End-to-end encryption and the “almost air-tight protection” that it delivers to electronic messages in applications like WhatsApp and over email servers could actually be problematic for law firms and legal departments.
Legaltech News reports that the much-debated technology actually creates more problems than it solves because it can “cripple a legal team’s compliance and internal e-discovery efforts.”
The essential benefit of the technology is that it encrypts each message separately when it’s being sent, establishing a “near infallible protection.”
Shaun Murphy, founder and CEO of SNDR, a secure messaging platform, explains to Legaltech why this technology is “the bane of many compliance and e-discovery efforts.”
“For legal professionals, and pretty much any business, you have to look at what your compliance requirements are. Because once you have end-to-end cryptography between the sender and recipient how do you go back and do compliance, how do you look at those messages?”
Unlocking each individual message is not only cumbersome but also time-consuming to the point of being “almost infeasible,” says Legaltech.
So what’s the solution to the “solution”?
Law firms and departments have to balance the level of encryption with the level accessibility. You can’t have it all: air-tight security and ease of access. You have to reduce one to gain the other.
Departments and firms also need to be aware of what unauthorized applications their employees are using, which could also use end-to-end encryption.
As always, using the right e-discovery vendor is essential, but especially one who has knowledge and experience working with encrypted data sources.