How Governments Can Protect Their Sensitive Data with this App
Governments have a duty to protect the interests of their country and citizens, both locally and globally. It's a full-time responsibility, which requires government officials to discuss and share sensitive information – often at various times and places. But secure channels can be hard to come by when you're on the move, so some may opt to use inadequate means like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal to relay whatever data is necessary.
Unfortunately, the consequences of this can be fatal. Foreign organizations and local terrorist cells alike have a significant interest in finding and using whatever data they can against you. So, the question is – how can you protect yourself and the people you serve?
Well, I have some good news for you, for a change. There is a solution. But before I get to it, let's take a closer look at the problems we face.
First off, let's raise the topic of confidentiality. There are three general levels of information sensitivity you may come across: public, sensitive, and classified. You'd likely agree that only the first level should be discussed over insecure channels. However, as you may suspect, that's not always how it works. There have been many cases where sensitive or classified data was intercepted on everyday mobile apps like the ones outlined above in the past few years.
But how is that possible?
Good question. In my experience, it most often comes down to necessity due to a lack of viable solutions. It's no secret that many governments struggle to keep up with the constant forward march of technology. Consequently, although officials tend to have access to a secure line of communication in their office, they lack similar solutions for mobile use. This is very interesting, because today vast majority all communication worldwide is done via mobile phones and governments are no exception to it.
That's not to say there aren't suitable applications out there. However, it's a generally accepted fact of software development that higher security comes at the price of convenience. Apps specializing in confidential communication are typically hard to navigate and lack many of the features we'd come to expect, such as voice calls, conference calls, messaging, file sharing, and others.
And so, rather than out of malice or ignorance, many civil servants end up using a combination of coded speech and basic chat apps to fulfill their duties. However, that doesn't change the fact that such behavior often borders on illegality.
Personally, I find this situation criminal. Governments should not be risking the integrity and safety of their countries by relying on the security of software solutions they have no say in.
There are several safety concerns about commonly-used apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal share. These include:
Verifiable Security: Many of the apps we use in everyday life claim to be secure, but very few can actually prove it. Governments and international organizations like the EU and NATO issue licenses to verified software providers capable of guaranteeing secure transmission of confidential information.
Server Access: Often, there is no way to know where and how the data you send is stored. Providers also have an obligation to aid governmental organizations and allow them access to their servers in investigations. That means your classified data may be released to foreign entities without your consent.
Data Backups: Most devices we use today automatically save the data we send and receive to both their internal memory banks and our personal cloud. This allows us the convenience of having all our messages and media wherever we go. However, it also means that all your saved information will be compromised if someone hacks into your device or online account.
Metadata: Sometimes, hostile entities don't even need to see your chat or call logs. Apps and IP providers hold onto metadata, which, although anonymized, can still be used to identify our approximate location, who we contacted, and more.
But now that you know that, it's time to return to the question that started it all. Taking into account everything I've told you so far, how can you protect yourself and the people you serve?
Well, some time ago, I asked myself that same question. I assembled a team, and this is what we came up with.
The Solution to Secure Mobile Communication
Silentel is the application we began developing all the way back in 2001 to meet the need for secure mobile communication in lieu of the many cyber-attacks and mass surveillance incidents we witnessed around the world. We sought to unite the convenience of standard commercial devices with the high security of dedicated encryption devices at an even lower price.
Today, our solutions are used by governments, organizations, and individuals in over 50 countries. And that's because we offer an experience you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
The main benefits Silentel can offer you are:
Verified Security: We are the holders of several security certifications awarded by various countries and international organizations. Silentel became the first worldwide solution for secure mobile communication to be positioned in the NATO Information Assurance Products Catalogue (NIAPC).
On-premise solution: We provide complete solution 100% under full control of your organization. No third-party servers. Once set up, no one else but you and your chosen users have access. Not even us.
Encryption & Privacy: Communications via the Silentel app are protected with multiple security measures. Sent data is encrypted on the user's device prior to transfer and only decrypted on the receiver's end. Each communication has a unique, one-time use encryption key created at the beginning of a conversation and immediately destroyed at its end. Furthermore, none of the information is ever stored on the device, so even in the event that your phone is lost or stolen, no one will be able to retrieve any sensitive data.
Competitive Convenience: Silentel is quick to deploy and easy to use in any organization. It doesn't require any special skills for installation, maintenance, nor use. Our application works with standard proprietary devices running iOS, Android, macOS and Windows. Silentel protects your sensitive information, and in addition, provides the ability to minimize time spent on face-to-face meetings or physical delivery of documents.
In conclusion, the world's a dangerous place, and I firmly believe government officials should be equipped to face these digital threats. As I stated previously – this is not only about protecting yourself. It is about protecting your country and its people. So, make sure you have the tools necessary to uphold this responsibility.