Secure Messaging and Mobile: There’s an App For That

mobile work

What did we do before we could use our smartphones and tablets to send and receive business emails (or any emails for that matter)? For those who are too young to remember, the process went something like this: We’d wait several minutes booting up and then logging into our work desktop or laptop PCs. Then, we’d sign into our email and wait for new messages to download. Only then would we be ready to start sending email. This process could take anywhere between one and five minutes – one to five minutes before sending a single email. It’s a wonder any work got done.

Joking aside, mobile messaging has changed the way we work, especially for those of us in jobs where email takes up a good portion of our day. Being able to send and receive emails on our smartphones and tablets has given us the flexibility to work anywhere and anytime. Even for those of us who lack the discipline to put our mobile devices away for more than a minute (and who are well aware of the negative aspects of “always-on” communications), going back to the old way of doing things before smartphones and tablets seems incomprehensible.

According to an email statistics report published by The Radicadi Group there are more than 1.4 billion businesses and consumer mobile email users. Mobile email has become so ubiquitous that we usually don’t think about what an amazing technological feat it is to send and receive messages from any device. The issue of course is security.

For organizations – especially those in industries where security is regulated, like healthcare, legal, financial services and government; traditional email encryption solutions have been slow to catch up on mobile. As a result and in order to comply with legislation such as HIPAA, FINRA and Sarbanes Oxley, sensitive email is often only sent encrypted from a desktop or laptop connected to a corporate network.

The good news is that the new generation of cloud-based email encryption solutions – also known as secure messaging solutions – are much more mobile friendly, support regulatory compliance on mobile devices and offer a great deal more than encryption alone. Secure messaging tools like Cirius for example, extend email security to mobile devices for both internal and external users (senders and receivers outside of the organization) as well as provide a host of message control features.

The cloud plays an important role in the mobile security process. When sensitive data is stored in the secure cloud and not on the mobile device, content is protected even if a device is lost or stolen. Additionally, secure messaging tools that are managed centrally by an administrator and deployable via mobile device management (MDM) systems are an effective way to support “bring your own device” (B.Y.O.D.) policy compliance.

In the case of Cirius, users can download free native apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone or access secure messaging via a mobile web browser. Users have the same message control features on their mobile device as they do on the desktop. They know moment a secure mobile email message is received and read by the recipients. They can control whether secure messages can be replied to or forwarded, instantly and fully revoke messages sent in error even after they are opened, and securely share file attachments over mobile email.

For the majority of organizations, data is among their most valuable assets if not the most valuable. Even in industries where email security is not regulated, businesses should consider whether the risk of loss of intellectual property and other sensitive information is worth it. For most businesses that risk is simply too high, especially considering how inexpensive and easy to implement and use secure messaging solutions – including those that extend security to mobile devices – have become.