AT&T told us back in July
that it was fixing to launch the first carrier-provided two factor encryption service, and it seems that today's the day. The day it goes live, we mean. At any rate, the company's Encrypted Mobile Voice service is reportedly active, and it's already providing "high-level security features for calls on the AT&T wireless network." Of course, none of this fancy security is meant for simpletons like us -- instead, it's targeting government agencies, law enforcement organizations, financial services institutions and international businesses. We're told that the tech combines KoolSpan's TrustChip and SRA International's One Vault Voice, with the former being a microSD card and the latter being a software layer. Currently, it only plays nice with BlackBerry and Windows Phones, but until we see Biden bust out a Bravo
, we'll assume the lack of Android support isn't "a big flipping deal."
AT&T to Offer First Carrier-Provided, Two Factor Encryption Service for Smartphones
AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice Service uses Powerful Combination of Hardware and Software to Enable Voice Calls with High-Level Security
DALLAS, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* today launched AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice, the first carrier-provided two factor encryption service, which provides high-level security features for calls on the AT&T wireless network. The service is targeted at government agencies, law enforcement organizations, financial services institutions and international businesses.
According to ABI Research, as smartphone distribution among the mobile business customer base increases, mobile phone security features will become more prominent, particularly among mid- and large-size company employees. Smartphone penetration among mobile business customers in the United States is expected to increase from about 28% to about 45% by 2014(1). And in a survey conducted by AT&T in June, three out of four executives are concerned about how the use of mobile networks/devices could potentially impact security.(2)
AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice combines KoolSpan's TrustChip® and SRA International's One Vault Voice™ into the first carrier-provided two-factor encryption solution. TrustChip is a fully hardened, self-contained crypto engine inserted into the smartphone's microSD slot. Embedded with AT&T TrustGroup, the KoolSpan TrustChip offers the strength of additional hardware authentication, enables encrypted calling interoperability with a defined group of other AT&T TrustGroup users and can be managed over-the-air.
SRA's One Vault Voice integrates the security functions of the TrustChip with a feature rich application that provides an intuitive user interface. This powerful combination allows users to easily place and receive encrypted calls by integrating with the mobile phone's standard operation and address book to provide a user friendly and seamless security option. This on-demand security function delivers mutual authentication and end-to-end encryption to enable a high-level security call mode.
"With the adoption of smartphone use in government and businesses, it's clear that the security ecosystem requires an approach that incorporates both wired and wireless," said Ed Amoroso, Chief Security Officer, AT&T. "We're continuously working to stay ahead of evolving technologies and threats, and have a specialized team within AT&T Labs that is dedicated to investigating security challenges in the wireless space. AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice is the product of such innovation."
"Year over year, the cost of compromised data and operational security threats has increased dramatically," said Pat Burke, SRA Senior Vice President of Offerings and Products. "These threats have elevated cyber security as a strategic priority for both business and government organizations worldwide."
"This solution was designed to address these very requirements," said Tony Fascenda, KoolSpan Chief Executive Officer. "We help resolve the privacy and national security concerns of our customers by using standard smartphones on public networks to create secure calls globally."
AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice supports BlackBerry® smartphones and Windows® Phones on the AT&T wireless network. Unlike other encrypted voice systems, AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice is not limited by availability of legacy Circuit Switched Data coverage and can operate in the over 190 countries globally where AT&T provides data roaming.
AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice meets the government information classification standards for Controlled Unclassified Information, offering The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS – 140-2 validation.
Today, AT&T delivers some of the most powerful weapons to combat cybersecurity attacks. AT&T's network security solutions rely on three key ingredients: a scalable, reliable global IP network; security experts with in-depth, hands-on experience; and the innovation and research of AT&T Labs. AT&T delivers a suite of security and business continuity services to help assess vulnerabilities, protect infrastructure, detect attacks and respond to suspicious activities and events. More information on AT&T's managed security offerings can be found at AT&T Security & Business Continuity.