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Exercising care when choosing apps

Why data protection should not be ignored when deciding on a business messenger service

Millions of users cannot be mistaken when it comes to finding the right messenger app for personal use. Or maybe not? When used in the business environment, the current private solutions reveal striking security gaps. What do financial service providers have to pay attention to if they want to benefit from the efficiencies offered by messenger apps without falling into the data trap? Banken+Partner spoke with Marco Hauprich, Senior Vice President, Digital Labs at Deutsche Post AG.

Marco Hauprich GDPR DSGVO choosing apps App-Wahl
Marco Hauprich, Senior Vice President Digital Labs, Deutschen Post AG.

B+P: Mr. Hauprich, why do companies want to use messengers for internal communication? Email has worked well so far.

Marco Hauprich: Well, let me put it this way. You can reach your destination with an old VW Beetle, too, but it will be faster, more comfortable, and safer with a car built in 2017. Messenger apps are simply unbeatable for direct, fast, and convenient communication. 70% of German internet users already use them and many use them at work, too. 40% of decision makers in the digital economy describe messenger apps as being their most important communication channel in the future.

B+P: What concrete advantages do messenger services offer companies?

Marco Hauprich: They make communication faster, more efficient, and more convenient. Messenger apps can do so much more than just set up lunch plans. Matters discussed at client meetings, instructions given to employees, and photos of flip charts after a round of discussion can all be quickly forwarded to the right person, without having to deal with the usual Cc’s and Bcc’s for emails. Employees who are currently out of the office can be reached much more efficiently with a quick message sent via a messenger than by email. In addition, management can set up corporate content channels and public news channels via messenger apps.

B+P: Are messenger services also suitable for financial service providers?

Marco Hauprich: For financial service providers, the confidentiality of data is immensely important. Our clients in the industry include Volkswagen Financial Services, for example. Here, too, the security of the data was decisive for their decision to adopt SIMSme Business. After all, few messenger services meet the security standards that financial service providers usually set for internal and external IT applications. In many cases, internal company matters can be read by unauthorized persons and contact lists can be misused for advertising purposes. In the worst case, the service can even become a gateway to espionage or malware. When the messenger software is also running as a desktop application, this further increases the risk.

With SIMSme Business, all data is protected with end-to-end encryption and is deleted after delivery. SIMSme Business is hosted and operated on ISO 27001 certified servers located exclusively in Germany. The service complies with the Federal Data Protection Act and the requirements of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). This means that this messenger app offers both the highest level of convenience and security. In addition, there is a certain amount of flexibility for the individual customer.

B+P: How’s that?

The admin can configure the various control options very individually to the needs of the company. They can choose between open and closed user groups, i.e. messaging only within the company or with all participants in the SIMSme network. In addition, the app settings can be used to ensure that no media (e. g. confidential attachments) can be stored outside the messenger service. Different push channels, automatic deletion of messages, and adjustments in the area of moderator functions for group chats are other useful features. At VW Financial Services, the app runs in German and English. Internationality is also an important aspect for us. The app is already available today in several languages and we will be offering more languages over time, geared to the wishes of our customers, of course.

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