Repost: How unsafe is it to use Whatsapp for enterprise communications?

With over 1 billion users and over 42 billion messages transmitted every day via Whatsapp, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say Whatsapp is a social messaging phenomenon. In fact, Whatsapp is so important to us that hackers now disguise a malware attack attempt using a bogus Whatsapp update notification, thinking that users would likely not ignore a Whatsapp update. True enough, the malware attack targeted at mobile banking users in Singapore has seen some success, including one who lost as much as S$12,000.

Why should Enterprises be worried?
Isn’t this an individual problem?

Cyber attackers go where you go. It doesn’t come as a surprise that cyber attackers are using Whatsapp as a medium to spread malwares or even intercepting Whatsapp messages to obtain sensitive and confidential data that can potentially bring them large monetary gains. The risks are exceptionally high when it comes to enterprise data as such data are more highly sought after and commands a higher value.

Sure. It is your employees who are using Whatsapp and it is your employees’ devices getting infected with malware. But question is, are you 100% sure that your employees are not discussing about work, transferring files and sending important corporate data via Whatsapp on their mobile devices for the sake of convenience, ease of use and productivity?

In August last year, Whatsapp introduced some form of encryption to their messaging platform in a bid to fend off such cyber attacks, but according to Panda Security, the encryption algorithm used are weaker than desired. Other free messaging platforms such as Snapchat and Telegram, positioning themselves as a secured version of Whatsapp, have also hit the market.

The key question is, is Security free?
Can we really trust free-to-use Security?

PC World did an analysis of free Anti-Virus software on the internet and exposed their disadvantages against paid software such as the lack of support in an infection crisis and critical issues such as lack of frequent signature updates, opening you to a higher risk and longer risk window to infections.

The same goes for other solutions such as secured messaging platforms. When things are offered free, it often comes with a discount of features and strength. No one would invest in a business that doesn’t pay. That’s a simple equation.

A good mobile messaging platform should provide:

  • enterprise grade, end-to-end encryption
  • on-premise configurations to ensure messages are stored securely
  • contained environment where employees can only communicate within the organisation

Free messaging platforms are unable to provide most of the above features and enterprises should be wary of adopting solutions that makes corporate communications vulnerable to data thefts.

Esperti offers an enterprise grade secured messaging platforms with enterprise grade encryption, letting employees enjoy the convenience and productivity that mobile instant messaging and yet ensuring that you can have a peace of mind on the security of messages. So will you leave security to chance or will you take deliberate action to safeguard your corporate data?

Contact us on sales@esperti.co.in and we would be more than happy to help you.

The original article is authored by Eric Zhuo and appears here.