Working Hard or Hardly Working: Key Enterprise Considerations for Evaluating Mobile Messaging and Collaboration Platforms for Workplace Communication
Anurag Lal, President and CEO of Infinite Convergence.
Mobile messaging is helping drive business continuity for enterprises across the globe. The ongoing shift to a mobile-centric workforce and the mainstream adoption of remote working as a result of the COVID19 pandemic are transforming how employees communicate. These new working norms shine a spotlight on the essential nature of communication and collaboration for maintaining and enhancing employee engagement and productivity.
As millions of employees across the globe communicate and collaborate, many of them are using consumer grade messaging apps. A recent study on messaging at work found that 36% of employees are texting for their job. That number is likely higher now as the COVID-19 crisis drives even more usage of these apps. Consulting firm Kantar found that WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage during the pandemic. This presents a real problem for enterprises. Usage of unsanctioned apps or shadow IT (defined by Gartner as IT devices, software and services outside the ownership or control of IT organizations) increases a company’s attack surface, exposing enterprises to significant vulnerabilities and risks.
With the shift in workplace norms and rise of consumer-grade apps in the enterprise, it is more important than ever for businesses to evaluate whether they are using the right communication and collaboration platform. As part of this evaluation process enterprises should consider whether the solutions they are using are working for their business or hardly working in key mission critical areas:
Apps like WhatsApp and Zoom aren't secure enough to handle enterprise communications, leaving organizations vulnerable to fraud, data loss and other serious security threats. The security woes that have plagued both WhatsApp and Zoom and the average of 534,465 company files containing sensitive data can create a nightmare scenario for companies using these apps. Consider that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $8.19 million according to a 2019 Ponemon Institute study.
The best enterprise messaging solutions provide device-to-device encryption with unique keys, ensuring that messages and data are protected from the time they leave one device until the time they are received on the next. NetSfere’s industry leading security algorithms support device-to-device encryption via a unique key that scrambles messages during transmission, unlocking only after they reach receivers’ devices. NetSfere helps IT leaders sleep at night with high-level security features and encryption that protects business data and allows employees to securely communicate and share and transfer data.
In industries like healthcare and finance, the sharing of sensitive information is governed by strict regulations. With consumer-grade messaging apps compliance is not working - compliance doesn’t even fall on consumer messaging apps’ radar. The fact is consumer grade messaging apps lack the features and security controls critical to ensuring the confidentiality of data and communication required by HIPAA, GDPR, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and other regulations.
Messaging platforms built for enterprises are designed to manage compliance with these and other regulations. Utilizing a communications platform can be extremely beneficial for healthcare focused businesses, but there are a variety of characteristics that a HIPPA secure messaging solution needs to offer to make this happen. NetSfere has the administrative, physical and technical safeguards to comply with regulatory requirements.
There is an alarming lack of administrative controls in consumer-grade messaging apps. Enterprises that allow employees to use regular messaging apps for internal communications have no access to account controls. This makes it nearly impossible to manage employee account activity, monitor the flow of information and enforce policies related to the distribution or storage of data.
Enterprise-grade mobile messaging solutions give companies a level of control that they can’t get with consumer-grade applications. These solutions feature a central data repository, improving the ability to manage and control access to accounts. Enterprise messaging platforms give IT total management control, including remote wipe and account deactivation capabilities.
With NetSfere, IT departments have 24/7, unhindered visibility into employee messaging accounts and data sharing and can control user access and the availability of specific features at any point – a capability unavailable on third-party consumer apps.
As companies leverage communication and collaboration platforms to support a mobile-centric workforce and help drive business continuity during the pandemic and beyond, they will need to evaluate if the solutions they are currently using are working for their business. Enterprises shouldn’t settle for a messaging platform that is hardly working. For a secure, robust platform that works for enterprises, contact NetSfere today.