Cyber Security Awareness Series – Encryption

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and while cybersecurity may appear to be a complex topic, we all play a vital role in keeping our online information safe. This month, we explore the topic of encryption, one of the primary ways to secure sensitive information and a critical component of cybersecurity.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the process of scrambling readable data, sometimes referred to as plain text, into an indecipherable format or code. Once encrypted, the only way to interpret the data would be to have the secret code or decryption key. The encryption process ensures only authorized recipients of the information can decode and read the data.

Why Use Encryption?

In today’s digital environment, information of all types, including sensitive personal information, can be sent electronically. Malicious actors are constantly trying to gain access to this information primarily for financial gain or to cause harm. It is vital that individuals and companies use encryption to safeguard this personal information from bad actors. There are several types of encryption, depending on the user’s security needs, but all forms of encryption share the common goal of preventing unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.

How BNY Mellon Wealth Management Uses Encryption to Protect Clients

DocuSign Encryption – One of the many ways BNY Mellon Wealth Management utilizes encryption is by using DocuSign. DocuSign provides a streamlined process for documents to be signed and sent securely between wealth managers and clients, ensuring the data is encrypted end to end (i.e., from the time it is sent to when it is received and read). Another benefit of DocuSign is that it eliminates the need to send documents via regular mail, reducing mail carrier associated risks. DocuSign supports timely business decisions, allowing both parties to send and receive documents quickly and safely.

BNY Mellon Wealth Online – An additional method in which BNY Mellon Wealth Management protects client data is with the Wealth Online File Vault. One of several Wealth Online features, File Vault is a convenient way to store and securely share important or sensitive documents across the client portal. File Vault allows clients to stay connected with their wealth management team by securely sharing financial documents that help the team actively manage the relationship.

Email Security – Every day, BNY Mellon works to protect the privacy and data integrity of sensitive information while it is in our possession. We require that sensitive information be encrypted when transmitted over an open and insecure network. There are two methods that BNY Mellon uses to encrypt electronic messages containing sensitive information sent to external recipients.

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) is primarily used for business-to-business encryption. TLS encrypts email messages between servers and is designed to protect confidentiality and data integrity. It is a widely recognized standard for securing transmitted data. This method of encryption automatically secures emails with no additional steps required by the sender and recipient. TLS requires our external partner organizations to have both a TLS-capable infrastructure and a valid digital certificate for encryption.
  • BNY Mellon Secure Messaging Portal is an alternative encryption tool that is often utilized for business-to-consumer messaging or when an external partner does not have TLS capability. The portal encapsulates a message and its attachments into an encrypted message. Once encrypted, the protected message is sent to recipients as an attachment to a plain text email. The recipient uses a self-created, pre-registered password to access the email and any attachments.

We encourage you to visit the below sites to learn more about encryption and how BNY Mellon Wealth Management services such as DocuSign ensure the safety and security of your sensitive information.




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