Lockbox secures mobile files from hackers, government agencies
With the words “mobile security” sounding more and more like an oxymoron these days, not to mention, grabbing headlines around the world, secure-file sharing mobile app Lockbox boasts a solution the company guarantees can’t be broken by the NSA, or even the people at Lockbox themselves.
“We’re about privacy and we’re about the cloud,” says Peter Long, CEO of Lockbox, whose company recently launched both an iPhone and iPad app. “We recognized that the cloud was coming, so while everybody was focused on getting as many people as possible on the cloud, security and privacy really took a backseat. We recognized that people were giving up their privacy in their rush to get on the cloud, and we saw an opportunity to make things more secure.”
The high-level premise of Lockbox is that the everyday user is looking for the ultimate combination of both sharing and privacy.
“There are plenty of sharing companies out there, but none of them are private because even if they are a well-known company, they are hosting your information at their own data centers, and at the end of the day, they can look at your data,” says Long. “It’s your data in their data centers, so you have to trust their people and their process and that everything about them is done with integrity. You might have a rogue employee, or somebody might break in and gets hold of all the data and the keys sitting in the data center, and they’ll be able to read your stuff.”
Long explains that he doesn’t like the idea of people having to trust him or his company, so instead of putting all of the security and privacy in the data center, with Lockbox, the app enables users to encrypt the data before it leaves their computer or smartphone, and the encryption is done with keys that only the user has, not Lockbox.
“Where we end up is there is data encrypted by the users, and even we don’t have the keys to it,” says Long. “If we don’t have the keys, we can’t read it, so it becomes a nice default, because the privacy is built into the architecture. We don’t have to put a whole lot of process or procedure on top of it to make it private. Privacy is inherent in the way we built it.”
And since everything Lockbox builds is client-side code, it was only natural to take their platform from the PC and Mac, to mobile, especially since so much of what now needs protection is sitting in the user’s pocket. “Nobody has taken it to our level,” says Long, “since we are encrypting it right on the platform.”
A much simpler way to secure your files, as opposed to a data center armed with guards, dogs, and biometric locks on the doors. Instead of spending their resources protecting the data center, Lockbox’s resources are focused on enabling you to lock away your own files, giving you definitive control over file encryption.
Adds Long: “Obviously, big companies are the target, because so many people working for these companies have information that they need to keep private, but I think ultimately, people are becoming much more sensitized to who has access to their data. People just don’t want anybody reading their data, so I think the common man is much more interested in protecting their data these days.
“There are people out there, especially in Europe, who just don’t want the NSA reading any of their stuff, even if it’s just a common e-mail. It’s getting to the point where citizens across the world don’t want the NSA reading anything they write, so they’re looking for ways to maintain their privacy.”