If your organization is looking for a new company-wide messaging app, there are lots of choices available. That means, however, that it’s easy to make the wrong choice – and end up with a messaging solution doesn’t offer the right levels of data encryption.
With that in mind, here are seven common mistakes that companies make when evaluating secure messaging apps – and that you can avoid when making your decision.
1. Relying on Consumer Messaging Apps
You might think that you don’t need to adopt a special enterprise-wide messaging solution. After all, everybody has some sort of SMS messing app on their phone, so there’s no need to buy or install anything new. In fact, most companies today allow their employees to use their own messaging apps; according to Forbes, 60% of employees use their own personal smartphones for business purposes either daily or weekly.
The problem is that consumer-grade messaging apps are not completely secure. In many instances’ messages aren’t encrypted at all; even those apps that do offer encryption often don’t have the more secure end-to-end encryption or people don’t use the available encryption. (According to Morning Consult, only 20% of Americans have encrypted a message or phone call.)
In addition, consumer messaging apps are designed for personal use, not for corporate use, and thus don’t have many of the features and options that larger organizations need. You want a more robust encrypted messaging solution designed for corporate use, such as AWS Wickr.
2. Not Choosing End-to-End Data Encryption
To best secure your company’s communications, you need a solution that encrypts all messages sent. The problem is, not every form of encryption is equally secure.
Traditional encryption uses password keys stored by the app’s service provider, which is notoriously insecure; hackers can easily break into the provider’s server and decipher these keys, as can government agencies with a search warrant.
The better solution is end-to-end encryption that encrypts each message as it is sent and does not decrypt it until it has been delivered to the recipient. The decryption keys are stored on the sending and receiving devices, not on a central server, so that only the recipient can decode and read the message. End-to-end encryption is the most secure option available, and it would be a major mistake to go with anything less.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, however, only four of the world’s top twelve mobile messaging apps enable end-to-end encryption by default. Your company shouldn’t make this mistake.
3. Not Asking the Right People for Input
When you’re considering any type of company-wide tech solution, you need to consult with the people who will be using it. You want a solution that meets your employees’ needs, and the only way to determine that is to talk with your employees.
Employees can tell you how they use messaging in their jobs, what they like and what they don’t like. Plus, key employees will more easily buy into a new solution when they’ve had input upfront. You can’t make this kind of a decision in a vacuum.
4. Not Considering All Devices and Platforms
When talking to your employees, you need to determine how they’re using messaging today. Especially important is discovering what devices and platforms they use.
According to StatCounter, Android has the largest market share of the operating system market, at 39.6%, followed by Windows (35.8%), iOS (13.8%), and OS X (6.1%) – but these are just general statistics, it may be completely different in your organization. You do not want to choose a new messaging solution that doesn’t work on some users’ phones or computers. You have to know what devices and platforms are currently used and make sure the new messaging solution is fully compatible.
5. Not Choosing the Right Company
To trust a messaging solution, you have to trust the company behind the app.
First, consider the company’s location. It’s always good to buy American, but especially so when it comes to solutions that involve security technology. You want a provider that cannot be compromised by a hostile foreign government.
Next, you want a company with a history of strong security. You do not want to use an app from a company that has had security breaches in the past.
Finally, make sure the company has stellar support. There’s a reason that the Temkin Group reports that 73% of business buyers say that customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Ideally, a messaging solution just works, but sometimes it doesn’t – and when that happens, you don’t want to spend all day on hold. You want hands-on support whether you have a major issue or just need help getting things set up.
6. Not Shredding Messages
In addition to encrypting messages, you need a messaging solution that automatically deletes messages. If your provider stores messages on their servers, those messages can be compromised by unwanted intruders.
It’s also important how messages are deleted. Traditional deletion simply removes public pointers to each message; the underlying still remains and is recoverable. The most secure data deletion involves “shredding” the message data so that the data cannot be found or reassembled.
Wickr is particularly good at deleting messages. You can set timeouts for all conversations so that messages older than a particular time will be automatically deleted from all related devices. It also shreds the messages so that they’re completely unrecoverable.
7. Not Training Your Staff
The final mistake many companies make occurs after they implement a new messaging solution, by not training their staff on the new software. Users need to be trained on how to best use a new messaging app, especially when it comes to getting the full benefit from the security features.
According to a study by Capgemini Consulting, only one in ten U.S. adults feel that they have sufficient skills to use the digital tools provided at work. If users don’t know how to properly use the messaging app, they could inadvertently introduce security risks into the system. Make sure your staff knows how to use every aspect of your messaging solution – and do so in the most secure fashion possible.
Wickr: Never a Mistake
Wickr understands the importance of choosing the right encrypted messaging solution. Wickr’s messaging solutions offer secure messaging with state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption. Contact us to learn more about how Wickr can be part of your encrypted messaging strategy.