SecuSmart, a company that has been supplying secure voice products to the European Union and NATO, has developed a mobile solution that fits on a micro-SD card and can be used in mobile devices for end-to-end, real-time encryption.
According to Daniel Fuhrmann, director of operations for SecuSmart, all that's required is for the mobile phone to have the SecuVOICE micro-SD card installed, and have the appropriate app installed on the device. Currently, the company supports BlackBerry, Android and Nokia phones running Symbian (but not currently Windows Phone 7). SecuSmart made the announcement at the CeBIT trade show in Germany.
Mobile phones using the SecuVOICE chip can communicate securely with other mobile phones also running it and have secure end-to-end communications. Such mobile phones can also communicate with a server in the enterprise equipped with SecuVOICE to ensure secure communications between the mobile device and the enterprise. It's part of a larger suite of functions including security for text messaging. It requires a GSM network to function.
According to Furmann, the SecuVOICE chip creates no additional latency beyond what's already present in the digital voice network. However, the device will not work with iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad because they lack a micro-SD slot. According to information provided by the company, a less-secure software only solution is available for iOS users.
SecuSmart also produces a landline voice security system that can communicate with mobile phones running SecuVOICE. Both types of systems meet NATO-restricted and EU-restricted security levels and is approved for secure communications for those groups.
According to Fuhrmann, industrial espionage and phone tapping are on the rise from both state sponsored hackers and from competitive organizations, including other companies trying to steal secrets.
While digital phone calls are hard to tap, it's not impossible. The addition of voice encryption that meets government standards has been difficult to accomplish in a mobile environment. The SecuVOICE micro-SD card solves that problem.
"We can sell this solution to anyone now," Fuhrmann said, "unless we find out they're with the Taliban or something."