Allowing really important people who need to talk about really important stuff to have a conversation without anyone listening in

For some organizations, the ability to communicate privately is an absolute must, even a life or death situation. For these entities, which consist mostly of government agencies, law firms, and Fortune 100 companies, critical information getting into the wrong hands can be disastrous.

Joe Boyle, CEO & Co Founder at SaltDNA

To give you, our readers, a glimpse into how these secretive organizations communicate we sat down with Joe Boyle, CEO and Co-founder at SaltDNA to get his perspective.

SaltDNA provides private mobile enterprise communications, in fact, they focus solely on secure communications.  When your voice communications, text communications, file transfers, or audio messages absolutely must be kept from prying eyes and ears then this is a solution that you really must check out.

Joe says that his 30-second elevator pitch is simply that “SaltDNA allows really important people who need to talk about really important stuff to have a conversation without anyone listening in.”

More formally, he says “With military-grade voice and messaging encryption, we prevent the monitoring of sensitive communications across public networks. Our global solution offers unlimited international calling for anonymous mobile communications and supports true Off-The-Record (OTR) conversations.

Headquartered in Belfast, United Kingdom, SaltDNA has been around since 2013.  Many of SaltDNA’s initial clients were law firms. Law firms have an enhanced legal right as well as a special responsibility to protect information. Joe says that they are now seeing just as much interest from government entities and Fortune 100 firms.

Having spent his entire career in the communications industry, Joe says the idea for the inception of SaltDNA came when he and his colleagues watched the emergence of the Mobile Device Management (MDM) and the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) markets. “These tools were designed to allow an administrator to place policies on mobile device use but did nothing to protect voice calls or to ensure secure communications,” he told us.

He explained, “we saw a huge amount of money being put into consumer apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook.  Even some cyber companies like Silent Circle were starting to offer their solution to enterprise customers by selling consumer solutions in bulk.  We thought it would be a better idea to build a system from the ground up that has centralized control and can contribute to regulatory compliance.”

The SaltDNA solution was designed specifically to be used by enterprises. They had no aspirations to be successful with a consumer app so they built the first solution that was designed specifically for the enterprise. In nearly every instance they are deployed alongside and MDM and an Endpoint Protection solution.

Their business model and goals call for them to be deeply embedded with a few select clients rather than become a commodity selling to thousands of customers. They feel that tighter relationships with more strategic partners allow them to utilize the flexibility of their solution to meet the unique needs of each customer.

The nature of their relationship with their clients requires that they be extremely open and transparent. They routinely do code reviews with their customers so that there is no question about what information is being stored or where. Their clients need to make sure that there is nothing nefarious happening.

“Using our app, you can do group chats or one-to-one secure communications. You can burn messages on both ends. These messages can be burned by either the sender or the receiver. The best way to protect information that is on the device is simply to remove it,” Joe states. He goes on, “the manager of the system will assign each user to one or more circles. They can only communicate with others that belong to a circle that they also belong to.”  Each text is securely transmitted using its own 256-bit AES cipher key. Voice calls are secured with multi-layered, ephemeral keys over DTLS.

Joe elaborates, “While encryption alone is not enough, it is still extremely important in an enterprise-grade secure mobile communications platform.  We offer an encryption mixture using multiple encryption algorithms for maximum security. At the transport layer, SaltDNA follows the current best practice and uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2.  As for keys, SaltDNA currently uses 2048-bit RSA, which provides the highest level of security balancing the computational requirements and power consumptions on based mobile devices.”

They offer their solution as a hosted service or as an on-premise installation.

With the hosted service, the enterprise still has full control of users with its own SaltDNA Communication Manager. If the enterprise does not want to keep communications metadata, then it is wiped, leaving no trail that communication ever existed.

The enterprise can deploy the SaltDNA solution as a Virtual Appliance, or as an On-Premise Solution. This option is best for enterprises that must eliminate the existence of any third-party and need complete control of their metadata for regulatory compliance.

Steven Bowcut, CPP, PSP is the Editor-in-Chief for Brilliance Security Magazine