Convene uses AES-256 Bit Encryption, which is the best security available on the market, but you may not know what this means exactly. We’ve written a very simplified, helpful guide to explain what it is and why you should value it.

What Is Encryption?

Encryption is the process of encoding information by turning plaintext (what you write) into ciphertext (a coded version of the plaintext). At a glance, ciphertext appears to be random data, but to the trained eye it is clearly ciphertext. 

However, encryption means there are endless possibilities of what the plaintext version of the ciphertext might mean. How to decode the ciphertext depends on the type of code, or encryption, used to create the ciphertext. 

What Is AES Encryption?

AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, which is a computer security standard designed to cryptographically store sensitive and top-secret information. AES encryption is a method of encryption which works through an approved 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit symmetric encryption algorithm based off of the AES. 


How Does AES Encryption Work?

The AES algorithm creates a 128-bit, 192-bit or the highest available 256-bit key lengths to convert plaintext (the information you input) into ciphertext (encrypted code) and back again. 

The ciphertext is created using a symmetric, or single-key, block cipher which means only the sender and receiver have the “key” to decrypt and essentially renders the ciphertext unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it. You need to have the key to be able to convert the ciphertext back into plaintext. 

The simple way this works is through breaking up the information into blocks, which are 4x4 columns of 16 bytes in size. Each byte has 8 bits in it, adding up to create a block of 128-bits. Then the AES algorithm is applied to each block. 

The algorithm involves six steps:

  1. Key Expansion - at this stage, round keys are created to be used in the next stages of encryption. This uses Rijndael’s key schedule. 
  2. Round Key Addition - A round key is the result of performing an operation on the previous round key and the data you want to encrypt. In this step, the initial round key is added to the divided data. 
  3. Byte Substitution - this switches around the bytes based on the Rijndael S-Box substitution method. 
  4. Row Shifting - the data divided into each row is moved to the left (one space for the second row, two for the third row, three for the fourth row).
  5. Column Mixing - Using a predetermined matrix, the data columns are multiplied and a new block of code is created.
  6. Round Key Addition - Another round key is applied to the columns.


This process is then repeated 13 times for the 256-bit Encryption, 11 times for 192-bit and 9 times for 128-bit. 


Why Is AES 256-bit Encryption The Best On The Market?

The “bit” refers to the length of the key required to cipher and decipher the ciphertext. This means AES 256-bit is more encrypted than its 128-bit counterpart. The 128-bit encryption alone would take billions of years for a supercomputer to crack, so the AES 256-bit is practically impenetrable. 

This is why it is trusted by government agencies across the world. It is a legal requirement for a company’s cybersecurity to be encrypted with AES 256-bit to work with NASA!


Why Convene Uses AES 256-bit Encryption?

Convene uses AES 256-bit encryption because your data is important to us. We want you to feel as secure and comfortable as possible uploading your sensitive data into our Document Library. 

Our security measures go beyond encryption, as we are also CMMI-Level 5 certified, meaning we are approved to work with any US Government Agency. If you would like to learn more about our advanced security features, please visit our FAQs page here.


Convene is an award-winning Board Portal designed to digitise and streamline your meeting processes from start-to-finish. Our comprehensive features include:

  • A Document Library with role-based access to ensure your sensitive documents are protected.
  • A built-in Audit Trail, so you can be sure you are compliant with all regulations.
  • Integrated Video Conferencing, so you can make the switch from remote to hybrid working seamlessly, whilst still viewing your Board Pack all on one screen.
  • Surveys, with the option for anonymity, so you can be sure you are aware of your employees' opinions.
  • Accessibility Features, including text-to-voice, which makes us the leading accessible Board Portal.


Convene is more than just its features, our customers also trust us to keep their data safe. Our certified security will ensure your confidential data is protected at every stage of project delivery. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • AES 256-bit encryption and secure storage
  • Granular access controls and role-based permissions
  • Document security and digital rights management
  • Device security
  • Secure user authentication
  • Security governance
  • 24/7 intrusion detection and prevention


Our software also now comes as an integration with Microsoft Teams, which provides the benefits of both Teams collaboration and a Board Portal. 


If you’d like to learn more about how Convene can help your organisation achieve better governance, please do not hesitate to book a free demo today!

Gabriella Mangham

Written by Gabriella Mangham

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