As we enter into cybersecurity month it makes me think a lot about my own privacy, and how elusive it has become in the 21st century. It seems that everything we do is now tracked; whenever we visit a web page, call someone on our smart phone, visit the doctor, change the temperature on our smart thermostat or simple talk about a specific subject in our own household, our actions get recorded as data – in theory to make our lives better and more productive. However, in an age when digital privacy is practically an oxymoron, what can people do to protect their privacy?
The revelations Tuesday and Wednesday about the extensive use of Wickr inside Uber upended the high-stakes legal showdown with Alphabet’s Waymo unit, which accuses the ride-hailing firm of stealing its self-driving car secrets. The issue of course is not whether using Wickr or apps like it, including Vaporstream, is acceptable. The issue is when, where and how to use the application and what legitimate use indeed looks like.
“Whoever Wins the White House, This Year’s Big Loser is Email.” Thus, reads the headline in the NY Times on October 19, 2016. Indeed, in the current election cycle, month after month, the focus has been on hacked and released emails, on disappearing emails, on emails that reappear on various devices – not of the user’s choosing. It certainly seems that the people who sent those emails should have known better than to write what they actually wrote in the first place.
Welcome back from what we hope was a happy and relaxing July 4th. Happy Independence Day! For us, July 4th is a particularly meaningful holiday. It’s an opportunity to spend time with family and friends and to appreciate the freedoms and liberties we have living in the United States of America.
With the recent approval of secure texting by the Joint Commission, finding a secure, HIPAA compliant messaging solution is imperative for hospitals and independent practitioners. Utilizing secure texting not only enables the safe transmittal of sensitive information but more efficient patient care team communications
People engage in conversations over phones in public areas without a thought to who can overhear, or about the potential consequences. There is a blind faith that privacy is somehow granted by being surrounded by strangers. That privacy is often valid, however strangers don’t always equal safety.
Today’s mobile lawyers travel constantly, all over the country and world. Many travel to areas known to be less secure and even aggressive when it comes to cyber surveillance. Rightfully so, lawyers and their clients worry about the security of devices and communication methods while traveling abroad, however still require a high standard of responsiveness.
Author–Kristi Perdue Hinkle
On the heels of the largest data breach on record, it is easy to say that data breaches have become big, and all too common, news. We see it flash across the screen daily: legal firm—leak, hospital—ransomware, government agency—hacked. Cyber security is no longer something just for financial organizations to worry about—it’s become a necessity for any organization that handles private, valuable and sensitive information to prepare for – including those in higher education.
In the last few years, multiple universities have been the victim of data breaches—University of California Berkeley, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, to name a few. In 2014 alone, 30 educational institutions experienced data breaches, with five of those schools experiencing larger data breaches than the Sony hack. Universities face a unique set of challenges when it comes to a data breach. As Paul Rivers, UC Berkeley’s CISO noted, similar to a healthcare organization, schools cannot close if a major breach occurs and network security on campus cannot be treated like a bank or technology company. Schools by nature are an open community, with a network shared by students, staff and even visitors—so closing vulnerabilities can be especially difficult.
Unfortunately, a data breach or IT outage is not the only type of emergency that Universities must prepare for. In the wake of acts of terror, natural disasters and other reported campus safety concerns over the last decade, Universities have a heightened call to action to protect campus staff and students. The ability to securely, efficiently, and, when appropriate, confidentially correspond about emergencies is paramount to successful response and recovery.
So how can universities ensure that sensitive information and communications remain secure during an out-of-course event?
One way is the use of encrypted, secure, ephemeral messaging. Secure messaging enables executives, board members and staff (as well as students for that matter) to communicate in a way that ensures that any sensitive information is protected. This is because at the core the sender is in complete control of anything he or she sends out. Messages cannot be forwarded, shared, saved, printed or screenshotted by the recipient, eliminating the risk of reputational damage or diminished trust. As an example, if a communication needs to be kept to a specific area of the campus to avoid panic during an emergency response – it can be; if a communication needs to be kept confidential to avoid media coverage during an emergency response – it can be; and if a hacker needs to be kept out of discussions concerning an emergency response to a breach – that too can be done.
For additional security, ephemerality means that any messages received and sent are automatically removed from the sender or the receiver’s devices per a pre-defined time period for expiration, removing the risk caused by BYOD device loss and theft. With secure messaging Apps that also support compliance, such as Vaporstream, a copy of the message can be archived in a single repository of record and stored behind a firewall for safe keeping to meet business and regulatory requirements.
In case of an emergency, secure messaging keeps sensitive communications ongoing. This is especially critical for universities, given that schools cannot close when an incident occurs. Secure messaging provides a means to continue crucial conversations and to discuss mitigation, emergency response and recovery plans. In case hackers or even terrorists may have access to certain university information or communications, employees can rest assured that whatever conversations they are conducting via secure messaging are uncompromised.
In short, encrypted, secure, ephemeral messaging protects high level communications for universities at every step of the way—during day-to-day business communications for such things as discussing HR and IP as well as during out-of-course events where emergency response plans need to go into action. If you would like to learn more about secure messaging and Vaporstream’s solution you can download our white paper or contact us.
Over 350 Billion text messages are sent each month, many of which contain sensitive personal and corporate information. Secure, encrypted messaging options are the best way to ensure security and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, FINRA and Sarbanes-Oxley. IBM MobileFirst Protect formally known as MaaS360 has come together with Vaporstream® to address offering secure messaging.
On December 8th at 2PM EST Vaporstream and IBM MaaS360 will jointly present integrated solutions for enterprise mobility management. MaaS360 and Vaporstream provide a unique combination that enables organizations to easily deploy a secure and compliant messaging platform. Vaporstream has incorporated the MaaS360 API’s into our solution to enable an easy to deploy, utilize and maintain solution for mobile device management and policies that can be managed at the device and application level. These include features like pin code controls and single sign-on. By utilizing this integrated approach organizations can ensure that data is not left on insecure mobile devices. They can even extend that protection beyond the devices controlled by the organization to protecting and wiping messages sent to recipients outside the organization.
Ephemeral messaging technology allows users to send a mobile message with complete control and assurance that no residual information is saved on their mobile device. IBM MobileFirst is hosting Vaporstream, the creators of this new way to look at the old SMS, to learn best practices on taking secure messaging to the next level:
- Thwart hackers with encrypted messages at rest and in transit
- Sender distribution controls to disable copy, forward and sharing of managed messages
- Recipient guards against screenshots with image obfuscation
- Any time message shredding from the user or system level
- PIN code protection to secure lost or stolen devices
Date: Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1 hour
Register at the following link.
About the Speakers
Galina Datskovsky, Ph.D., CRM
Galina Datskovsky is currently the CEO of Vaporstream. She has also served on the board of multiple startups, assisting with strategy. Formerly Vice President of Information Governance at Autonomy an HP Company. She served as Chair, President, President Elect and Director of ARMA International (2007-2013) as well as fellow in 2014. She also served as Senior Vice President of Architecture at CA Technologies, responsible for corporate-wide architecture and design initiatives, General Manager of the Information Governance Business Unit and a Distinguished Engineer. She joined CA in 2006 with the acquisition of MDY Group International, where she served as founder and CEO. Galina is a Certified Records Manager (CRM) and is recognized around the world as an expert in information governance and associated technologies.
She is the recipient of the prestigious Leahy award and a Fellow of ARMA International. She has been widely published in academic journals and speaks frequently for industry organizations such as AIIM, ARMA International, ILTA, IQPC and Cohasset Associates/MER. She received the NJBIZ: Best 50 Women in Business Award in April 2010. Prior to founding MDY, Galina consulted for IBM and Bell Labs and taught at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. She earned doctoral and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University.
Kaushik Srinivas is a Product Manager for IBM MobileFirst Protect, formerly MaaS360. In this role, he is responsible for Mobile App Security, including the WorkPlace Partner Program and MaaS360 SDK & App Wrapping.
IBM MobileFirst Protect and Vaporstream experts will be on hand to discuss how you can integrate secure messaging into your overall Enterprise Mobility Management strategy.
Join us for an informative discussion.
Register today at the following link!
We are seeing much discussion about encryption and encrypted communications in the news in the wake of the Paris attack. The intelligence community did not intercept the communication between the attackers leading up to the attack, and this leads many to believe that encrypted communications must have been used.
The days of working at a company and receiving a new cell phone on your first day have started to fade away. Market researcher Gartner Inc. predicts that almost four in 10 organizations will rely exclusively on a policy of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) — meaning they will no longer provide devices to employees– by 2016, and 85 percent of businesses will have some kind of BYOD program in place by 2020.
Why is BYOD a Hot Trend?
The BYOD trend is popular amongst employees who bring their personal smartphones, tablets and laptops to the office, or use them offsite as they take their work home. Businesses benefit from BYOD programs shifting costs to the user – including costs for the hardware, taxes, voice and/or data services, and other associated expenses.
The Good Technology State of BYOD Report states that 50 percent of companies with BYOD models are requiring employees to cover all costs — and they are happy to do so. Why? Many employees don’t want to carry two cell phones to work.
Users prefer their own devices and they’d rather use the devices they love rather than being stuck with laptops and mobile devices that are selected and issued by the IT department. BYOD devices tend to be more cutting edge, and users also upgrade to the latest hardware more frequently than the painfully slow refresh cycles at most organizations.
Risks to Company Privacy
So the switch to mobility is in full swing and must be embraced by most organizations. But the risks to company privacy are high as employee’s access email and other potentially proprietary data on their own devices.
- Small and medium-sized businesses have been at the forefront of the BYOD trend, with almost 62 percent of American SMBs having an official BYOD policy in place as of 2013, according to research conducted by iGR, a wireless and mobile communications consulting firm.
- At least another 10 percent lack an official policy but allow employees to use their personal devices to perform work-related tasks.
- Data security and regulatory compliance are big issues with BYOD environments. SMBs often must absorb more risk than larger enterprises out of necessity. They can’t afford a security team, a chief information security officer, and all that this entails. SMB’s and Enterprise companies need to approach device and data management in a manner that secures corporate and their customer’s data, but doesn’t hinder productivity. Furthermore, when a worker is let go, or leaves the company of their own accord, segregating and retrieving company data can be a problem.
Solutions to Consider
- For both SMB and Enterprise customers, Mobility Device Management (MDM) Solutions, like IBM Maas360, VMWare Airwatch, Good Technologies and Mobile Iron, do a good job of managing the segregation of the data on the mobile device and protecting it with encryption and pin codes. They also enable clearing this business data if the phone is lost or employee is terminated. However, when it comes to mobile communications, the text messages, emails and chats are sent to recipient devices that are out of the control of the sender’s organization and devices, beyond the reach of the MDM policies.
- Ephemeral messaging applications such as Vaporstream are designed for the BYOD world. They have the power and ease of use of email and text messaging without the liability of it. Ephemeral messages cannot be shared or stored and disappear after use. Regardless of the device, users can exchange messages securely across the enterprise, yet those messages do not remain on any devices and cannot be shared by any device, even those beyond the control of your MDM solution.
- Compliance is important in heavily regulated industries like Healthcare, Insurance, Legal, and Finance just to name a few. Keep that in mind as you shop around for an ephemeral messaging solution that will address your needs. Consider vendors that uniquely allow companies to opt for a Governance Module where they can archive messages, in a secure on premise store. These can be tagged as transient messages with a short term retention or for as long as required in regulated industries, while leaving nothing on the BYOD devices. The only copy is in your secured archive for e-discovery, no exposure on BYOD devices or copies on unintended recipient devices and servers. Vaporstream covers these requirements and helps customers meet their regulatory requirements.
As companies embrace BYOD programs, they can also meet the unique privacy challenges by taking one simple step, in addition to implementing MDM – adopting a secure, ephemeral, compliant messaging platform. Enable efficient communication without sacrificing control over confidential information. If you currently do not have a solution that addresses privacy, security and compliance for mobile messaging download a FREE trial of the Vaporstream® App today (available in the APP Store and Google Play).
You can now have a secure, private, confidential conversation and know that it will not remain on someone’s device all this time. In fact it will age out and disappear, or you can simply shred it when you are ready. We keep those conversations that need strict confidentiality and privacy just so; private and confidential.