DINHEIRO VIVO (original article in Portuguese).
Privus: An oasis of privacy in an increasingly digital world
Solution certified by the National Security Office is already at the service of the State. Creators want to contribute to national cybersecurity hub.
he idea arose from an operational need, when I was in charge of the security of an embassy and received communication equipment that had little to secure. The Snowden case showed how unreliable the communication systems were and revealed a weakness in which Henrique Corrêa da Silva saw a business opportunity. “In 2004, 1 million was spent on supposedly safe mobile phones that never came out of the box because they worked poorly. What we did there for 2014 was to create a secure system based on software , without having to be tied to anyone and relying only on math.” Thus was born, two years later, Privus, a leading cybersecurity company, headquartered in Switzerland but owned by majority Portuguese capital.
Henrique, CEO, was joined from the start by Luís Lavradio, CFO, and Artur Goulão, CTO of Privus, whose main pillar is SecurLine – a service endowed with technology that guarantees the highest levels of security and privacy in the chat , voice and video communication and which underwent 18 months of tests before being certified by the National Security Office for the protection of classified communications, having now been placed at the service of the Portuguese State.
A former member of the Defense Strategic Information Service (SIED) and the Judiciary Police, Henrique explains that Privus’ market is international. “We have institutional clients on several continents and for that it was necessary to make this bet, resulting from a complex, costly and extremely rigorous process. We have developed an excellent product for the protection of communications.” That is why, during the year and a half of tests, they made this solution available to the State. The result exceeded expectations. “The use of SecurLine around the world for the last four years, the GNS certification and the security audits we have carried out confirm what we already knew: there is know howat the highest level that ensures the quality, security and privacy of communications”, emphasizes Henrique. “In a world where systemic and massive surveillance of all communications prevails, Portugal can be at the forefront.”
Available for the main mobile platforms, SecurLine is not only focused on security and privacy: all actions carried out in the application are encrypted and any information, from files to images, is stored in an independent and encrypted database, preventing access if the phone is compromised or lost.Based on the experience of the former agent, zero knowledge architectureThe application minimizes both the attack area and the metadata used, reducing any vulnerability to a minimum and the user’s telephone number not being used in any situation. On the other hand, user notifications are encrypted without the text passing through Apple’s or Google’s servers; and the contact list is also encrypted and never leaves the device – features that differentiate it from WhatsApp, Viber or Signal, which “have good levels of security, but zero privacy.” The list also includes a detection system that alerts the user if the device has been compromised. “It’s an important bonus”, explains Artur Goulão. “Even the US National Security Agency knows it can’t breach SecurLine technology.”
Privus’ potential quickly aroused international interest, and from there the entry of a group of investors was a step, despite 78% of the capital and management remaining national. “Our independence is an advantage at a time when the digital reality has almost eradicated the right to privacy and digital security is under threat”, defends Luís. Especially now that the pandemic has pushed us to work at a distance and has reinforced the pace of digitization.
With the certification guaranteed, Privus can gain space in the state universe. “It would be a way of enhancing the national know-how in a crucial area for cyber-sovereignty – we are lucky that we do not need to import foreign technology”, emphasizes Henrique. Privus does not hide the ambition of being able to contribute to the development of a Portuguese nucleus of excellence in the area of cybersecurity, a fundamental sector in geopolitical chess. “Portugal has an enormous capacity and greater influence than one imagines from a country of this size. It’s this soft powerthat shows us. We have excellent professionals and I see here an opportunity for Portugal to be able to develop an alternative, for example, to the Israeli polo – with the advantage of being known around the world and seen with sympathy and as politically neutral”.
PRIVUS – Privacy First, Security Always
PRIVUS was created to deliver complete communication security and peace of mind, knowing you can collaborate and communicate with total security and absolute privacy. The privacy of our users, – including governments, businesses and individuals – drives us to design, build and deliver the world’s only Hypersecure communication and collaboration solutions. While other providers collect, store, sell or share their users’ data with third parties or official agencies, PRIVUS does not and never will. Our zero- trust architecture does not allow us access to users decryption keys, hence PRIVUS does not have access to our users’ encrypted communications data.
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