graphic about encrypted text messaging applications

Why you need Encrypted Text Messaging

an infographic of a cell phone with encrypted text messaging

At this point I think we're all aware:

Every text message and picture you send is vulnerable for someone to see, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Or is there?

Messages, pictures and files can be encrypted directly to the other user's phone, if you know what to use.

In this post, we'll walk through why you need encrypted text messaging, and why not all "encrypted messaging" solutions are equal.

What's the big deal?

To understand the importance of secure and encrypted text messaging, simply go back and read the last dozen or so messages on your own cell phone. Think about how you'd feel if they were broadcast on Twitter or read by a malicious hacker. Maybe you would only feel minor annoyance if the pubic could learn what time you plan to meet a prospect for lunch or your spouse for dinner. What if your texts discussed potential problems with a large sales account, a security vulnerability in your company's network, your employee's salary, or your ideas to improve a valuable product?

Encrypted Text Messaging for the Enterprise User

In many cases, your unsecured text messages could reveal a competitive advantage or leave your company open to bad press, lawsuits, or even government compliance penalties. Even if you keep your smart phone in your possession at all times, hackers can break into most of them with ease. Just Google a topic like smartphone hacks to see ads for and discussions of this exact topic.

Encrypted may not mean your protected

Some apps or services that claim "encrypted text messaging" or encrypted communications, are only encrypted in transit across their mobile network or the internet.  Service providers keep a clear text copy of your encrypted message meaning hackers and employees can read your message or see that picture meant for someone else.

Many service providers know how to read encrypted text messages, since they are only encrypted to the tower, and not all the way to the other user!

What About End-to-End Encryption?

You might use a popular messaging systems like Apple's iMessage or What'sApp that feature end-to-end encryption. In theory, only the receiver's encrypted message app will know how to decrypt the encrypted message. If that phone has been protected with a password, nobody else should be able to hack it to read the messages. While end to end encrypted text messaging is the way to go, not all exactly what they claim to be.  Governments are continually researching how to remove encryption from messages and defeat these apps.  Let's take a look at two popular and "free" apps, WhatsApp and iMessage.

graphic showing why encrypted text messaging applications are vulnerable to cyber attacks
an infographic representing a cyber attack on an encrypted text messaging application
Most "encrypted" text messaging applications are in fact vulnerable to cyber attacks.


What'sApp didn't make it's name on being encrypted, it added that later. Problem is, it was a bolt on and being owned by Facebook, whose notorious for wanting your data to market to you, what's their motivation. Bruce Schneier wrote an article on a WhatsApp Security Vulnerability that can be used to decrypt or view your messages.


Often users ask about iMessage for encrypted text messages on iphone.  iMessage is secure end to end if you're sending your message to another person who receives it via their iMessage app on an Apple phone, according to Wired. Sorry Android user or friends of Android users.

Even if both sides have an Apple device:

As late as last year, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers managed to intercept and decrypt iMessage text information. Even though Apple has since announced a patch for that particular bug, the researchers said that vulnerabilities still existed for skilled and determine hackers to exploit and even to market. The head of the Johns Hopkins team, Matthew D. Green, remarked that Apple employs some of the best cryptographers in the world, so he expressed concerns that they still had no perfected their encryption scheme.

Your Organization Deserves Secure Communication

No matter if you have to operate under the pressures of government regulations or a competitive business environment, you can't leave communication security to chance. Your employees may try to keep their communications private with common apps from recognized providers. Despite everybody's best intentions, you still face risks.

Instead, your business might rely upon a secure messaging app, like RokaCom, that has been specifically designed with the security needs of corporate and government organizations in mind. Employees can download this app from the Android or Apple app stores and begin to use it without any special training or intervention from iT. Then you can enjoy government-grade communications security for your organization.

Looking for secure comms for your organizations? Click here to request a call back from a RokaCom communications security expert.

About Patrick Stump

The CEO and founder of Roka Com, Patrick has been a key player in both offensive cyber intrusion and security operations with multiple branches and agencies of the United States Government (USG), the military, and commercial industry.

Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn