The private, secure mobile messaging platform Vaporstream seems right for the moment. As the pandemic spreads across the U.S., people are staying home and companies are conducting business under a wholly new set of circumstances.
Healthcare professionals, struggling with surging Covid-19 cases, use the Vaporstream app to communicate with peers and send sensitive medical data. It will enable better care even when the virus no longer poses a public health emergency.
In the hands of boardroom executives, it helps conversations stay confidential without breaking disclosure rules. Critical infrastructure workers use it to hone their emergency response posture.
Galina Datskovsky, Ph.D. is chief executive of Vaporstream. She leads the company, maker of the eponymous business app, which aims to give organizations control over their private information including what their employees share in messaging applications.
Her idea has proven to be prescient. Coronavirus has demonstrated how popular messaging apps fall short in corporate settings.
“Many businesses have compliance requirements, regulatory or organizational, that they have to meet. When you implement a messaging platform, you need to ask how you will capture records or do legal holds,” said Datskovsky. “There are also unintended side effects when you don’t have those capabilities, like employees being less cautious with the information they’re sharing on the platform, since no one is holding them accountable.”
“On the flip side, imagine a law enforcement operation where you’d like to invite an external party to join a discussion. Vaporstream guarantees you’re on a trusted network and can lock down your conversation,” she said.
Dr. Datskovsky does not support banning workplace use of disappearing messaging apps altogether. She says it is difficult to design policies that cover them, and it depends on how much of a threat they really pose.
“They can be very useful so long as the business can keep a copy of messages in their repository. Disappearing messaging apps eliminate the headaches of convenience copies, as well. If you have compliance, disappearing messages are extremely valuable.”
Companies are looking for messaging solutions that support interdepartmental discussions and collaboration. This is especially true for firms that operate in highly regulated industries. Healthcare providers use Vaporstream’s point-and-click mobile scanning and document transmission features to safely and quickly process paperwork. On the back end, that also speeds up billing processes.
Datskovsky says compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is one of the main drivers behind adoption of Vaporstream. “Physicians and frontline healthcare workers have been courting risk by using popular personal messaging apps that do not conform with the technical safeguards that HIPAA requires. We help them get serious about meeting their obligations.”
In the energy sector, the system is used to automate certain types of notifications and respond to emergencies faster. Similarly, colleges and universities like the combination of encryption and privacy it offers. “They use Vaporstream to send highly confidential information and coordinate Covid-19 response plans immediately and without fear,” she said.
Enterprise firms require messaging solutions that are both secure and private, but Datskovsky said there is a lot of confusion as to the difference. This is partly because consumer applications are often promoted as private when in fact they are not. Another concern is that business apps are not easy enough to use. Vaporstream strives to emulate the consumer experience in look and feel and usability.
Datskovsky is undaunted by the challenges facing her enterprise customers. Some of them have been slow to adopt appropriate messaging solutions due to the misconception that disappearing messages and compliance are mutually exclusive. “Not only can those two things coexist, but the enterprise thrives when they come together,” she said.