A Guide to Consumer, SMB, & Enterprise Grade Secure Comms Apps

Date: 27 Dec 2018 Category : | Author: Graham Penrose

Businesses have adopted consumer-oriented messaging and communications apps en masse. They regularly use them for the transmission of sensitive commercial information. I have recently even come across a situation where Facebook IM was being used to transmit design blueprints for weapons systems. Business has also allowed BYOD in many instances, without implementing an MDM, and all of the assocatied risks that those devices introduce. Businesses are their own worst enemy and the hackers best friend. It’s a turkey shoot. It’s shooting fish in a barrel.

End-to-end encryption is a phrase not an axiom. Worse, it is often not compliant. In some implementations it can be an eavesdropping, and data leakage motherlode for adversaries. But you cannot expect what you do not inspect, so here are a few ways that you can determine if your choice of messaging and communications app or platform is up to the task. They can be broken down by Fundamental Features, Enterprise Features, and Risk Mitigation Features.

Fundamental Features

Rate the solution that you are evaluating on a 1 (poor/non-existent) – 5 (fit for purpose) scale:

Enterprise Features

Rate the solution that you are evaluating on a 1 (poor/non-existent) – 5 (fit for purpose) scale:

Risk Mitigation Features

These are Yes or No features. They include prevention and notification of attempts to exfiltrate data. For context, a subset of these data exfiltration counter measures and threat detection features can include:


If you can check all of the boxes above then you are on to a winner. If you can do that and also hit a 4+ score, across the range, in the Fundamental and Enterprise features then I would be much obliged if you could email me the name of the app!

* Graphic courtesy of Forrester


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