Avoiding a Security Crisis in Your Enterprise Communications
It's been fascinating to see how technology has transformed enterprise communications.
But current and emerging mobile technologies are also creating new security challenges -- challenges that could create an unfortunate communications crisis for many enterprises.
New Mobile Challenges Are on the Horizon
Communication is the lifeblood of successful organizations. But traditional methods of communication are being replaced by mobile-powered technologies.
For example, email has been a staple of workplace communication for several decades. But while email continues to be the most common channel of communication, usage rates are dropping as workers transition to faster, more nimble technologies like instant messaging.
In a recent Wireless Week article, I mentioned that our research shows nearly half of employees (44%) routinely use instant messaging to communicate in the workplace.
However, the changing nature of enterprise technology doesn't end with instant messaging. Going forward, the connected lifestyle (i.e., the regular use of wearables, the Internet of Things, etc.) will increasingly carry over into the enterprise workplace.
Mobile-connected devices will create additional opportunities and challenges for employers. In fact, I think we could see security disasters in organizations that aren't prepared to have sensitive data and correspondence shared across an expanding range of channels and devices.
Securing the Enterprise
Given what's at stake, there's no excuse for enterprises -- especially enterprises in health care, finance and other highly regulated industries -- to still be uninformed about the security risks of communication technologies.
Now it's time to take it up a notch and prepare for the new challenges that messaging and the connected lifestyle present to enterprise organizations.
- Implement a robust enterprise messaging solution. The use of consumer-grade messaging apps in the workplace significantly increases the risk of a data breach. By implementing a messaging solution designed for enterprise work environments, you can improve security and equip employees with features that enhance productivity and collaboration.
- Insist on device-to-device encryption. Device-to-device encryption is the gold standard in secure enterprise messaging. More specifically, it's important to make sure that the technology you're using to send and receive messages includes 256-bit AES device-to-device encryption with elliptical curve key exchange -- the highest level of security in enterprise messaging.
- Develop and update technology policies. If the last time you looked at your organization's technology policies was a few years ago, they're probably out of date and need to be refreshed to cover the use of messaging, wearables and other mobile-connected technologies. With the connected lifestyle forecasted to grow in leaps and bounds, it's critical for enterprises to take another look at how corporate and BYOD technologies are used for work-related communication and information sharing.
Ready or not, the future of enterprise communications is here and it's bringing a host of new security challenges with it.
Over the next few years, I expect that many organizations will scramble to manage the security risks posed by employees, partners and customers who have embraced instant messaging and are living connected lifestyles.
But other organizations -- the smart ones -- will stay ahead of the curve by addressing these security concerns now.