Secured Communications has developed a platform that is designed to help public-safety agencies tackle some of its toughest productivity and security challenges, including the leveraging of personal devices in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario, according to CEO Robert Wilson.

“It’s a complete enterprise solution for encrypted mobile and online communications,” Wilson said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Everything is encrypted—from your phone to the recipient’s phone—using NSA-approved AES-256 encryption.”

Beyond encryption, Secured Communications transports data to a cloud server farm that functions as a “sandbox,” where packets can be examined for malware, Wilson said. For public-safety personnel using a personal device in a BYOD setting, the Secured Communications application lets them communicate securely in this sandbox environment that is virtually partitioned from personal applications on the smart device, he said.

Wilson said Secured Communications developed its approach after speaking with several law-enforcement officials, particularly in the FBI and sheriff departments. In a BYOD setting, first responders can switch from personal use to a secure work environment quickly by tapping on the Secured Communications icon, he said.

Ease of use is important, because public safety only will gain efficient utilization of any application through daily use—the kind of repetition that becomes second nature to a responder, even in a challenging environment surrounding an emergency, Wilson said.

“We had to integrate both effortlessly,” he said. “You can’t make it too difficult to be your personal device, and you can’t make it too difficult to get to the sandbox—Secured Communications.

“My goal, as a company, was helping public safety with something in their daily behavior with bring your own device. You can’t solve everything, but can we have officers and the people on the front lines have a better day—more productivity. Because, if they do that, they’re going to have reduce crime, and we’re going to have better communities, and that’s my passion.”

In addition to being intuitive, the Secured Communications platform does not require any hardware purchase—one of the characteristics that attracted former FirstNet President TJ Kennedy to the company. Kennedy was named chairman of the Secured Communications board in March.

“I think that the fact that they’ve really been able to figure out the platform-as-a-service model makes it very affordable for law enforcement,” Kennedy said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “A lot of the solutions in the past have been geared to a federal agency or a very, very large agency only.

“Now that you have a platform-as-a-service model, whether you’re an agency with 10,000 officers, a thousand officers or 50, 25 or 10, you can all take advantage of the same tool. I think that’s a huge benefit.”

This approach makes a significant impact on the economics associated with the solution for a public-safety agency, Kennedy said.

“There’s not a huge upfront cost to the agency. The big difference is that, for a lot of the other solutions in the past, it’s been a big capital investment for the agency, plus an opex [operational expense] investment,” he said. “Now that we get to a platform as a service, it’s really about an opex investment only—whether it’s on a monthly basis or a yearly basis—rather than having the capex [capital expense] plus opex.

“Also, there’s no need to buy hardware or run your own data center, because with networks like FirstNet and others, you have a known capability to access the cloud—and to do that wirelessly—that you can count on.”