Dr. Galina Datskovsky is the CEO of Vaporstream. Vaporstream is an enterprise communication platform that enables truly private business conversations by incorporating enterprise policies, ensuring messages never linger on devices, and maintaining compliance with organizational and regulatory requirements. Data is always encrypted, both in transit and at rest. What makes Vaporstream truly private is the complete control in the hands of the sender. These controls prevent data propagation to unintended recipients. Vaporstream makes it possible to delete a message on all devices that received it, and to prevent data and images from being uploaded to the cloud and from being stored on devices. In addition, Vaporstream allows organizations with regulatory requirements or specific legal holds to archive a single copy of a message to a client-specified repository.
What is Vaporstream’s USP?
While encryption is heavily commoditized, privacy controls are still sorely lacking from many enterprise communication platforms. Most enterprise communication platforms are focused on endpoint security, which leaves the compliance needs of most enterprises unanswered. In fact, companies in regulated environments are often forced to ban mobile messaging altogether from their workforce.
Vaporstream is a messaging platform that provides totally private, secure and compliant communications for the enterprise. Reinventing mobile messaging by providing privacy to end users and allowing enterprises to remain compliant, without sacrificing security. Vaporstream is trusted by companies and organizations across healthcare, energy, higher education, government, and other highly regulated industries, as well as firms in financial services, insurance and legal.
How does the vulnerability of other messaging services play to Vaporstream’s solution?
Messaging services are like all other applications in that some are more vulnerable than others. Sharing sensitive business information from smartphones, tablets and laptops may be convenient, but it’s also risky. The fact is, while end-to-end encryption protects against man-in-the-middle attacks, it gives people a false sense of security.
Messages protected by end-to-end encryption can still be posted on Facebook, shared with unauthorized parties, and accessed by your messaging service provider or even their partners. Governments, as we’ve seen in the case of China and other authoritarian regimes, can even subpoena data from said providers. Vaporstream solves those issues by giving you complete control over how sensitive business information is stored, shared, deleted and retained—and with whom you choose to communicate—so that you can securely and privately share it.
In many cases vulnerability goes beyond the need for privacy, such as the need for HIPAA compliance in the healthcare industry or the compliance regulations government and other regulated industries, where there are strict records laws. Vaporstream has a clear advantage in these areas where the full lifecycle of a private conversation is considered.
What do you make of Zoom’s Keybase acquisition and plans for end-to-end encryption?
It makes sense that Zoom would want to beef up its security, but does the Keybase acquisition make Zoom meetings any more or less private? They added end-to-end encryption for paid users – but we don’t know what that means when paid users meet with unpaid users.
We built Vaporstream with enterprise-grade security from the beginning, so that we would not have to ask these questions for our customers. Vaporstream provides totally private, secure and compliant communications as our mission. It puts complete control in the hands of the sender, while balancing protection of sensitive information with corporate governance and oversight. Preventing data propagation to unintended recipients, Vaporstream makes it possible to delete a message on all devices that received it, and to prevent data and images from being uploaded to the cloud and from being stored on devices. In addition, it allows organizations with regulatory requirements or specific legal holds to archive a single copy of a message to a client-specified repository. With Vaporstream, which is available for both mobile and desktop users, data is always encrypted both in transit and at rest.
How has the coronavirus situation and lockdown altered the way businesses are communicating?
The COVID-19 crisis certainly accelerated the shift to distributed workplace models. It’s more important than ever to keep lines of communication wide open, between employees, as well as between a company and its partners and customers. The sensitive information that’s shared via workplace collaboration tools and communications platforms is an attractive target for hackers and cybercriminals who might introduce malware to steal files or eavesdrop on conversations. Companies are organizing their communications to ensure they can have leakproof conversations, securely send messages, and stay in control of information, all while remaining compliant with data protection and preservation obligations.
We have seen situations where customers, now far flung and dealing with new and emergent situations have used Vaporstream as a safe and professional communication tool that delineated between the everyday messages from family and friends and the critical communications from colleagues and trusted professional partners. As our lives have become blurred, with work and daily life all coexisting, it is more important than ever that we can ensure that the necessarily private and critical communications are handled on a platform made for the task at hand.
While the last few months have been traumatic for many people and businesses, as we sort through ways to improve communications and grow an even more collaborative mindset, the ‘new normal’ may be good for businesses and push them forward faster.
What are your users saying? How have their demands and expectations changed?
There are new privacy and security risks that came along with the shift to distributed workplace models. Things like storing information on local drives and using unsanctioned apps – which may be noncompliant, violate privacy or be prone to hacking or leaking – have become more prevalent. Users need to ensure their organizations are using technologies that are preset with the appropriate safeguards, as well as issuing strict guidelines for security in a work-from-home environment.
What does the future of enterprise communications look like?
Communication between remote workers has become an essential part of business today. Confidential discussions and information exchanges with large teams are increasingly done remotely. Unfortunately, communicating by phone is not always an option, so asynchronous communications need to be part of the plan. This is further complicated by emerging privacy legislation. Similarly, emergency preparedness plans can no longer rely on traditional methods of communication (email, text and phone) due to the increasing number and sophistication of cyber-attacks. Enterprises are under more and more pressure to use solutions that cover all these aspects and hit all the marks on security and privacy.
What does your product roadmap look like?
Your product is only as good as the execution of the last mile where the product meets the customer experience. We are continually innovating to meet and exceed the needs of our customers with new features such as scanning or multiple device support. We are also focused on identifying and meeting the requirements for new use cases, especially in the current climate. For example, a leading university now uses Vaporstream to coordinate their COVID-19 response and plan for reopening, while nursing homes are increasingly using Vaporstream to communicate with family members. Vaporstream is on the leading edge of compliance and privacy and will continue to address and stay current on these issues in the product moving forward. Lastly, we will continue to enhance failover and redundancy within our cloud infrastructure and across multiple cloud providers.