When it comes to phishing and ransomware attacks, modern communication systems are easy targets for the technologically savvy. While large organisations are wise to the expense of common low-value attacks by hackers, many have overlooked the high-value risks of reputation damage and sensitive information leaks, the cost of which can run into hundreds of millions.
Just three years ago, for example, American entrepreneur Michael Terpin watched powerlessly as his phone and email – which he believed to be secure – was compromised, leaving $24million in cryptocurrency up for grabs by hackers.
Thankfully, communication protection has consistently been at the forefront of security measures in the mining industry. But in a world where technology is ever advancing, and mobile data can be shared without users’ consent, some mining organisations may find themselves with a difficult choice: robust communication security or absolute connectivity and accepting the financial implications (and personal security implications) of falling short in the other.
However, according to Troy Harper, chief executive at leading mobile security provider Subrosa, organisations needn’t have to make such compromises: “There are companies that offer seemingly secure communication apps, but these apps route through a central server that might not be secure.
“Subrosa, however, covers the full spectrum. We take it to the nth degree in order to offer military grade communication security. The phone, the applications and the VPN on the SIM card, are all encrypted, creating three layers of encryption on the phone, and making our solution unique.”
Offering a comprehensive suite of encrypted tools and apps across the full spectrum of modern communications, with Subrosa, company data is secure no matter where in the world personnel may be. While there is an initial upfront cost in gaining this layer of defence, equipping staff with highly encrypted devices means organisations are better positioned to ward off costly cyber attacks, helping them to save money over the long-term and soon see a return on their investment.
“When I’m engaging with customers, one of the disappointing things I often hear is how many have been hurt by some sort of cyber attack, fraud, intellectual property theft, reputational damage, or financial loss due to disclosure of information,” says Harper. “The companies that have had a real loss in the cyber world – for example, had to shut down or suffered financially – they understand the importance of communication security very deeply.”
In an ideal world, however, this understanding would come before such financial losses are incurred. One global organisation, for example, recognised the volume of invoices they were producing in high dollar amounts and became concerned with the security of its global vending system. They soon realised that they required a solution that could be rolled out to vendors around the world whilst being operated from an independent network, but without implementing a costly infrastructure.
Subrosa’s “out of the box” product, which required minimal support from the company’s IT department, was chosen as a secure, second factor of authentication thanks to its closed-loop environment which allowed the customer to control which vendors are accepted onto the system.
By providing vendors a secure method of communication with the customer through the X1 handset, purchasing and accounts know that when they receive a request to change a bank account, it is coming directly from the vendor and not hackers. This benefits both parties with cost savings, with the full package providing a low-cost solution to a major problem.
According to Harper, Subrosa’s cost effectiveness goes further still. “We offer an all-in annual subscription that covers all costs of all calls globally. Subrosa effectively becomes your mobile operator and there are no extra fees for roaming, so it doesn’t matter where you go in the world or how much you use it, the package costs no more to roam on your secure phone.
“That’s one of the reasons we are particularly interested in mining. Executives often travel extensively, particularly to countries where security is an issue, and frequently discuss subjects which impact share prices to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. An infringement on such discussions could prove extremely costly with robust communication security in place.”