Popular messaging app WhatsApp was recently hacked, leaving its users, and their data, vulnerable. In order to exploit the app, hackers only needed to make a voice call to it. Even if the end user did not pick up the call, the hack was able to gain entry into the app and give the hackers access to the user’s sensitive data. Not only could the hackers see all of the calls and text that a person had sent or received, but they could also turn on the phone’s camera and microphone.
Having your data breached as an individual is bad enough. Depending on what data is stolen, it could lead to severe financial difficulties, personal embarrassment, and the uncomfortable feeling that comes just from having your privacy violated. It isn’t just personal data at risk in these attacks though. Many employees now rely on apps such as WhatsApp for business-related communications. The results of a data breach in those cases can be much more significant.
Government agencies and businesses such as defence contractors often deal with information so sensitive that having it fall into the wrong hands could sacrifice national security. Reporters, especially those working in countries with highly restrictive government, often deal with sources whose lives could be in danger should their identities be revealed. Trade secrets that a company has spent large amounts of time and money could be compromised, putting the entire company in danger.
Not all consequences for businesses are life-threatening or potentially job-ending. Brands are very protective of their reputation, and in today’s culture, bad news spreads fast. Outrage generates clicks, and no business wants their company being the target of those clicks because a potentially embarrassing or easily misconstrued conversation between employees leaked.
Consumer grade software may give passing concern to security, but it is not a driving goal behind the software’s development. Often, software that becomes popular among the general public is written by people who do not have any background in computer security at all. They may use rudimentary security features, such as encryption, but that is not enough. WhatsApp was hacked using a technique called buffer overflow. These are the types of attacks that security professional will know to look out for and seal up, but that a general developer likely won’t.
Enterprise communications tools were developed from the ground up with security as a number one concern. They are written specifically for organizations that are dealing with sensitive information, be it life-threatening, or just important to the business. The tools are far less likely to be compromised by hackers because their developers understand the ways that hackers exploit a program’s code and make sure those loopholes never exist in the first place.
Keeping your business secure from unwanted visitors in the online space is paramount to the future of your business. Thankfully, there is a way to ensure you don’t have to rely on third-party applications who may not have your best interests at heart.
Some enterprise solutions, such as our own Microsoft Teams offering, are designed to replace all of the apps that your employees may use to do their jobs. In the consumer space, you’ll likely have separate apps for text messaging, voice messages, video conferencing, screen sharing, and document sharing. This means multiple companies that you must trust to keep your data secure, and multiple codebases that can be attacked by hackers. Those consumer services are also highly popular, and therefore provide hackers with the most bang for their buck, so to speak, making them large targets.
Products such as Microsoft Teams combine all of the communications tools that your enterprise needs to operate efficiently into one highly package that puts the integrity of your data at the forefront of the development strategy.
Along with Microsoft 365 for keeping your business secure, we have options available to make sure that your customers will always be able to contact you even if disaster strikes. To find out more about the ways that we can keep your communications system from disasters of all types, please contact us on 0800 160 1111.