CommsLock: Heralding an Era of Software-Defined Secure Communications and Threat Defence
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Graham Joseph Penrose, CEO
The earliest adopters of secure communications were the government, military, and law enforcement agencies. They continue to remain the heaviest users of specialised software and hardware for mobile devices to protect communications and to proactively detect and defend against attacks on the integrity of those devices.
That is changing. The enterprise and corporate market is also maturing and over the course of 2019 and 2020, CEOs, CISOs, and the C-Suite, in general, will more fully understand the imperative of having confidence in secure communications and device integrity. It will become an integral part of governance and compliance as well as being a cornerstone in the protection of intellectual property. It will also be a key tool in tackling the ubiquitous problems of bad actors, insider threats, and corporate espionage.
After four years of R&D based on experiences gained during Cyber-TSCM NatSec assignments in Southeast Asia and Europe, CommsLock came to market in 2015 with a new approach to addressing the problem of providing “fit-for-purpose” secure communications.
Secure communications and tools protect the integrity of operations, the safety of operators, and operational security; and in an intelligence environment, they are central to preserving the identity of sources and ensuring that the “chain of evidence” is not compromised.
“The integrity, range, and capabilities of many of the current and previous offerings in this domain prove to be woefully inadequate with no option to cater for unique ‘use cases’,” says Graham Joseph Penrose, a veteran, an industry figure in cybersecurity, and CEO of CommsLock. “Many have been shown to be so in an avalanche of media reports of compromised encryption, backdoored products, logs being sold to advertisers, metadata being traded, or simply backups of ‘encrypted’ data being stored in plain text,” he adds.
“Secured devices are similarly problematic, a hardware solution is often simply not palatable because in most cases it involves carrying two devices,” Penrose explains.
CommsLock’s solutions are recognised as top-notch software solutions that enable absolute privacy in mobile communications and threat detection and mitigation. The CommsLock suite is available on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and other desktop platforms. Outside of the core functions, the richness of functionality includes such innovations as the automated collection of OSINT, Dark Web intel, and location data to detect threats and seamlessly use “one-to-many” secure message broadcast to manage incident response.
CommsLock uses multi-layered, open source encryption techniques to meet the highest security standards when handling text messaging, voice calls, data transfers, group chats, and video conferencing
CommsLock also detects data exfiltration attempts in real time, uses AI to understand what anomalous behaviour looks like at the communications, data, file, and email wording level and escalates these triggers to actionable threat mitigation.
CommsLock’s products and services are going mainstream and are not just employed by the government and intelligence agencies. “We have spent many years being pioneers in defining what secure communications are and drawing attention to why mass market consumer apps are just not up to the task,” says Penrose. “We have done this with a view to being at the top of our game when the corporate market wakes up to this reality. We anticipate that sweet spot to be late 2019. GDPR has helped build that awareness.”
CommsLock uses multi-layered, open source encryption techniques to meet the highest security standards when handling text messaging, voice calls, data transfers, group chats, and video conferencing. CommsLock is more than just a run-of-the-mill secure communications app provider. The company’s strategy is a paradigm shift from the status quo and its software-based communications security not only offers a highly managed and protected environment for sharing highly confidential information but also addresses the shortfalls that exist in the areas of threat intelligence and intrusion detection.
CommsLock provides a centralised dashboard for closely observing user behaviour, while detecting and managing threats (this mode can be de-activated in organisations that wish to use PRIVACY mode). The dashboard tracks attack vectors constantly and continuously strengthens defence capabilities. “Nonetheless, we believe that we are still only at the tip of the technological iceberg, waiting to explore more innovative ways to improve software-defined secure communications for both government agencies as well as enterprise use,” says Penrose.
Penrose is scathing about the use of mass-market consumer-based instant messaging (IM) apps. “These apps were not designed to protect sensitive information; that was an after-thought. Their gate-keepers have frequently and consistently shown themselves to not be up to the task of protecting their users' information,” explains Penrose. “Time and again, the contents of these communications have ended up on social media or in a journalist’s front-page ‘scoop’. On the flip side, unsecured location data and metadata has put people’s lives at risk or ended their careers,” he continues.
According to Penrose, placing trust in consumer apps, even those that now boast a “for business” version, or organisations that allow employees or supply chain partners to use big-tech social media for confidential business communication is the height of folly. And yet it happens, every day, and in many cases, in industries that one would have thought would know better. But now, compliance and regulation have begun to catch up, and the threat of significant financial penalties is forcing even the most stubborn to rethink their approach. “And, that’s where our exclusive, secure, enterprise-grade communications system comes into its own,” states Penrose.
It is a versatile and flexible offering that allows customers to adopt a SaaS, on-premise, or white label solution. It is becoming the go-to solution for companies of all sizes. Penrose accredits the solid experience of the CommsLock management team who previously held key positions in defence, law enforcement, intelligence, government, and multi-national organisations as CommsLock’s secret of success. Penrose hints at the imminent announcement of collaborations with new distributors and technology partners across the globe that will exponentially increase the reach of CommsLock’s solution portfolio.