Internet & Mobile World Team

Out of the shadow

28 September 2018, 15:18
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Besides an ubiquitous reality, what is shadow IT, after all? Most definitions have it as the unauthorized usage of cloud services, hardware & software. Nowadays, the main concern of companies and governments is the rapid growth of cloud services usage. With 80 % of employees admitting that they use at least one solution without the proper IT & security authorization, the growing concern is hardly exaggerated.

With GDPR applicable since May 2018, many companies started taking decisive measures against “shadow” usage of messaging apps. Continental banned the usage of Whatsapp and Snapchat on company mobiles. Deutsche Bank went even further, by banning instant messaging as well as all messaging apps.

However, the need for instant messaging to exchange critical business data in real time remains, especially considering the fast paced business environment, as well as the customer expectations to gain access to the business and government services as quickly as possible.

In discussing with several clients, many of them dealing with sensitive and private data (e.g. medical services providers), they point out that due to the scattering of relevant data and information, instant messaging remains essential in gathering and propagating vital data in real-time.

Considering the new constraints regarding GDPR and known vulnerabilities of existing messaging apps, there is a growing need for adequate apps that properly respond to the client’s needs.

What are these needs, as articulated by the clients themselves?

First of all, the clients want to be in control of who accesses the data they exchange. This means using the best encryption available (end-to-end), as well as hosting the messaging solution in their private cloud. To fully cover the security concerns, an MDM (Mobile Device Management) component has to be part of the solution.  GDPR compliance is a must. For increased usability, integration with enterprise apps is also required. This, in turn, means that between the client and the solution vendor an ongoing collaboration is required to keep the app up-to date with the system environment changes.

With these requirements in mind and with a strong desire to provide the client with an app that ticks all the boxes, the Romanian company Trencadis started the development of the TALOS messaging app. As a recognition of the fact that stepping out of the “shadow IT” zone means not only banning existing apps, but also providing companies and governments with a proper solution, the EU awarded a grant for building TALOS.

Being in very close contact with the clients that are currently expecting an adequate messaging app, Trencadis did not limit the functionality to the standard messaging, but also included in the product roadmap features that lead to an increase usability. To name just a few, TALOS will provide in-app document scanning – to allow the seamless digitization of paper documents, external user enrollment and management – when data gathering has to exit the internal organization as well as built-in file sharing – to handle the situations when message attachments exceed the standard thresholds.

2019 will be the year when TALOS will be on the market, providing our clients with a professional way out of the “shadow IT” zone, finally allowing for the benefits of instant messaging to blend in with observing the highest standards in security and privacy.

TALOS solution is being developed within the project TALOS – Secure Mobile Inter-organizational Communication.

This project is co-financed with funding from the European Regional Development Fund – Priority Axis 2 –  “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) fit a competitive digital economy”, through the Operational Competitiveness Program 2014-2020. The content of this material does not necessarily represent an official position of the European Union or the Government of Romania.

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