When I hear a term like ‘self-detonating data’ I immediately think of Mission Impossible. It seems like every mission order sent to Tom Cruise explodes soon after it’s read. This is dangerous for Tom Cruise but it’s also a good security system – his enemies haven’t figured out his plans and he hasn’t died yet, right?
Anyways, self-detonating data isn’t just for movies anymore. The term is growing in popularity in corporate security circles, where businesses are starting to realize the potential of self-detonating data.
Unfortunately for explosion-lovers out there, self-detonating data isn’t nearly as cool as it sounds. Self-detonating data refers to systems like Snapchat, where data is automatically deleted (destroyed) after a period of time.
In Snapchat, users can send pictures and force them to expire after 10 seconds. If the user receiving the message decides to take a screenshot, then the person who sent the picture receives a notification.

Snapchat for businesses at $25 per month

Snapchat isn’t just for horny teenagers any more. Well, it is. But there’s a Snapchat-type service for businesses that aims to revolutionize corporate security. Priced at $25 per user per month, the new VIA software from a company called Intralinks Holdings is designed to help companies close security loopholes and prevent leaks of sensitive data.
VIA is actually a total corporate project management software. The self-destructing data is one of its features.
Here’s how it works:


-Data can be shared with a number of participants across a given project
-Members can be added or removed from a project and specific permission levels are assigned to all members
-Permissions include who can view a file, what they can do with it, and how long they can access it
Once the access time limit expires, the data is removed from whatever mobile device or desktop the person is viewing it on. The goal of this is to make content more secure – especially for those businesses who manage sensitive corporate data every day.
I’m not affiliated with the company in any way, but there is a free trial if you want to check it out. Other Snapchat-like corporate security solutions are also popping up on the market every day

Have you found the crucial loophole yet?

Here’s the problem I have with Snapchat and other ‘self-detonating data’ services: a notification appears when someone takes a screenshot of whatever picture you sent them. But that person still has that picture saved to their phone. What’s your notification going to do about that?
And if somebody wants to be really sneaky, they can take a picture of their screen with another phone or camera, which prevents the notification from popping up.
Of course, corporate executives probably aren’t sending pictures of their food to one another, and corporate data detonation services likely contain more PDFs and .Doc files than anything else – with those types of files, it may be more difficult to take a picture before it gets deleted. But it’s still not impossible. Which is why it’s tough to make bulletproof corporate security.
The only way this software works is if the company has already invested a lot of money in tight server security. Otherwise, corporate security is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.

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