'Ephemeral messaging apps' emerge to protect against workplace data breaches
- More companies are allowing the use of "ephemeral messaging apps" to protect sensitive internal communication in the workplace, CNN reports. Messages on apps like Wickr, Vaporstream and Telegram are secure from breaches and can be instantly and permanently deleted. Wickr messages are encrypted and not stored on servers, for example.
- The apps are more secure than email messaging, which is easily and frequently targeted by hackers, but destroying messages immediately after sending and receiving them could violate the law. Some state and federal laws require companies to retain health and employment messages and records for a certain length of time. Certain industries have their own rules on how long to keep messages. Financial institutions save emails up to seven years, for example.
- Other app makers have products specifically for commercial use so that companies can apply their own record-retention requirements, CNN says.
The workplace is changing rapidly and communication between workers is an obvious example. Consider the fact that workplaces have only recently began to use apps like Slack and Hipchat to create a virtual workplace. Now, the need for secure encryption to protect sensitive information — especially employee data — seems to be increasingly part of conversations with company IT managers and CIOs.
Companies that handle large amounts of proprietary information or face heavy competition from other firms offering similar products or services might find using ephemeral messaging apps a secure way to send and exchange information. Employers should be aware of local, state and federal laws regarding information-retention requirements, however.
Pay attention to developments with other widely-used chat tools, too. Slack recently announced it would implement machine learning in order to automate certain processes, at the discretion of customers.