How Ephemerality Is Saving Enterprises From Information Leaks


Apr 28, 2016 Lee Crawford, SVP Engineering, TigerConnect

The research firm Gartner estimates that by 2017, employees’ mobile collaboration applications will have leaked 40 percent of their enterprises’ contact information onto Facebook.

As more and more information breaches cost enterprises dollars, employee confidentiality, customer trust, and their reputation, companies are turning to a feature previously considered the territory of teenagers using Snapchat: ephemerality. It’s important to note that enterprises suffer problems more than consumers for a bunch of reasons. Because enterprise communication is exchanged by employees but belongs to the company, it tends to be preserved on the server and is, therefore, long-term discoverable and needs enhanced levels of protection. Traditional consumer messaging services tend to simply shuffle the message between communicating consumers and don’t save the information on a server where it is long-term discoverable.

Well beyond contact information, messaging applications also run the risk of leaking embarrassing or confidential details about a company. If an organization has secrets, a leak like The Patriots’ or Kleiner Perkins’ can be used to defame it.

And as Sony can tell you, a security breach can also be bad for individual employees when personally identifiable information like social security numbers and salaries becomes public. Not to mention, a leak of customer information can cultivate distrust and hurt a company’s business; such an incident cost Target millions.

One way to prevent such leaks from occurring is to use ephemeral application platforms like TigerConnect, whose messages self-destruct automatically. While the first ephemeral application to appear in the national spotlight was Snapchat, a picture-sharing application popular among millennials that destroys pictures in ten seconds, enterprises are beginning to see that self-destructing messages can save them a lot of complications as well. For example, Google talk (their chat experience available across web, desktop and mobile) supports ephemerality by enabling the user to turn on and off history to provide a measure of lifespan control.

TigerConnect’s’s enterprise and healthcare customers have used our secure, ephemeral-based messaging application to keep their mobile communications private as well as simple and efficient. Every TigerConnect message has a lifespan ranging from 1 minute to 30 days, which can be configured by the message sender or application developer.  Once the lifespan has been reached, the message is deleted entirely from the TigerConnect platform, and is no longer viewable on any devices owned by the message sender or recipient(s). Other features include ‘delete on read’ for immediate message extinction, as well as the ability to recall a message; both provide even finer-grained control over the lifespan of a company’s sensitive communications.

Check out some of the resources on our website to learn more about how ephemerality can help preserve your business’s employees, customers, and reputation.