Michael Waksman, Jetico: “you open yourself to serious risks when sharing files without encrypting them first”

Everyone should understand and be aware of how their data and online activities can be tracked and transmitted – and then make informed choices on how to control their privacy.

Once we make an online request – there’s no way back. Within that request, we tend to share loads of sensitive information. And, unfortunately, we can’t know who is going to take a glance and benefit from our data along the way.

At first, it seems that encrypting your network traffic can be a quick fix at this point. But is that it? To find out, we have reached out to Michael Waksman, the CEO of Jetico, a company specializing in data encryption solutions.

Your team has been working in the encryption field for almost 30 years. How did Jetico come about?

The team that would eventually become Jetico started developing encryption products in 1993, beginning with implementing encryption in a customized hardware chip. Two years later, Jetico was founded in Finland by an entrepreneur with a team of highly skilled developers. Since then, we have been specializing in protecting data at rest by offering complete endpoint data protection, including encryption and wiping. More recently, we have expanded to also protect data in use.

Tell us a little bit about your BCWipe tool. Why is simply deleting a file not enough?

Although Jetico started as specialists in data encryption, we have been more widely appreciated for our data deletion software – BCWipe and BCWipe Total WipeOut. BCWipe is for securely erasing individual files and folders beyond forensic recovery, while BCWipe Total WipeOut is for wiping entire hard drives.

Data wiping software is needed for anyone with a computer because sensitive files leave behind traces of data on your hard drive when they are only ‘deleted’ by normal means – for example, emptying the Recycle Bin after moving files there. The type of residual data that remains is known as Data Remanence, which can be easily recovered by third parties with widely available file recovery software.

So to ensure sensitive information is permanently deleted, you need to use data wiping software. This is also essential for organizations that handle personal data, as regulations like GDPR require the disposal of this information securely and permanently.

What are the risks one can encounter when sharing files that haven’t been encrypted?

You open yourself to serious risks when sharing files without encrypting them first. Namely, sensitive data can be exposed to attackers that may be able to gain access to your file-sharing service. If their clients’ data is compromised in this way, organizations will potentially face large fines for violating data privacy regulations like GDPR.

With more enterprises looking to implement security measures, why do you think people are still hesitant when it comes to file encryption?

Unfortunately, some organizations retain the outdated opinion that file encryption is too complicated, slow, or expensive. That is simply not true. These days, good encryption software is very simple to use and will not lower the performance of your systems. Jetico’s BestCrypt, for example, features a clear and easy-to-use interface that makes the software accessible to everyone.

When it comes to the cost of file encryption, it would be a mistake to avoid paying for solutions to save money. The cost of encryption software is a drop in the ocean when compared to paying fines for falling short of compliance regulations. Investing in a data encryption solution can be thought of as a cost-saving measure.

Is data encryption more relevant for individual users or enterprises?

Data encryption is relevant to both individual users and enterprises. Encryption may indeed be seen as a higher priority for organizations, as deciding not to invest in a solution can result in financial or criminal penalties. With individuals, however, the reason for using data encryption is generally to protect their privacy. In light of the many data breaches and related security concerns raised in the last few years, personal privacy is becoming more of a priority for many individuals.

How does your work differ for each customer category and industry?

When it comes to Jetico software, our Enterprise solutions are tailored toward organizations that want central management of their encryption and data wiping activities. This capability makes it easier for administrators to manage all systems from a single interface remotely. For larger enterprises, we also offer a variety of licensing models to suit their needs.

Overall, our work doesn’t differ much for individual types of customers or industries. Our users include anyone with a computer. The same tools can be used in any industry and by organizations of all sizes.

What security solutions, in your opinion, will soon become the new trend?

Protecting data in use is one area of security that we expect to be prioritized by more organizations and home users soon. Active data can be easily accessible and often defenseless against targeted attacks. More people are understanding this blind spot in their data protection and want to address this area of weakness.

Our new utility, BestCrypt Data Shelter, is one solution that organizations and individuals can download and use to protect their accessible files and active data from unwanted processes and users.

People are also becoming more aware of how operating systems may compromise their privacy with various default tracking features. Everyone should understand and be aware of how their data and activities can be collected and transmitted – and then make informed choices on how to control their privacy.

Another new free tool, BCWipe Privacy Guard, allows users to disable the default tracking features of Windows in one click.

It is clear that working from home is the new norm, so what can companies do to secure their workload?

Remote and hybrid working models are a new challenge for organizations as it’s much easier to provide a secure working environment when employees – and their computers – are at the office. Yet this is the reality and everyone must adjust.

One way that companies can improve their security when teams are away from the office is to centrally manage data protection activities from one location. Our Enterprise Editions of BestCrypt and BCWipe empowers administrators to execute encryption and data wiping tasks from a single interface, which helps maintain greater consistency of operations and reduces the risk of individual errors by employees who are working remotely.

What does the future hold for Jetico?

Up until now, Jetico has primarily concentrated on providing customers with superior data protection for data at rest. Moving forwards, we aim to offer users greater protection for their active data. BestCrypt Data Shelter is an example of Jetico heading in this direction and we hope to expand this objective in the future.

Overall, we aim to protect the privacy of customers and safeguard their data in all activities while using computers and mobile devices.

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