Private Chat Apps: 3 Crucial Features Your Messaging App Is Lacking

13 March, 2016 by Nuro

It’s not uncommon for employees to share sensitive corporate information via popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype for Business, and even Snapchat. It might seem harmless, but the privacy and security features on these messaging applications aren’t as strong as employees might think. Sure, some of these applications offer some sort of encryption but they still are able to access personal information (name, picture, messages) and authorize other applications to access that same information as well. In terms of data security however, this is problematic — it’s important that trade secrets, banking information, and client information remain absolutely secure from third-party messaging applications. Fortunately, there are enterprise messaging apps, like NURO, that take corporate privacy into consideration. In searching for the right secure messaging application for your business, make sure that they include these three privacy features:

Company Sanctioned

In most messaging applications, it’s the application itself that “owns” the messages and contents that flow through their networks. But, if corporations and employees are discussing sensitive information that they’d like to keep private from third-parties, this particular element is problematic; because the application governs the messaging platform, businesses are unable to control the confidential information that their employees share with each other. On the other hand, in private chat apps that are company sanctioned , businesses can be safe in knowing that messages are secure. NURO, for example, uses APIs so that organizations can integrate the platform into their existing servers — this way, the information technology department has complete control of the product.

Unfortunately, although 44% of employees regularly use mobile messaging throughout the workday, only 17% say their company uses an internal, company sanctioned messaging application. Still, as businesses understand the potential security threats brought by standard mobile messaging, we expect this statistic to increase.

Secure Notifications

Typically, mobile applications request access to send notifications through one of the three main push notification services. In granting them access, users are inadvertently authorizing Apple, Google, or Microsoft to view and access their messages and conversations.

How? To be specific, the architecture of Apple’s Push Notification Service (APN), Google’s Cloud Messaging (GCM), and Microsoft’s Push Notification Service (MPNS) do offer a secure connection between the device and the push cloud service over a TLS channel, but the message itself is in

clear-text during transport, and is not secured.

This means, that notifications are a sensitive area of the mobile communication chain, and can be vulnerable to security breaches.

NURO, however, uses a proprietary notification system so that employees can still receive notifications without worrying that third parties are accessing their conversations.

End-to-End Security

It’s clear, today, that government agencies and other third-party services are capable of using sophisticated surveillance techniques to decrypt protected messages — this revelation came to light after the Edward Snowden controversy in 2013. Snowden revealed, that Skype, the application he was using, allowed Microsoft to scan and read his messages.

Essentially, the messaging application lacked “end-to-end security,” or features that secure messages so that there is no third party exposure. Thus, if employees are discussing sensitive corporate information on those messaging applications, it means that their messages may be seen by third party providers.

It’s clear then, after going through these three features, that security is important in the search for business messaging applications. It’s too easy in other popular messaging applications for third-party services — whether it’s the provider, the push notification service, developers, or cybercriminals — to breach and access the information that employees share with each other. Fortunately, private chat apps like NURO have the necessary features to ensure that businesses keep their sensitive information safe and protected from outsiders.