Interview With Jonathan Pettersson – AxCrypt
AxCrypt is a software that enables you to easily encrypt files and folders. It’s essential when you are sharing your computer with multiple users and want to maintain your privacy. Jonathan Pettersson, the CTO of AxCryp, shared some important information about the company – you can find the full interview below.
Private Internet Access: Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
Jonatan Pettersson: AxCrypt was first created as an open-source project in the early 2000 to fill the void of simple but reliable encryption solutions at the time. Over the years it became very popular but was still a bit of a hobby project which was worked on as time allowed. In 2015 it was decided that it was time for AxCrypt to take the next step, so a company was founded around it and a development process began to bring AxCrypt to more platforms, adding SaaS features and a subscription business model to allow continued development. Today AxCrypt exists on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android and has a full development team working on new features every day.
PIA: What is the mission of AxCrypt?
JP: We want to make state of the art encryption available to everyone. It should be simple to understand, easy to use, and require no knowledge beyond wanting to keep your files secure.
PIA: What services do you offer?
JP: Not only does AxCrypt offer encryption based on the most secure open-source standards available, in an easy-to-use package. AxCrypt’s encryption allows for easy access of files with colleagues, friends, and family, without having to share any passwords. Simply enter the email of the user you want to share with, and we do the rest. We also have a suite of business options, with things like Master Key (file recovery for admins) and easy user management.
PIA: Why is encryption important?
JP: If you have any form of sensitive information, there will be threats associated with it, and encryption is one important measure to take to keep it safe. But not only is encryption important, so is what type of encryption you choose to use. We think that open source is the way to go. That way the code is there for anyone to read, and if there are issues, they will quickly be discovered. We also think that putting all your eggs in one basket is a poor way of keeping safe. For example, trusting the encryption of the big cloud storage providers might work for some, but keeping storage, sharing and encryption separate will decrease your risk. If you use AxCrypt to encrypt your files, and Google Drive to store them, it doesn’t matter if an attack on Google Drive compromises your files. All the attackers get is a set of binary gibberish, and no matter how deep the breach goes, there are no keys or passwords to be found there.
PIA: Why do individuals and companies need a good VPN?
JP: In many ways a VPN’s advantages are the same as for file encryption, so the arguments made in the last question stand for VPNs as well. You could trust the sites you visit and hope your information is kept secure. Or you separate your baskets by securing your traffic with a VPN, not even allowing the sites you visit the option of sharing for example your IP number, as it’s information they no longer have.
PIA: What are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
JP: To get a bit philosophical, the biggest threat there is, is sensitive information getting into the hands of malicious parties. How or why this happens is irrelevant after the fact. Since it’s hard, or impossible, to tell exactly how an attack will be carried out, it’s imperative to keep all your sensitive information safe in all states and locations. For example, choosing a strong password to login to your computer doesn’t help if you forget to lock it. Similarly using SSL doesn’t help if the sites you visit sell your information. Instead, choose a strong password AND encrypt your files on your computer. Or use only sites you trust, but also use a good VPN to not even allow the option of your information getting out.