Encryption can be hard, so people get lazy. CipherSent means there’s no excuse

Martin Bryant, August 1, 2016 2 min read

This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.

Every day seems to bring more news of hacked documents and compromised security in businesses around the world. If you’re sending sensitive information, it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s encrypted.

The trouble is that encryption can be inconvenient to set up. That means people either don’t use it, or get lazy and include the password to a protected document in the same email they send the actual file. That’s not very smart – especially if you accidentally send the email to the wrong person. What’s more, in some cases you could be breaking data protection rules and guidelines.

CipherSent is combating these challenges with an easy to use system aimed particularly at sectors like law, healthcare and finance. The Hull-based startup keeps things simple. You log in, upload the files you want to send and then add the email address and phone number of the recipient, along with a personal message.

The recipient then gets an email with a link to the file, protected with tough-as-nails 256-bit AES encryption. They also get a text message containing the password. The files themselves can only be unlocked by someone who has received both the email and the text message.

CipherSent’s promotional video

Combatting complexity

CipherSent was founded by David Ripper, who has a background in IT in the charity sector. He found poor information security at a number of organisations due to the sheer hassle of doing things securely. And thus the idea of an easy-to-use alternative was born.

The company is working with legal and medical organisations. For example, Ripper says that the one of the UK’s largest medico-legal insurers provides its members with a CipherSent-powered service to transfer data securely to other parties. It has this week been added to the UK government’s Digital Marketplace, too.

The startup is self-funded up to now, although Ripper will “never say never” to external funding if he feels he needs it. London-based Egress is a notable rival, although CipherSent is building a customer base by keeping things simple and straightforward, as well as secure.

Read next: Simetric Telecom lets your office phones work in harmony with your team’s mobiles

Hull, Yorkshire, SaaS, Early Stage