ICT revue - November 2014

OKsystem news

November 18, 2014

OKsystem has been operating in the Czech market for more than twenty years. The Company supplies information systems in the field of wage and personnel management, provides outsourcing services and trains professionals. We asked Jana Benáková, the Sales Manager for the Company, about the BABEL platform, a project that OKsystem developed for encrypting corporate mobile communications.

A few years ago, you founded a division for the development of mobile applications. Mobile access within corporate systems is now a highly demanded added value.

Yes, we created the department for the development of mobile applications in OKsystem in 2012. We have been successful both in developing customized mobile applications and in developing our own mobile solutions. The BABEL Business Edition (BABEL BE) is definitely our flagship product – it is a corporate platform for encrypted mobile communication. Both our current and prospective clients more and more frequently demand access to corporate information via mobile devices. Therefore, we also provide our customers with mobile access to data and selected functions of the OKbase personnel and wage system.

Let’s go back to BABEL. Where did the idea to develop a security platform for encrypted mobile communication come from?

That is definitely a question for my colleague Ivo Rosol (editor’s note: Development Division Director) who is the founder of this idea and who specializes in security and the application of cryptographic technology. The design and development of the BABEL solution is the product of combining the know-how from the fields of applied cryptography and the development of mobile applications.

You provide BABEL as a platform with a server, similar to the BlackBerry service… How does the system work and how is the process of encrypting solved technologically?

Not only BlackBerry, but all other publicly or mass used mobile communication services have their servers located somewhere in the cloud. The risks arising from the use of such systems for working purposes are quite obvious: we do not exactly know what happens with our data; where the contact list from our device goes or where sent documents are stored.

BABEL was primarily designed as a cross-platform solution for application in a corporate infrastructure. It is not a standard cloud service; the client operates BABEL on their own servers that they administer themselves. The server only intermediates data communication between mobile devices. It does not save any private keys and does not participate in encryption of messages. When the sender or recipient is offline the server sends notifications and provides asynchronous delivery of encrypted messages. The connection of the BABEL server to the corporate directory is important as well as the possibility to immediately respond to significant security risks, such as a lost or stolen mobile phone, or when an employee leaves the company.

Currently, the application is available for Apple iOS and Google Android and there is also going to be a desktop version for Windows available this year.

What customer group do you want to attract with BABEL? What is the typical corporate customer and what is the price range of the platform? (You can give an example)

BABEL BE is primarily designed for corporate customers since there is a great demand for securing all information, particularly with mobile participants in communication in the private sector. That is why the BABEL solution was created.

Our typical corporate customer is a company whose management is aware of the value of confidentiality of the information it owns and does not want to deliver such information via freely accessible communication services “for free”. At the same time, they are aware that the information the company posesses needs to be handled in a secure way while maintaining mobility and guaranteeing availability.

The licence model is based on an annual subscription on a device that we can flexibly design according to the functional requirements of the customer.

Is BABEL available to non-corporate users?

Yes, there is a version available to non-corporate users that is limited to sending encrypted SMSs without a connection to a corporate server. You can try it for free: it is available on AppStore or Google play.

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