Venafi Survey: Government-Mandated Encryption Backdoors Will Weaken Election Infrastructure

74% of security professionals believe countries with government-mandated encryption backdoors are more susceptible to nation-state attacks

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — August 22, 2019 —  Venafi®, the leading provider and inventor of machine identity protection, today announced the results of a survey on government-mandated encryption backdoors. The survey evaluated the opinions of 384 IT security professionals attending Black Hat USA 2019. According to the survey results, 80 percent of the respondents say countries with government-mandated encryption backdoors are more vulnerable to cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure.

“Last month, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee reported that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia during the 2016 election,” said Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. “We know that encryption backdoors dramatically increase security risks for every kind of sensitive data, and that includes all types of data that affects our national security. The IT security community overwhelmingly agrees that encryption backdoors would have a disastrous impact on the integrity of our elections and on our digital economy as a whole.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 74 percent say countries with government-mandated encryption backdoors are more susceptible to nation-state attacks.
  • 72 percent believe laws that allow governments to access encrypted personal data will not make us safer from terrorists.
  • 70 percent believe countries with government-mandated encryption backdoors are at an economic disadvantage in the global marketplace.
  • 84 percent would never knowingly use a device or program from a company that agreed to install a backdoor.

Bocek added: “On a consumer level, people want technology that prioritizes the security and privacy of their personal data. This kind of trust is priceless. Encryption backdoors would not only make us much less safe at a national level, they also clearly have the potential to inflict significant economic and political damage.”

While many government and law enforcement officials across the world either believe that the risks encryption backdoors bring are worth it if they can be used to catch malicious actors or think that there is a technical solution that can mitigate these risks, information security professionals overwhelmingly disagree with these beliefs.


Blog: Will Encryption Backdoors Hurt Election Infrastructure? Security Professionals Say Yes

About Venafi

Venafi is the cybersecurity market leader and inventor of machine identity protection, securing machine-to-machine connections and communications. Venafi protects machine identity types by orchestrating cryptographic keys and digital certificates for SSL/TLS, IoT, code signing, mobile and SSH. Venafi provides global visibility of machine identities and the risks associated with them for the extended enterprise—on premises, mobile, virtual, cloud and IoT—at machine speed and scale. Venafi puts this intelligence into action with automated remediation that reduces the security and availability risks connected with weak or compromised machine identities while safeguarding the flow of information to trusted machines and preventing communication with machines that are not trusted.

With over 30 patents, Venafi delivers innovative solutions for the world’s most demanding, security-conscious Global 5000 organizations and government agencies, including the top five U.S. health insurers; the top five U.S. airlines; the top four credit card issuers; three out of the top four accounting and consulting firms; four of the top five U.S., U.K., Australian and South African banks; and four of the top five U.S. retailers. Venafi is backed by top-tier investors, including TCV, Foundation Capital, Intel Capital, QuestMark Partners, Mercato Partners and NextEquity.

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