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Slack announces support for encrypted chat, letting enterprise users manager their own encryption keys

This update was launched to favor customers from regulated industries, such as the finance and medical sector, who need greater grip over security and privacy.
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Slack announced the launch of Enterprise Key Management (EKM) today. Through this tool, its customers can now control their encryption keys in the enterprise version of the software. Slack is using AWS KMS key management tool to manage these keys. This update was launched to favor customers from regulated industries, such as the finance and medical sector, who need greater grip over security and privacy.

“Markets like financial services, healthcare and government are typically under-served in terms of which collaboration tools they can use, so we wanted to design an experience that catered to their particular security needs,” said Belknap, Chief Security Officer at Slack.

Belknap said that the regulated industries preferred to control their encryption keys and have been requesting to provide such functionality. With this feature, customers have full control over their keys and can revoke them if they want to. This new feature is available to the Enterprise Grid Customers for an additional fee.

One of the key benefits of EKM is the ability to cut off access to the content in the case of a privacy threat. When you have contractors and partners outside the company involved in Slack communications, it is necessary to have an ability to restrict the content that can be shared.

“A big benefit of EKM is that in the event of a security threat or if you ever experience suspicious activity, your security team can cut off access to the content at any time if necessary,” Belknap explained.

Until now, slack encrypted the data while it was in rest and transit. But with the launch of EKM, customers are given greater control and feasibility to encrypt messages and files shared in the app.

“Detailed activity logs tell customers exactly when and where their data is being accessed, so they can be alerted of risks and anomalies immediately,” said Belknap.

The Audit Logs API lets customers gain more visibility into the activity inside Slack. So in case of suspicious activity, the access can be cut off immediately.

Slack is one of the topmost workplace collaboration tools. It’s a platform to carry out all the workplace conversations. Valuated at $7 billion, it was recently announced that Slack was planning on going public.

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