Why are some of the world’s biggest companies using public messaging apps to transmit sensitive personal data? Sven Sziedat, Head of Mobile Enterprise Services at T-Systems International, shares his experience and ponders the alternatives in this exclusive Future of Messaging series video supported by Infinite Convergence.

Many people are concerned about data privacy. They worry about who has access to their personal information.

However, even the most ardent privacy advocate would be happy to share their records with their doctor.

Clinicians need private data to make decisions. Sharing it with them can be, literally, a matter of life or death.

The question is: how will they access it? Is it OK for a doctor to read private information on public networks like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Skype?

This is an issue of great concern to companies such as T-Systems, a German company that provides IT and cloud services to large enterprises across all verticals – including healthcare.

Sven Sziedat, Head of Mobile Enterprise Services at T-Systems International, outlines the problem. “If you use consumer apps in the workplace, you can’t be sure where your data will end up, or be analysed,” he says.

“You don’t want company-critical data ending on the Facebook server, which it almost certainly will be if you use WhatsApp.

  This matters in healthcare where, after working hours, they send important patient do the doctor at home, so he can see the information on his smartphone and he can advise on what to do. I think this is a problem. I certainly don’t want my X ray pictures to go via WhatsApp.”

“This matters in healthcare where, after working hours, they send important patient do the doctor at home, so he can see the information on his smartphone and he can advise on what to do. I think this is a problem. I certainly don’t want my X ray pictures to go via WhatsApp.”

This is why T-Systems now advises its customers to explore private and secure enterprise messaging apps such as Infinite Convergence’s NetSfere.

And the company starts by observing its own advice. “In T-systems we are not allowed to do this (use public messaging apps),” says Sziedat. “Data privacy is a big thing, especially because of the law in Europe. Nobody wants their private or business data ending up somewhere public because of the misuse of tools.”

But using custom enterprise products is not solely about security. It also gives companies a degree of control over who can legitimately use these tools and when. Sziedat says: “If a business is in control of the data, it can prevent that data moving with employees to other companies.”

Of course, Sziedat also recognises that secure enterprise apps need to meet certain standards in order to be accepted by employees. “They must have a similar look to consumer apps.” he says. “People are used to these products and they not want to use something else.

“That’s why we will see richer features in future. Everything we see in the consumer apps will be in commercial apps too.”

To hear more from Sven Sziedat on the topic of secure mobile messaging, take a look at the exclusive video interview with MEF.

This Executive Insights Video Series, in association with Netsfere looks at the future of messaging and business communications.

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