Time To Start Asking The Right Questions On The Security Of Collaboration Tools

As organization’s adoption of more diverse collaboration tools is on the rise, the concerns of security and privacy also increase. Therefore, organizations need to pay attention, now more than ever before, to selecting collaboration tools to keep their data and employees secure. 

As you’re now aware that collaboration tools might put a huge hole in your company’s network, that shouldn’t discourage you from using them. The security and privacy concerns associated with collaboration tools could be well taken care of with effective team collaboration solution in place. 

Also, thorough questioning is needed on the security of collaboration tools to understand how a vendor is actually securing data and instilling security. Questions such as ‘’How is your vendor prioritizing security and ensuring that it’s continually at the forefront of your badge?’’, ‘’How do your vendor manage and secure data?’’. These are some of the critical questions that need to be answered before your organization can go on selecting and implementing their preferred collaboration tools.

Collaboration Tools in the Workplace with Robust Security Measures 

Using free and cheap collaboration tools would only lead to security failing and create opportunities for bad actors to have access to your organization’s most sensitive data. If your organization handles sensitive data, you probably know the consequences of a data breach and why you need to choose your collaboration tools wisely. 

When choosing a team collaboration solution, the key considerations are security, privacy and compliance to standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS. Compliance should be any organization’s top priority before collaboration to launch a secure strategy that would address the potential privacy and security risks related to collaboration tools. 

So, how do you ensure security, privacy, and compliance in team collaboration tools in the workplace? These 5 steps will aid you in launching a secure strategy to address concerns with collaboration tools. 

1. Begin with a Policy

Policies are the most important single element for creating a secure and compliant collaboration strategy. Organizations need to come up with documents that spelt out the users’ dos and don’ts with their collaboration stack. 

The documents should encompass the kind of data that can be shared externally and internally and who can be allowed to join their group meetings and conferences. The documents should also indicate the access requirements that will be implemented such as two-factor authentication. 

Policies are keys to launching a successful and compliant collaboration strategy. Organizations may need to organize and implement security and privacy training sessions for some members on their teams especially the rookies, depending on the complexity of their policies. Doing this will allow them to better understand the policies and strictly adhere to them.

2. Choose Providers with the Right Security Features 

Fortunately, there are tons of reliable collaboration tool providers with the right security features that can help keep your data secure always. These providers include all the necessary security and privacy solutions into their systems to help simplify security and privacy concerns associated with collaboration tools.  RingCentral Glip, Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow, Cisco Webex, Avaya Equinox with Zang Spaces, and Microsoft Teams are few examples of collaboration tools in the workplace with robust security measures. 

Organizations need to browse through the available features offered by each potential collaboration tool provider with security and privacy in mind before choosing any of them. This should also include the certifications they have earned to prove that they are compliant with essential standards and models such as SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS. 

At the lowest level, an organization’s team collaboration solution should at least contain an enterprise-grade encryption strategy which helps prevent interception of data and communications both during transmission and when ‘’at rest’’.

3. Be Logical with Permissions

Most collaboration tool providers come pre-packaged with various admin tools and permission controls to empower the IT team of an organization with absolute control over data’s access. They feature multiple authentication protocol for data security such as single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and more. These options would make it impossible or harder for cybercriminals or unauthorized users to have access to your organization’s most vital information. 

Permission controls help reduce stress and strain associated with collaboration tools. Organizations should ensure that the collaboration tool provider they intend to choose has a variety of admin features in place. Collaboration tool providers like Microsoft Teams and Avaya Equinox with Zang Space come pre-packaged with tons of admin tools and permission controls to get you started.

4. Manage Data Carefully and Wisely

It is important for organizations, now more than ever, to have a collaboration tool in place that supports the proper data management. Collaboration tools equipped with features like electronic discovery or eDiscovery can be very useful to quickly and accurately search through large amounts of data. However, policies need to be put in place to determine how your organization will manage the collected data. 

Collaboration tools like Rainbow from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is GDPR compliant and rated A+ by Qualys SSL Labs for Security. Rainbow makes it possible for organizations to make information anonymous or to entirely remove information from their system where necessary.

5. Don’t Forget the Basics

For creating a more secure and compliant collaboration strategy, it is essential for organizations not to forget that their teams also have a role to play in this. Having strong password standards and ensuring that your teams adhere strictly to privacy and security policies are critical in keeping your business secure and compliant. No matter how effective a collaboration tool is in ensuring security, your teams still need to play their role in keeping it secure.

The benefits of collaboration tools cannot be overemphasised. They have gained global recognition with all kinds of businesses. That is true because they allow strategies such as virtual teams and keep employees working closely together, no matter the locations. 

As useful as these tools are in promoting business productivity, they have also created new opportunities for cybercriminals to gain access to your company’s most vital information. However, it is critical that organizations are aware of the potential security risks associated with these tools and have a secure strategy in place to address them. 

Also, choosing reliable collaboration tool providers with the right security features could help eliminate any potential security and privacy risks involved with collaboration tools.

Published 09/25/19