For businesses and organisations working in the fields of security operations and events, being able to rely on effective and secure communications has never been more critical in ensuring the safety of all involved. Whether these operations are managed by law enforcement agencies, private security or event management companies, “good comms” is vital.
A hugely important strand in this is the ability to communicate in real time with other public and private bodies. While significant progress has been made in this area, it remains a weak link because free messaging apps and media platforms which do not provide the requisite safeguards are still relied on by some to deliver communications that need to be secure.
This is why, in commercial and public safety operations and events, the line is increasingly becoming blurred between official methods of communication and the informal use of apps and social media. It’s easy to see why the latter forms of communication have become mainstream; they are easy, accessible, familiar and free.
But with familiarity and ease of accessibility, complacency can creep in and security can easily be compromised. For many of us smart phones are an essential part of our daily life and allow us to share messages, videos and documents easily, with security and encryption becoming secondary concerns.
The ability to be able to share pictures, videos, plans or briefing documents has long been an essential requirement in operations and events involving security. Accurate images of suspects or vulnerable people, suspicious packages or sharing of contingency or response plans CAN SAVE LIVES. The ability to do this is now in most people’s pockets or bags, but it needs to be managed responsibly.
It is vital that such information is shared securely. Many of the free apps promise end to end encryption, but there have been a number of high-profile cases where this has been compromised. From a safety, security and a reputational perspective this is not acceptable.
There is also a need to protect the ongoing management of the data or images we are sharing as this can be subject to various legal and regulatory requirements, depending on jurisdiction and whether you are a public body or a private company. As leaders and security professionals, we must ensure we have policies and procedures that can meet the relevant requirements of retention, disclosure and deletion. To support this, we need a secure encrypted communications platform that can be managed at an organisational level, which is intuitive and easy to use by all staff and is capable of supporting evidential, legal and regulatory requirements.
Let me ask you this: how many times have you downloaded an app and fully read and understood the terms and conditions? That ‘free’ app could open the door to your and your company’s private data, which can then be sold or shared to those with criminal intent; they’re not called ‘leaky’ apps for nothing.
No matter what area of security or events management you are involved in, truly secure communications is no longer a nice to have option. It is an essential tool to support safe, secure and compliant security operations and events.
Mercury is your solution.
By Dave Martin, Director of Business Development, Secured Communications