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April Edition 2020

Secure Communications Across Voice, Messaging and Attachments with Military-Grade Encryption:Cellcrypt


 “Encryption is an arena that can’t be bluffed. You’re either at the top of your game, or you’re not in the game at all.”

From financial planning to employee and customer personal information, businesses have a responsibility to ensure the protection and privacy of a range of data. While malware protection and anti-virus software are common place for any IT department, many organizations are overlooking a key risk point. Non-secure mobile communication is placing data at a greater risk than ever before, with freemium consumer applications offering little to no protection at all.

Cellcrypt provides a complete solution for trusted mobile communications. With Cellcrypt, voice calls, conference calls, messages and files are completely secure, all protected by strong, authenticated, end-to-end encryption. Cellcrypt is available for Windows PCs and Apple Mac, iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows mobile devices. Cellcrypt is certified to the FIPS 140-2 standard, approved by the US National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST).

 The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Maryland, USA.

 Adam A. Such: Interview Highlights

The Origins of Cellcrypt

Cellcrypt was approached by the British Government to commercialize the delivery of true end-to-end encryption across voice, messaging, and attachments, designed for the rigors of a Zero Trust Environment. Cellcrypt has since relocated to the US and is a key supplier to government, military, and intelligence services across the Five Eyes security alliance countries. The solution has been adopted by government and enterprise globally. It was the first software solution to show an end-to-end encrypted call on Blackberry even when Blackberry said it could not be done. Crucially, the product is carrier and operating system agnostic, working across all platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows and Linux, and over cellular, WiFi, landline, and satellite networks.  

The Risks of Freemium Apps

Employees using freemium apps acquired through a shadow IT purchase, outside the remit of the CIO or IT departments are a minefield. On top of the total lack of security, these apps offer no administration, reporting, archiving or monitoring.

With complete call-management capability, integration with existing IT infrastructure and an add-on module supporting regulatory requirements for audit, Cellcrypt gives control back to the enterprise; providing employees with an integrated, enterprise-approved, secure platform.

Drivers for Security Software Adoption

A proactive corporate security policy is only effective if it is backed up with the right resources. Employees will ignore company bans on consumer messaging apps unless presented with a viable alternative. From the end users’ point of view, Cellcrypt is a like-for-like replacement that can be used straight out of the box.

Early Challenges

From day one we were supplying Five Eyes governments with the encrypted communication tools they needed. This success continued as we rolled out into the commercial sector, with multinational telecom companies coming on board as early adopters, along with others from obvious sectors such as banking, and less obvious sectors such as mining.

The greatest challenge Cellcrypt faced was the lack of awareness at an enterprise level of the threats posed by mobile. As one would expect, intelligence services have a firm grasp of this arena. Many enterprises assumed that their communications could not be intercepted, which showed a level of naivety. One would have thought the 2013 Snowden releases would have been a wake-up call, but it took several years for the threats to be taken seriously by enterprise. That is the case with technology; timing is everything.

Lessons from the Users

Making the product “carrier ready” for Verizon, with the scalability and additional features they required to take the product to their customers, involved considerable investment. Cellcrypt also works closely with a number of government and enterprise customers to ensure that they continue to meet the evolving needs of their users.

Key Pillars of Success

Customer trust and partnerships: This trust is hard-won and easily lost – it’s the basis of everything the company does. And it’s a two-way street; each partnership didn’t just deliver for that customer, it helped Cellcrypt move the product on.

Team: The firm has an awesome team of coders and managers who work tirelessly to deliver an outstanding set of products and services.

Deep understanding of the threat environment: This is an arena that can’t be bluffed. You’re either at the top of your game, or you’re not in the game at all.

Reputation: The company has been tested and proven in the toughest of environments, and has the scars and gray hair to prove it.

Software That Makes a Difference

At a macro level, many organizations only react to a threat once it is too late. But of course, prevention is better than cure. Cellcrypt enables businesses to get ahead of that threat, and do so in a way that puts their IT and security departments in control. Starting from a position of privacy and security, protecting users from bad actors is a core tenet for Cellcrypt.

For an example on an individual level, “our technology enables members of the US military to speak securely to their loved ones back home. And to make that even easier, I am proud to say that we provide many of those family licenses for free.”

Upcoming New Products

Cellcrypt will soon launch Cellcrypt Federal. This offering combines Suite B (Top Secret) encryption with unique keys for every voice call or message, in an NIAP

(National Information Assurance Program – run by the NSA) certified structure for classified communications. This system can be owned and operated entirely by the customer, giving them full control of all aspects of their data.

“We are also in the process of launching our offering around the IoT, with APIs that provide encryption of data in motion. This represents a significant area of growth as organizations realize the risk presented by the connectivity of the likes of automobiles, healthcare equipment, and industrial machinery. Our APIs offer not just the ability to protect this data in transit, but also enable secure voice, message and attachment sharing across networks.”

Future Roadmap

Regulatory compliance will continue to drive the proliferation of secure instant communication – for example in banking and healthcare. Cellcrypt is perfectly placed to offer the functionality required, alongside the assurance of NIAP validation and other industry standards.

“We will also be continuing our growth in the consumer market; not just for privacy advocates, but working with mass-market hardware companies. Our technology will be an integral part of a secure common data fabric for the internet of things.”

Factors Contributing to Software Security Risks

Decentralization and a geographically dispersed workforce using an array of hardware has significantly increased the risk profile of most organizations. From a security perspective, every node is a potential risk point, and in general, both the individual and the organization tend to underestimate this risk. Conversations taking place over consumer messaging apps should be considered to be happening in a public space.

Meet the Formidable Leader Behind the Success of Cellcrypt Inc. — Adam A. Such II

Adam A. Such II, President, serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Communication Security Group (CSG), the company behind Cellcrypt. Adam is a retired Special Forces Lt. Colonel, having served 20 years in the U.S. Army. He earned a bachelor’s in General Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a master’s in Security Studies from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He has also worked with private equity supporting strategy and innovation transfer between the public and private sectors.

Cellcrypt gives control back to the enterprise; providing employees with a secure platform, while letting IT run their own systems to ensure their metadata is safe.