End-to-end encryption is a staple of secure messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal. It ensures that no one—even the app developer—can access your data as it traverses the web. But what if you could bring some version of that protection to increasingly ubiquitous—and notoriously insecure—internet-of-things devices?
The Swiss cryptography firm Teserakt is trying just that. Earlier this month, at the Real World Crypto conference in New York, it introduced E4, a sort of cryptographic implant that IoT manufacturers can integrate into their servers. Today most IoT data is encrypted at some point as it moves across the web, but it's challenging to keep that protection consistent for the whole ride. E4 would do most of that work behind the scenes, so that whether companies make home routers, industrial control sensors, or webcams, all the data transmitted between the devices and their manufacturers can be encrypted.