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Checklist for GDPR Compliance for Secure Enterprise Messaging Apps

With the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018 for all enterprises in the European Union, we currently get increasing enquiries for Teamwire from businesses that seek a secure enterprise messaging app. Due to the potentially high fines of the GDPR and related financial risks, many businesses are not willing to tolerate WhatsApp as part of the shadow IT anymore and as an alternative look for a secure enterprise messaging app that is compliant with the GDPR. 

Compliant Enterprise Messaging for the General Data Protection Regulation

Recently we wrote a blog post on the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the WhatsApp problem of enterprises. On the one hand we highlighted the demanding data protection requirements for enterprises and the heavy fines due the GDPR. On the other hand we described why WhatsApp is not compliant with the GDPR and that the usage of WhatsApp for business purposes is a critical issue under the GDPR. As a consequence businesses should deploy a secure enterprise messaging app before the GDPR becomes into effect, in order to ensure strong data protection and compliance with the GDPR. Today we want to look into the necessary features of a secure enterprise messaging app (like e.g. Teamwire) to fully meet the requirements of the GDPR:

The General Data Protection Regulation and the WhatsApp Problem of Enterprises

The European General Data Protection Regulation as the new privacy law affects all enterprises doing business in Europe. Enterprises have to adjust their data protection practices in order to comply with the new law and avoid high fines. WhatsApp as part of the shadow IT is a critical issue and businesses must ensure compliant enterprise messaging (e.g. with Teamwire).

Vault 7 and the Consequences for Enterprise Messengers

WikiLeaks released a series of documents, which describe surveillance activities and capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the last couple of years. Especially they explain in detail how the CIA performs electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. These documents, which are called Vault 7, are currently all over the news and get enterprises to worry about the security of their mobile devices and services in use. Is enterprise data on mobile devices safe? Can enterprises protect communication with strong encryption? Are enterprise messengers secure?

Should Businesses Worry About The Encryption and Security of Whatsapp?

There has been a huge discussion recently about a security vulnerability of Whatsapp, which some people quickly proclaimed as a "backdoor" for governments to snoop on users. A new analysis by a security researcher showed that Whatsapp could read some messages due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol. Some security experts say that the vulnerability is a known “trade-off” due to the size of Whatsapp's user base and can hardly be used for mass surveillance. However, since Whatsapp always highlights its privacy and security, this raises some serious questions for its users. Enterprises and employees, which use Whatsapp for business purposes, ask themselves if they can rely on the encryption and security of Whatsapp?

Teamwire Successfully Completes Cloud Security Alliance STAR Assessment

Teamwire has completed the Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR) assessment of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for its enterprise messaging app, in order to show compliance with leading standards and best practices for IT security. This helps customers to assess the security of our enterprise messaging app and to make the best procurement decisions. 

The New Terms of WhatsApp and the Consequences for Businesses

Last week Whatsapp updated its terms and related privacy policy, and made several significant changes that were kind expected since the acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook in 2014. In summary, Whatsapp will share personal information and data of users with Facebook, in order to mainly improve advertising related revenue channels. For enterprises which use Whatsapp for business purposes these changes of terms have critical consequences. We have written of the disadvantages and damages of Whatsapp for business use in the past, and suggested to look for a dedicated enterprise messaging app in order to ensure company-wide security, strong data protection and maximum productivity. However, we believe the new changes of the terms of Whatsapp should now make every enterprise seriously considering to stop using Whatsapp for business purposes, if an enterprise wants to avoid damages to and sharing of employee, customer and partner data with Facebook.

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