Balancing Security and Business Continuity

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In an effort to protect against certain security risks, companies can inadvertently create new ones

One of the more curious news items circling on the internet recently includes this storyabout a young crypto trader who passed away sadly and suddenly – and with his death, the password to $190 million worth of his clients’ money was lost.

Because of the nature of the cryptocurrency industry, many companies use offline wallets and secure messaging tools to keep data safe. Companies sometimes turn to consumer security solutions for good reason: the cloud can be an unsafe place to store things like millions of dollars, and consumer tools have historically provided stronger and more robust end-to-end encryption than enterprise solutions. In this case, however ironic, it’s exactly because QuadrigaCX’s CEO used personal consumer encryption tools that millions of dollars are now unrecoverably locked away.

A Tricky Balancing Act

This story underscores how much the tech industry is still struggling to balance security, privacy, and business continuity. Unexpected things can happen at any time. Founders can die, hard drives can be lost. And while private security tools can be useful in personal contexts, businesses should think carefully before entrusting critical information or assets to a single person.

All this to say: businesses need a robust way of maintaining access to their own information. They need backup access, even when it is encrypted. Otherwise much is at risk. To put it another way: losing access to information can be just as disastrous as having it stolen by hackers. In this case $190 million has essentially disappeared. This money is just as lost to it’s owners as if it had been hacked, and the company is still on the line fiduciarily and reputationally. What’s the real difference if the outcomes are the same?

Ensuring Security, Privacy and Continuity

So how do security focused companies – like those in cryptocurrency – balance demanding and essential cybersecurity needs while still retaining access to business records?

One option is to employ a solution that provides end-to-end encryption – ensuring that even hacked data can’t be read – while simultaneously storing keys with the company on-premise. It’s at this crossroads that Symphony lies, and why we’re trusted by many of the world’s top financial institutions.

There are so many security options out there today – including those targeted just at consumers. But just because a consumer app has true end-to-end encryption doesn’t mean it’s good for a company to start using it. That’s why it’s worthwhile for businesses to put some thought into business continuity as well as strong security. Businesses need the protection of strong encryption, and there are solutions that can provide this protection while also retaining robust access to a company’s own encrypted records. Most times, this means using a combination of encryption and on-premise key storage.

As of yet, there’s still $190 million tied up – lost in cold storage – and there are some confused crypto customers are still waiting to get their funds back.

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