Here’s my simple take on the future of secure enterprise messaging.
In short, secure messaging will ultimately be a phrase that goes the way of the dinosaurs because all messaging will be secure. But that future is a distant one.
Until then, companies like my NetSfere, which offers a market-leading secure messaging platform, will thrive.
Similarly, smart, forward-thinking executives who are able to recognize threats well in advance to their peers will find themselves rewarded by the market and by the executives and board members to whom they report.
If you don’t yet know that the world is a dangerous place and that cybercriminals and nation-state actors are actively working to get access to your confidential information, then you haven’t been paying attention.
The barbarians are at the gates.
It’s gotten so bad that the FBI now has a separate Most Wanted List just for cybercrime.
Recognizing what’s at stake, President Obama has had to take steps to develop a National Cybersecurity Plan.
Previously, I’ve written that universal broadband availability can be an important driver toward world peace and prosperity.
But if the information highway that we all travel on is unnavigable due to digital pirates and carjackers, then all the opportunity that can come from global broadband access will be lost.
That would be the ultimate “highway robbery” indeed — robbing us all of the ability to build a better collective future.
As messaging becomes the de facto way that we all communicate, it will increasingly become a target for hackers.
Unfortunately, messaging is a mess at most organizations. Employees bring devices to work and use unsanctioned consumer apps for messaging. The enterprise loses control of a valuable and vulnerable endpoint.
In regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance, this puts the enterprise at risk of costly compliance violations.
But in all industries, the larger risk is a cybersecurity breach that can literally shutdown and bankrupt an entity, either through the loss of trade secrets, the loss of customer confidence, or a host of other negative consequences that can come from a breach.
I regularly meet with the CEOs, CSOs and CIOs of large, highly regarded enterprises that lead their respective industries.
In these conversations, it’s important for me to be measured in my comments.
In my world, it’s bad form to lecture a Fortune 500 CEO.
But, it is hard to be silent when I see an executive underestimating the negative impact of a failure to deploy a secure enterprise messaging platform.
With all the high profile breaches, from Target to Sony to JPMorgan Chase, there can be no doubt that every large enterprise is under attack and is only as strong as its weakest link.
To be sure, that weakest link is most likely an employee using a rogue messaging app that does not send and receive information securely.
Without a solution like NetSfere in place, large enterprises are playing with fire.
Perhaps one day, automated bots will seek out and destroy all of the malicious software that attempts to steal enterprise information, and the good guys will stop the bad guys before they get to your front door.
That’s a day I look forward to and it’s one in which secure messaging will be ubiquitous and it will be implicit in the Internet’s core infrastructure.
But that day is still many years away.
Until then, better safe than sorry.
Invest in secure enterprise messaging now or roll the dice, hoping that your organization will not join the growing ranks of enterprise cybercrime victims.