How to secure text messages and prevent mobile fraud

how to secure text messages

Are your text messages as secure as you think? With the growing reliance on texting for sensitive business communication, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your messages are protected from cyber threats. From end-to-end encryption to secure transmission protocols, learn how to secure your text messages and keep them out of the hands of hackers.

You probably know that within the business communication environment, data privacy is a significant challenge. With the increasing use of text messaging for business purposes, there is a growing concern about the potential misuse of personal data.

Enterprises must ensure that they are complying with relevant data privacy regulations and protecting the personal information of their customers and employees. Attacks that compromise personal data can mean heavy fines for companies, such as those under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

However, businesses can take steps to ensure the security of their messaging systems and protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, hacking, and other security threats.

But first, let’s answer a common question.

How secure are text messages for business communication?

Messaging security refers to the measures taken to protect electronic messages from unauthorized access, interception, or manipulation during transmission and storage.

This challenge is becoming increasingly important as businesses rely more heavily on messaging systems to communicate sensitive information, like one-time passwords to access bank accounts.

Text messages (SMS) are generally considered to be less secure than other forms of communication, such as email or encrypted messaging apps.

One reason is that standard SMS messages are transmitted over the cellular network and can be intercepted or eavesdropped on by unauthorized parties. They can also be vulnerable to hacking or social engineering attacks.

Over the last few years, secure texting has become increasingly crucial as security breaches cause service disruptions, data loss, and reputation damage, adding to high business costs.

According to statistics, even a minor breach can cost $1M, and a severe breach can run as high as $100M+.

But thanks to technology, SMS can be completely secure. Continue reading to dive into best practices for securing text messages.

Encryption: A Key Element of Secure Messaging

One of the most important elements of secure text messaging is encryption. Encryption is the process of converting plain text into a coded format that someone with the decryption key can only read.

This ensures that messages are protected from unauthorized access, even if they are intercepted during transmission.

End-to-end encryption is the most secure form, as it encrypts messages from the sender’s device to the recipient’s device, preventing anyone in between from accessing the message.

Soprano ensures messaging data encryption by hosting our cloud-based platform in industry-leading data centres. This feature is crucial for businesses sending sensitive information, such as financial data and confidential information.

Two-factor Authentication: Adding an Extra Layer of Security

Enabling two-factor authentication is another essential component of secure texting. This feature involves using a second factor, such as a code sent to a mobile device via SMS or app, in addition to a password to verify the identity of the sender and recipient.

By requiring two forms of identification, two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to messaging systems, reducing the risk of impersonation or man-in-the-middle attacks.

2FA is especially important for businesses communicating sensitive information, such as login credentials or personal information.

Message Logging: A Record of Activity

Message logging means recording all messages and interactions, providing a record of activity and enabling auditing and monitoring of messages.

It is especially important for businesses that must comply with regulations and security standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

By logging all messages, businesses can ensure that they have a complete record of their communications, which can be used for auditing, monitoring, and compliance purposes.

Secure Transmission: Protecting Messages in Transit

Secure transmission protocols, such as SSL or TLS, can be used to protect the transmission of messages over the internet. These protocols encrypt messages in transit, ensuring they are protected from interception and unauthorized access.

By using secure transmission protocols, businesses can ensure that their messages are protected during transmission, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.

With Soprano, data is encrypted on transit (TLS 1.2) and encrypted at REST by default. Servers in HA configuration are in secure, geographically separate data centres that act as failovers.

Mobile Device Security: How to secure text messages on the Go

With the growing use of mobile devices for messaging, it’s important to ensure that these devices are secured to prevent theft or unauthorized access. This can be achieved using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and mobile device management solutions.

By implementing these solutions, businesses can ensure the security of their mobile devices and messaging systems, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.

How to secure text messages

In the pursuit of secure text messaging, enterprises are relying on secure enterprise messaging platforms. By working together, enterprises and CPaaS providers can ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information while also improving customer engagement and streamlining business operations.

This is particularly important for industries that handle confidential customer or client data, such as finance, healthcare, and legal services.

Additionally, enterprises can establish clear policies and procedures for using text messaging for business purposes and regularly monitor and review their messaging systems to ensure that they operate securely.

CPaaS providers, on the other hand, are responsible for providing secure and reliable secure messaging solutions that meet the specific needs of enterprises.

This should include offering encrypted messaging, robust authentication and verification protocols, and flexible integration with existing business systems.

What is the most secure way to send a business text message?

Soprano has implemented many security features to fulfil legal compliance requirements, such as IP access control, consent management, and visibility control.

We adhere to NIST-recommended best practices to provide a secure mobile messaging solution that can become part of a proactive IT security program to minimize the risks and costs associated with service disruptions.

In addition, the Soprano Connect platform is ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 Certified.

How Soprano can help: Security features to protect your data

  • IP Filtering/Access Control: Ensures only messages sent from your organization are processed on your account. It does this by checking IP addresses.

    If the request did not come from one of the permitted IP addresses, it is not processed. This means a message sent to the platform from processing with a spoofed source (sender), including alpha tags or mobile numbers, will only be processed if it originates from your nominated IP or IP range. This is equivalent to allowing listing IP addresses, but in this case, you have control via an application interface.
  • Content Masking: Messages are scrambled so that they are not readable. This security feature provides the ability to see the number of messages sent but not the content. Furthermore, the message content cannot be exported, which is ideal for ensuring data (e.g. OTP or other sensitive data such as PII) is not visible to staff or Soprano support.
  • User Content Visibility: Provides limits tagged in user, message orders (i.e. ‘my orders’), messages in the dashboard and reports. Note: User Content Visibility is not applicable to administrator access – administrators can see all items.
  • Simple Template Messaging: Gives control over the outgoing messages. Using pre-designed templates, standard users can send messages. It is ideal for call centres where standard users pick a pre-defined template message to send. Message Templates are defined by the administrator and can contain editable fields, allowing standard users to personalize messages.
  • GAMMA: This is secure IP messaging. The GAMMA app is downloaded to your mobile to enable secure IP communication person-to-person (P2P) and/ or Application-to-Person and vice versa (A2P/P2A).

    A2P/P2A is enabled using webhooks. It also has forms capability where users can input data. With GAMMA, P2P conversations are further secured through the use of message expiry rules (sent messages are deleted based on the expiry rule) and remote wipe capability.
  • Blocklists & Allowlists: This feature ensures that only approved recipients receive messages. It can be used as a blocklist where numbers are blocked if not approved, or it can be used as an allowlist where only numbers on the list can receive.
  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC): It provides user access control based on the user’s activities. The CPaaS platform has administrative and standard user-level accesses. Depending on the role, the assigned access level will control your actions on the platform.

In conclusion, secure messaging is crucial for businesses that must protect sensitive information and comply with security standards and regulations.

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