What’s up with WhatsApp?


How do you communicate?

Our personal and business communications are oftentimes sensitive and private. Unfortunately, with the way technology is interconnected today, keeping our conversations private is not as easy as it once was.

Consider this: recently, the global communication messaging app owned by Facebook, WhatsApp, was hacked; sending its 1.5 billion users into a frenzy as malware was being installed onto target phones with a simple phone call. This malware allowed hackers to steal sensitive information from messages shared within the app and allowed for the exploitation of each users’ personal privacy. WhatsApp had security measures in place, like end-to-end encryption (which encrypts messages once they leave a device and the message is scrambled until it is received), however, once a message is received it is no longer encrypted and can be backed up to Google Drive, the Cloud, or in this case, stolen. WhatsApp is used in over 180 countries for texts, voice calls, video chats, media, and location sharing; allowing this breach access to incredible amounts of personal and sensitive information globally. This demonstrates, once again, that what is considered “safe and secure” today may not be tomorrow.  

What can I do?

As we communicate daily it is rare to think to ourselves, “who is listening to my conversation right now?” Or, “am I sharing any data that could be used to attack my company?” Our privacy is so important, sharing critical data and personal information shouldn’t become something we whisper in corners, it should be something we communicate clearly and efficiently to maximize productivity.

WhatsApp was considered a safe and secure communication medium by many, but one breach brought a heavy blow to their reputation. Of course, all technology has weaknesses, yet with a solid product development lifecycle, including sufficient testing and security countermeasures, vulnerabilities, when discovered, can be limited and minimized.

Responding to these types of breaches is what separates the few from the many, and it is by no means easy. Accepting that with technology there is always a risk, and choosing to address it through planning and training, is key to success. Are you confident in your ability to react to security risks that can expose you to financial and reputational loss?  Consider evaluating your security measures today to ensure the protection of your personal data and communications for tomorrow.

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