasons, the way that email works just doesn’t lend itself too well to encryption. Because you don’t have very good control of the infrastructure, you know, this company is on one email platform, the other one is on a different one. And it’s really hard to bridge them in a secure way.
Similarly, it’s really hard to do this stuff with multiple devices. And they’re just all kinds of really annoying nerdy reasons why this stuff is kind of bad. So what I would say to Juan is to, you know, go to IT and say, “Hey, look, we need something else. We need some kind of app.” And it’s almost certainly going to be an app that is going to work both on desktop and on mobile. Peerio is one example, but, you know, your mileage may vary depending on the business you’re in.
You simply, you know, need to impress upon your security staff that if you don’t have access to the secure communications channel from your phone, and you’re on the road, you’re salesperson, you do a lot of presentations, then you’re simply going to send sensitive data over unencrypted channels. That’s just maybe not you personally, but your coworkers. This is simply what’s going to happen. The company needs to take a harm reduction approach. They need to find something that is secure that works because if users can’t do their job, then they’re going to screw up and that’s just going to be bad for the company. So talk to them, try your best, give it a shot and good luck with that.
All right, I’ll see you next time. Bye.
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