5 Questions to Ask when Selecting an Encrypted Mobile Communications Solution for the Enterprise
It's well known that mobile communications are vulnerable to interception and have greatly increased the risk of information leaks. Businesses that need to protect sensitive information are increasingly securing their mobile communications.
Selecting the right solution for any enterprise is challenging. To start, every business is different and has unique needs. That's further complicated by the general use of the term "enterprise-grade" in solution providers' marketing material. In the end, a decision will come down to specific features and functionality that an enterprise needs, but to quickly narrow down choices, five simple questions can be asked.
- Does the solution support the highest-grade encryption?
Any solution for the enterprise must be based on a flexible framework/architecture that can evolve to support the best and most up-to-date open source encryption algorithms. Never rely on proprietary encryption technologies. Open source encryption technologies are open to review and auditing by security experts around the world; and can stand the test of time while being pored over by thousands of cryptanalysts.
- Does the solution offer centralized control of users and metadata?
Consumer encryption solutions offer no control and no knowledge of users, but every solution labeled "enterprise-grade" typically has some degree of management. Still, simply having the ability to provision a user is probably not sufficient for the enterprise.
The ability to provision and de-provision users instantly, control over who can communicate with whom on the encrypted network, and visibility into individual usage are important features. For regulatory compliance and accountability requirements, control over which communications are saved and which are wiped from the system is critical.
- Is the solution easy to use?
Ease-of-use should be considered both for the user and the administrator.
- For the user, the app must be intuitive and easy-to-use, otherwise employees just won't use it. While consumer encryption apps like Telegram, Viber and Whatsapp cannot meet the enterprise's needs, their user interfaces are good examples of apps that are effortless to understand and use.
- For the administrator, the same applies. It must be easy to provision and de-provision users and create groups; and easy to specify which communications should be archived. The management console must be easy to access from anywhere in the world.
- Does the solution support BYOD?
The BYOD culture in enterprises is rapidly growing. A TechPro Research Survey shows that 74% of responding businesses already allow or are planning to allow employees to perform work on their own devices. Be sure that your encrypted mobile communications solution can run on any smartphone and don't get trapped into having to purchase a specialized phone; it adds significant expense and will be a nightmare to manage.
- Can the solution be deployed in the environment you require?
Finally, be sure the solution can be deployed as your business requirements dictate. For some enterprises, a hosted service through a trusted security services provider, is preferred. For others, particularly enterprises with regulatory compliance requirements, the solution must reside within their own IT infrastructure.
Once you've narrowed down your choices, test drive it with a small group of users. For a free trial of SaltDNA's secure mobile communications solution for the enterprise, click here.