These days data privacy and security are hot topics for telcos, especially with regard to evolving global policy. This post will outline exactly how Brigr’s enterprise data and loyalty solution fits into this landscape and what we do to ensure our users’ data is kept fully private and secure.
In 2019, global telco CISOs cited potential vulnerabilities in their networks and consumer data from technology partners as one of the top 3 most important cyber security trends in the industry.
Emerging technologies and increased collaboration with partners large and small opens telcos up to increased risk of security breaches. Cyber security leaders recognize the importance of addressing these issues.
Fred Rica, Principal at KPMG Cyber in the US, says risk mitigation is an “essential ingredient to telco growth plans” and that telcos have an opportunity to differentiate themselves in the market by how well they handle these risks.
In particular, any company (in the case of Brigr we’re talking about telcos and app developers) that handle a consumer’s banking data is subject to strict regulations from the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to ensure this data remains secure.
Data Security with Brigr
As we built our enterprise data and loyalty solutions, at Brigr we recognized the importance of ensuring that security is baked into our system. We therefore built our technology in such a way that it never actually touches any consumer data.
Read on for a description of how our technology works, and how our system is actually so safe that even the PCI SSC mentioned above, who are the gold standard in financial data protection, determined that our system presents no risk to consumer data.
How does it work?
The core of Brigr’s technology is an SDK that sets proxy credentials for some connection requests from apps to telco networks. It works with iOS and Android, and allows consumers to use partner apps when they don’t have a data balance on their smartphone, by providing an alternate route for requests to connect to a telco network coming from the app.
There are slight differences in the technical setup on iOS and Android, but for data privacy purposes the results are the same. Our platform never actually interacts with consumers’ data, merely offers a new route for it to travel from app to network to server, a trip that it makes anyway when the user has a regular data balance.
How does the technology actually work? (iOS)
Brigr’s SDK provides an Alamofire extension for setting proxy credentials to requests from apps to connect to telco networks. Alamofire is a popular iOS networking library, used on the majority of common apps.
Brigr uses the popular networking library, Alamofire, to provide app developers with a custom session manager to use on all of the requests made from the app. The BrigrSessionManager is simply a standard SessionManager extended with internet connection tracking logic and proxy setup. Developers can still use all the features of standard SessionManager.
Why is the Brigr iOS SDK so secure?
Our SDK solely focuses on setting proxy credentials to requests from an app based on internet connection and received connection errors. It does not log, store, or send any request data to any third parties. It does not decode any request data and only focuses on possible connection errors in the request response.
BrigrSessionManager automatically adds and removes proxy settings from the requests created through it based on the user’s internet connection. However, if an app developer wants to have more power over when the proxy setting is used, it’s possible to use BrigrProxySessionManager combined with standard Alamofire’s SessionManager. This session manager automatically uses proxy credential for all the requests created with it. Therefore a developer can decide by their own rules when to use proxied requests and when not, minimalizing the usage of Brigr SDK.
How does the technology actually work? (Android)
The fundamentals of the technology and process are the same, with a few small adaptations to the Android system:
- Brigr uses standard open source libraries Retrofit and OkHttp (Retrofit is the most popular networking library)
- The instance of Retrofit is not created by Brigr. It is provided by the user of the library, therefore is as safe as the instance of Retrofit provided by the user
- Brigr uses the standard OkHttp authenticator to add proxy credentials to requests for connection. This is the only change Brigr tech makes to the request.
Just as on iOS, Brigr does not store any user data in this process. It requires simply internet, network state and wifi state permissions. Brigr does not send data anywhere other than the telco network, where it would go anyway if the user had a normal data balance.