The perils of using consumer grade apps for business
Last week it was widely reported (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-64584001) that Signal will leave the UK market if the Online Safety Bill, introduced by Boris Johnson and currently going through Parliament, undermines encryption. This would leave hundreds of thousands of users looking for an alternative secure messaging service.
The Online Safety Bill, critics say, means that companies could be required by Ofcom to scan messages on encrypted apps for child sexual abuse material or terrorism content under the new law. Apple tried to address the same issue a couple of years ago, where it proposed introducing new scanning software to detect Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) on people’s iPhones.
No one would argue that cracking down on the peddling of CSAM and the apprehension of terrorists is anything but a good thing. However, in this case, the method was called into question because it introduced a security and privacy weakness in Apple’s operating system, that previously enjoyed a robust reputation. It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to see how this type of well-meaning surveillance could be appropriated for more political or sinister purposes. Indeed, there was such a degree of public outcry that Apple deferred the launch of the service.
As the BBC coverage comments, it is ‘magical thinking’ to imagine that online privacy can be maintained for the good guys, but not the bad guys!
Signal is a well respected service and indeed, our own SigNet by Armour entry-level enterprise service is based on Signal technology. However, this latest story brings into question the wisdom of using consumer-grade apps for business. If you use a free service, you are at the whim of the supplier.
This also highlights the reasons to use an enterprise/government/military grade solution for secure communications and collaboration. In subscribing to a professional service, such as those provided by Armour, you benefit from the following:
• Hosted or on-premises options for complete control of your data and metadata
• Central management of users with easy provisioning and equally easy revocation
• Access to, and potentially input into, the roadmap of product development
• Bespoke development capabilities to handle unique/complex requirements
Contact us today to find out how Armour Comms can help your organisation to manage secure communications more reliably.