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Driving the Risk out of Mobile Device Use


 A conversation with Michael Campbell and Steve Trevino heading into SOF Week 2024

Steve Trevino

Steve Trevino

Director Innovation & C5ISR

SOFtact Solutions (STS)


Michael Campbell

General Manager

Privoro Government Solutions

In our last conversation you laid out the technical architecture of the Privoro ONX solution and how those new technologies are driving the risk out of mobile device use. Are there other security risks with mobile device use beyond the technology?

Michael Campbell

Absolutely.  Signature Management is a big factor in overall risk, and in that, there are two perspectives we solved for.


The first is the visual (in real life) footprint of the user, the experiential look and feel, the ease of use, size, and form factor.

We are going from clumsy, clunky, large, bulky, and frustrating to small, looking like everyone else around you, a mobile device in your pocket.  You need ease of use without standing out or calling attention to yourself visually.


The second is digital footprint, the device itself being obfuscated or camouflaged.

When a mobile device is moving from one physical location to another, let’s say from the US to another country, there is no hiding that you’ve gone from one location to another with a device that’s full of radios.  Radios can and will be detected, and you can and will be flagged.


In the early days of classified mobile capability, to execute classified or confidential ‘work on the move’ required a full communications team.  You had an entire team of people and suitcases of gear.  It was a relatively rare capability because of this.


Then we improved to where we are today with kits of laptops with cables, pucks, extra batteries, dongles, and radios for secondary transmission.  Visually you stand out like a flashing neon sign when you’re in an airport, hotel or anywhere outside of an office and you pull out an entire kit of technology.


Now we are addressing this with a focus on smaller, easier, and frictionless.  What we are offering is to make it even more seamless, with just a phone and some enhancements masquerading as a phone case or module that clips on.  

It is as easy as pushing a button.  Physically on, off.  Zero trust in its simplest form.  A true mobile solution that you can slide into your back pocket, purse, or bag, and use without standing out.


Privoro took a zero-trust approach to all mobile devices, focusing on risk mitigation and elimination without attempting to build a custom smartphone or tablet.  A government custom smartphone has never worked at scale.  Giving users, especially government users, the ability to leverage the enormous commercial investment in mobile was a foundational outcome of our approach. 

Steve Trevino

Great run-down Michael, and I would agree that operational appearance is just as important as the technical solution. It’s not often we find a capability that addresses or encompasses the full spectrum of end user requirements. Privoro’s diligence and forward thinking produced a technical breakthrough that streamlines secure mobility efforts, while ensuring ease-of-use and physical signature reduction.


The ability to hide in plain sight and conduct various sensitive mission sets more effectively is critical as we continue to operate in contested environments, at all levels, addressing the needs of users from tactical to strategic.

Now we have this option of a phone in your hand. Visually blending in with society at large all over the globe. Is that one device all you need to perform the same work that previously required laptops, pucks, dongles, wires, extra batteries, and radios?

Michael Campbell

Great question and that leads to digital footprint advances.  We solved for the visual, but now what about the digital?


Your primary device is a phone with a case (that looks like any common commercial case) with physical controls to drive out the risk, and then a second device which is your path out.  The specifics of that second device are flexible – it could be a locally purchased phone, a personal phone, a hot spot, local Wi-Fi, or a fully trusted radio / satellite / custom system.  And it doesn’t have to be physically connected.  You could have that second device in a bag or in your pocket and you’ve got your work device (phone or tablet) in the Privoro case in your hand, and you are hiding in plain sight.  This is a phone or a tablet with no wires, that is simple and will be safe to use because you’ve got physical control.


The radios are physically controlled, the camera and microphones are physically controlled, and you’re obfuscating your radio transmission.  You’re pathed out by that second device, which is wirelessly connected.   You’re connected to the internet, to the services and information you need, but you’re hidden.   Driving the risk out of using mobile devices, physically.

Steve Trevino

Many thanks to Michael and the entire Privoro team.  They developed solutions to longstanding problems with a focus on the user experience and we look forward to solving many more problems with this premier organization.  SOF Week is right around the corner, and we are ready to demonstrate this incredible capability.

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