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All About MLS Secure Enterprise Messaging

MLS secure messaging

MLS: What it is and why you should pay attention

Today’s businesses are faced with many challenges, and at the top of the list is cybersecurity. As systems become more complex, and hackers learn new ways to gain access to a company’s network, the security of your business becomes even more critical.

Your security plan should include messaging. It’s no secret that email is one of the least secure technologies, yet it is probably where your employees share most of your business’ data. As messaging platforms gain popularity as a way for employees to share ideas, files and information, the technology must evolve to include end-to-end encryption.

What are the challenges of securing messaging platforms?

While it seems obvious that your organization’s messaging platforms must be secure, it’s not so easy to implement, especially across larger enterprises.
There are several technical challenges that prevent companies from adopting the latest in security for messaging.

  • The encrypted group chat needs to ensure that messages can only be shared and read by individual members of the organization.
  • They need to be asynchronous, meaning that group members may not be online at the same time.
  • The technology needs to be scalable, as encryption keys typically hog bandwidth.

There is one protocol that is taking on these challenges, MLS.

What is MLS?

MLS, or Messaging Layer Security, is a group messaging protocol build by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to address the issues that arise when trying to deploy secure, end-to-end encryption.

This technology was initiated by Wire, with contributions from Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to tackle this issue and make the encryption more efficient and secure. The goal is to develop an industry standard for securing group messaging platforms across organizations. They are on their way to developing a tool that doesn’t rely on a central server or cloud to implement, allowing cross-device communication.

Considering the issues that businesses today face along with the need for efficient communication, this workgroup is trying to provide a secure place where group messaging can take place without sacrificing key functionality.

Why does your business need this type of technology?

Many tools offer encryption when something is shared between client and server, but messages and content shared internally are likely not encrypted on the server. Depending on the systems and security you have in place, you could be housing conversations and files in plain sight. This gives hackers instant access to the information and data exchanged through these platforms.

This alone is a huge risk for your business and one of the main reasons you should address this security right away if you use a messaging platform.

Key takeaway: Don’t overlook security for your messaging platform

You may not have considered the security of the group messaging platform your employees use, but it’s just as important that you pay attention to this technology. The conversations and files that are shared daily should have the same amount of protection as the files you share with clients. The MLS is the first step in achieving this, and while it is still a work in progress, it could be ready for integration very soon.
To learn more about the security of your messaging platform, contact the security experts at Level4 IT to walk you through some important aspects of security to keep your business safe from cybercriminals.