IBM MaaS360 Answers the Call for Secure Chat in the Enterprise

Organizations that have begun to embrace it know it best: Since its inception, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has been the have-it-your-way approach to cut costs and achieve mobile productivity in the enterprise.

Of the many ways smartphones and tablets are used, chatting or instant messaging (IM) apps are among the most common. User-driven adoption of secure chat services, however, is far less prevalent.

The reason behind this is simple: The IM platforms preferred by mobile workers weren’t designed to fend off cybercriminals, let alone prevent corporate data leakage. They were developed with the consumer in mind — making it simple to connect with anyone, anytime, from anywhere.

Interception! Sensitive Corporate Data Falls Into the Wrong Hands

The most widely adopted messaging apps have not-so-surprisingly gained the attention of wrongdoers out to exploit any information security weakness they can.

In the case of WhatsApp, adding more features and benefits to gratify its user base was ironically to the same users’ detriment. The “service suffers from the same problem as many others of similar nature: trying to do everything, all at once, for interested users.”

By giving users flexible options for staying in touch, and a wide assortment of ways to share files, media and contact information, it effectively made it “possible to infect entire systems without victims even knowing they’ve been compromised.” For this reason alone, it cannot be left up to users to decide which mobile IM apps should be used for work.

In highly regulated industries such as finance, health care and the public sector, secure chat services are the surefire way to remain in compliance with standards such as HIPAA and FINRA as proprietary messages are sent to and received from each device.

Staying Connected and Protected With IBM MaaS360’s Secure Chat

Information security professionals beckon for secure chat solutions that protect business data without compromising workflow or productivity. When using an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, securing chat is just as easy a process as with other mobile productivity resources such as email, contacts, calendar and docs.

Start Managing Your Devices, Apps and Docs in Minutes: Get a free trial of MaaS360

Built directly into the IBM MaaS360 Productivity Suite as a component of IBM MaaS360 Secure Mobile Mail, chat conversations remain safely contained in a passcode-protected workspace, separated from the other personal contents on the device. Work messages are safe from data leakage thanks to measures such as restricting copy and paste, which helps your organization comply with security policies. It’s easy for workers to continue the conversation via mobile once they’ve left the office since they have confidence that the information they’re sending will not be compromised.

MaaS360 chat view of contacts, contact availability, message history preview, and ability to initiate a new chat. MaaS360 Chat conversation view. Display of contact name, contact availability, message history, and ability to type and send a new message.

Chat pulls directly from the same contacts repository used for Secure Mobile Mail, so there’s no learning curve associated with starting new conversations. Contact availability is clearly displayed when scrolling through messages, making it easy to discern who can participate in one-on-one or group conversations, or who should get an email instead.

MaaS360 Chat seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Lync 2013. It will soon expand to other platforms as well, allowing you to make the most of your existing work messaging systems. All these features and more are available now, free to try for 30 days.

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Wes Gyure

MaaS360 Portfolio Offering Manager, IBM

Wes Gyure, a 17 year veteran of IBM Software, has held numerous positions in research, development and product management. In his current role, he is responsible for the IBM MaaS360 Product Management and Strategy for Enterprise Mobility Management. Prior to this role, Wes served as the IBM Security & Apple Partnership Alliance Manager focused on better alignment for the Apple ecosystem.