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Secure collaboration: Does your company have the right (secure) tech stack?

(Sponsored article) In the early weeks of COVID-19, the priority was speed. With only a few days’ notice, organisations had to enable their entire workforce to work from home. For many companies, it was a mad dash to virtual platforms — or at least, a rapid expansion of the technology that was already in place.

Fast-forward to today, and many companies have nearly completed this initial transition. Employees are now connected. Meeting formats have been adapted. New rules of engagement have been established. Yet, beneath this “new normal” is a world of security risks that companies have not yet accounted for.

In this new virtual landscape, you’re only as secure as your lowest common denominator. Boards, executives and legal teams operate at an information tier that requires a heightened level of privacy and security — one that general collaboration tools cannot provide.

Making sure your organisation has the right future of work secure communications technology stack is imperative.

The information being shared today is more sensitive than ever: crisis response strategies, employee health data, layoff or furlough plans, P&Ls in flux. What happens when this information ends up in the wrong hands?

Acknowledging the risks of your virtual ecosystem

The bad guys have not gone away. Quite the opposite, hackers and other cybercriminals are thriving in a world of immature tools and unsecure workflows.

In the boardroom, governance teams are celebrating the transition to virtual board meetings, yet they may not be accounting for all the risks. Video-conference links drift around in unsecure channels like email, where they can be intercepted or accidentally forwarded. Sensitive information is being passed between boards and management teams; yet, organisations may not have provided secure channels for these discussions to take place.

In many cases, companies have turned to general-purpose communication tools like Slack, Box or GSuite to provide immediate access and broad connectivity. These tools offer great convenience, but are rarely up to the high privacy and security standards of boards and leadership teams. With open APIs, third parties can have access to organisational data through these platforms. Each external touchpoint or IT support person represents a potential weak link in the chain.

Components of secure collaboration

What does a more secure virtual ecosystem look like? It has a few important components:

  • Encryption
    Encryption capabilities are essential for transmitting secure data and documents. When using cloud-based video platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, meeting links should be shared only on encrypted platforms to mitigate risk of them falling into the wrong hands.
  • Privacy shielding and user permissioning
    The ability to set user permissions is critical to protecting sensitive information.
  • Compliance
    Organisations must ensure that the rapid transition to working from home hasn’t compromised compliance in critical areas.
  • Risk and legal controls
    Mitigating legal risk and discoverability are inherent in any secure collaboration solution.
  • Seamless user experience
    Secure tools must mirror the workflows of today’s boards and leadership teams.

The path to a more secure future of work is part of a much larger transformation — one that requires organisations to remain nimble and forward-looking. COVID-19 represents a great obstacle to overcome.

Those who recognise the opportunity will find themselves stronger on the other side.

Article sponsored by Diligent

Diligent provides a suite of governance management software, plus features such as a searchable library of investment reports, earning statements, and easy-to-execute evaluations.

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