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RingCentral expands end-to-end encryption to phone and messaging


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In 2021, RingCentral launched end-to-end encryption for our video conferencing. Now, we’re expanding E2EE to our business phone and team messaging solutions.

Today, we’re announcing end-to-end encryption for phone and messaging (E2EE) will be available in a closed beta for select customers in its flagship RingCentral MVP® product in December 2022. RingCentral’s E2EE provides security and privacy for privileged conversations and protection against 3rd-party intrusion and attacks.

E2EE removes the need for multiple encryption products, modernizes the user experience and reduces privacy concerns within privileged conversations.

Best-in-class end-to-end encryption

  • Coming soon for phone and messaging (E2EE for video launched in 2021
  • Goes beyond 1:1 calls and chats and supports large groups
  • Available on multiple modalities – desktop app, mobile app and web browser
  • Available whether the conversation is ongoing, scheduled, or spontaneous

With E2EE, no unauthorized 3rd party can access communication content: including RingCentral. Think of us as the conduit between two or more parties but the communication content travels through RingCentral. We cannot read, see or hear what’s being communicated.

This functionality will be available to all RingCentral MVP users—whether they are inside a company communicating with each other or interacting with external guests—as long as they are signed into a RingCentral account.

End-to-end encryption for RingCentral Phone

Functionality available (closed beta starting December 2022):

  • Turn on/off at the organizational level
  • Available for 1:1 calls, supports large groups in H1 2023
  • Supports soft phones (desktop and mobile app)
  • Ability to convert non-E2EE calls to E2EE
  • Ability to convert E2EE calls to E2EE video meeting

Functionality unavailable:

  • Call recordings
  • Guests (not signed into a RingCentral account)
  • Callers from PSTNs
  • Callers from hard phones

End-to-end encryption for RingCentral Messaging

Functionality available (closed beta starting December 2022):

  • Turn on/off at the organizational level
  • Ability for IT admins to manage within the RingCentral desktop app
  • Supports soft phones (desktop and mobile app)
  • Create team chats for up to 50 participants

Functionality unavailable:

  • Sending GIFs
  • Creating tasks, events, notes
  • Code snippets 
  • Third-party apps
  • Guests (external users / email addresses) cannot join E2EE team chats
  • Sharing team disabled
  • Notification previews

Key management

With E2EE cryptography, the private keys are stored on the endpoint devices and E2EE messages can only be decrypted using these keys. 

Let’s use an example of video or voice. A RingCentral user generates audio or video streams that are encrypted, packetized, and then sent to the backend RingCentral servers. The backend then sends it further to the recipients. But only the recipients can decrypt it.

The key management is completely outside of the backend even though it distributed them. The backend works directly with the endpoints for key distribution. 

Scalability through Message Layer Security (MLS)

We built our E2EE using Message Layer Security (MLS). MLS is a security layer for encrypting messages in groups of size two to many. It is designed to be efficient, practical and secure. In contrast, other popular consumer and business applications that utilize E2EE technology use the Signal protocol, which is a non-federated cryptographic protocol that can be used to provide end-to-end encryption for voice calls and instant messaging conversations.

However, Signal-built E2EE solutions are not as scalable when compared to MLS-built ones. As a result, they will have performance issues such as CPU usage, memory issues and lag when going beyond 1:1 conversations – a limitation that does not exist with RingCentral E2EE as a result of using MLS.

Privacy by design

For compliance minded organizations, IT administrators can turn E2EE on/off at any time. Additionally, IT administrators have cryptographic access to messaging data and can export messaging data if needed. RingCentral also plans to empower customers to enable content capture and supervision with select partners for E2EE voice, chat, and video next year.

Our vision for enterprise-grade E2EE

“With RingCentral’s E2EE for video, and soon, phone calls and messaging, organizations can leverage RingCentral’s native capabilities to simplify their technology stack with one offering. We believe our approach to end-to-end encryption across message, video, and phone is truly differentiated, and represents the most complete deployment of E2EE for enterprise communications, to date,” said Michael Armer, chief information security officer at RingCentral.

“People exchange millions of calls and messages a day on RingCentral’s platform. With our new E2EE, we’re extending enterprise-grade privacy and security controls for our customers, giving them the freedom to have confidential conversations across any mode.”

To learn more about RingCentral end-to-end encryption and our security posture, check out our security white paper:

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Originally published Dec 06, 2022, updated Jan 05, 2023

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