Standing in front of one of my classes, trying to teach some complicated concept and watching the kid in the back texting his girlfriend is frustrating. But when employees start texting, their employer's organizational information assets are at risk. The fact is, though, that the kid in the back row is going to keep texting and the employee is too. So, for the business environment, how does one protect sensitive information that goes out over SMS?
More important, though, the question is becoming: How can businesses take advantage of the ubiquity of SMS? It is available on almost every cell/smartphone, and on some of these devices is quite sophisticated. In fact, SMS is the most heavily used mobile phone application. CellTrust has tapped this huge market in a unique way by partnering with carriers. Additionally, the company has a product that works directly with the enterprise. So, either way, business texting and other uses for SMS become secure.
The SecureSMS Appliance for enterprises is a standalone version of the SecureSMS Gateway that is used by carriers. The team at CellTrust has a long history in security and the company's vision is to take the most pervasive application in the mobile phone market and exploit it in the same way that SSL has been exploited in the internet world. The drivers for both of these markets are similar: secure transmission of sensitive information, in one case, via the internet and in the other, via the telephone network.
The idea of addressing the use of SMS in business is an innovative marketing scheme. It is certain that employees are using text messaging at work and likely using it to move business information. However, that information is unprotected and there is no easily accessible record of it. The CellTrust approach provides both security and accountability.
Security is provided by a unique encryption technology based on the constant changing of the encryption key. The entire user-side application installs in the phone, not on the vulnerable SIM card. The combination of a unique technology and a creative way of getting it to market does the trick for this innovator.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: SecureSMS Appliance
Vendor: CellTrust Corp.
Cost: starts at $75,000
Innovation: Applying the principles of SSL on the internet to SMS text messaging over the wireless telephone network
Greatest strength: Working through telephone carriers to reach a large market with an innovative approach to a clearly articulated security challenge