Ephemeral messaging, such as that offered by Wickr, is impermanent messaging. Ephemeral messages are automatically deleted when read, which is perfect for private information you don’t want others to read. Security professionals see the value of ephemeral messaging for their sensitive communications because it leaves nothing on their servers or devices for hackers and other unwanted guests to appropriate.
Understanding Ephemeral Messaging
Ephemeral messaging involves messages that self-destruct after they’ve been delivered and read. Many messaging services, including Signal, Snapchat, and AWS Wickr, offer forms of ephemeral messaging.
Ephemeral messaging can work in one of several ways. Some solutions automatically delete messages after the recipient has read them. Others store messages for a set period of time and then delete them. Still others enable users to delete messages manually but otherwise continue to store messages by default.
The self-destruct process can be as simple as sending messages to the system trash or as complex as employing sophisticated shredding technology to ensure that all deleted messages are entirely unrecoverable. The best ephemeral messaging tools go to the extreme of erasing copies of messages that might be stored on servers or devices through which the original message passed.
Compared to other messaging services, Wickr, with its configurable ephemeral messaging options, offers a combination of data security and ease of use. Wickr employs proprietary burn-on-read technology that automatically deletes the entire message and any attachments after it has been received, based on user-configurable preferences. Individual users or network administrators can configure Wickr’s Auto Destruct settings to set the precise interval after receipt when messages and attachments are securely deleted. All messages are securely shredded, and no messages are retained on sending or receiving devices or servers. It’s a completely secure solution.
Four Reasons That Ephemeral Messaging Makes Sense
Why might security professionals want to move their organizations to ephemeral messaging solutions? Here are four benefits of ephemeral messaging that could sway companies toward this option.
1. Increased Security
Ephemeral messaging is the ultimate in secure messaging, especially when combined with end-to-end encryption. The encryption ensures that messages cannot be intercepted en route, and the self-destruct capabilities guarantee that unauthorized parties can view no messages surreptitiously.
This is especially important because more and more employees are using their own or company-supplied mobile devices for company communications. With traditional messaging, if an unauthorized user steals or otherwise takes control of an employee’s device, they may be able to hack into the device and access messages stored there. With ephemeral messaging, no data is stored on employees’ devices – it’s all automatically deleted after use. No data is stored on the device for malicious actors to access.
In addition, most ephemeral messaging solutions protect against screenshotting, copying, or forwarding protected communications. A device using ephemeral messaging shows no trace of past communications, which makes it utterly secure if lost or stolen.
2. Reduced Exposure to Data Breaches
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach today is $3.9 million. In a typical intrusion, cyberattackers access the company’s systems and access, steal, or deface data stored throughout the network. This includes sensitive communications stored on network servers and connected devices.
With ephemeral messaging, there are no stored communications for malicious actors to access. Communications are automatically deleted from sending and receiving devices, as well as on the company’s messaging servers. Cyberattackers cannot steal embarrassing or incriminating email and text messages because no historical messages exist for hackers to steal. This reduces the potential cost of any data breach that might occur.
3. Lower Data Storage Costs
When users store every message they send and receive, it eventually adds up to a lot of data. As all IT staffers know, data storage isn’t free; the more data your employees store, the more expensive it becomes.
According to a recent comparison, enterprise cloud storage runs around $5/TB per month. For a large organization with lots of communications-happy employees, those storage costs can very quickly turn into a significant expense.
With ephemeral messaging, your costs for storing messages and other communications drops to near zero. You need store only essential information; day-to-day communications are immediately wiped. For most companies, this represents significant cost savings.
4. Works with Compliance
Some security professionals might be concerned that by automatically deleting all communications, ephemeral messaging apps would make it more difficult for a company to comply with governmental and industry regulations. This would be true – if all an ephemeral messaging solution did was delete messages, files, and the like.
Fortunately, today’s generation of enterprise ephemeral communications solutions enables IT staff to save one copy of all communications to designated firewalled storage. This ensures that the enterprise remains compliant while still removing all trace of communications from the devices used by the senders and recipients. The compliant copy of selected communications can then be safely stored in an encrypted fashion.
Wickr – For Encrypted Ephemeral Messaging
AWS Wickr combines strong encryption with ephemeral messaging for the ultimate secure communications solution. Wickr employs end-to-end encryption to send and receive text messages, voice and video calls, file transfers, and live collaboration sessions. Contact us to learn more about how Wickr’s ephemeral messaging works.
To switch to secure ephemeral messaging, download Wickr today.