An Overview of the Team Messaging App Security, Increasing Concerns and Emerging Solutions
Learn more about team messaging apps and increasing security concerns, plus solutions.
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Team messaging apps are no longer confined to small teams but have to facilitate global enterprise level adoption with multiple teams collaborating real time. Globally distributed teams transferring considerable size of data has widened the threat landscape considerably and many experts are also expressing significant concerns over it. Nemertes report indicated clearly that security concerns are one of the major constraints that are prohibiting many enterprises to adopt team collaboration, especially the ones dealing with private and mission-critical data.
Plenty of team messaging apps or team collaboration platforms are available in the market, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to security. The key to defending the enterprise’s collaborative environment and mission-critical data lies in the choice of the collaborative platform or the tool. First, we have to ask which them is the most suitable candidate capable of supporting the inherent workflow of your organization and has the most competent and fitting security system to match your enterprise’s operational style.
Each of them built with different security measures and offers a varying level of encryption. Like Slack provides data encryption in motion and at rest, while its competitors like Cisco Webex Teams and Symphony offers end-to-end encryption for their users. Slack implemented Enterprise Key Management (EKM) without trading off the functionalities like the ‘search’ for controlling the access and security, allowing the enterprises to hold the keys and controlling their own data. Not only Slack but Cisco, Symphony, and Armor Text also grant EKM as a means to ensure better security across their team messaging apps.
Additional security features offered by Slack included single sign-on facilities and multi-factor authentication before granting access. Whereas Microsoft Teams permits internal IT teams to implement conditional access to the users, the electronic discovery of the lost data, and legal hold to the content as the measures to inhibit unauthorized access, risk mitigation, and data recovery and protection. Cisco Webex also provides features like e-discovery and data retention, and along with that, it is capable of integrating third-party vendors and cloud security brokers for data protection through its APIs, too. In addition, it is also only team messaging platform that encrypts the data during travel from cloud to the device.
Still, protection and reducing the threat security surface depends largely on how well all the factors including people are integrated into a comprehensive security strategy in deploying and managing team messaging apps. An article from Irwin Lazar has summarized a few additional recommendations from the session panelists of Cisco, Oracle, Ribbon, Slack, and Symphony to ensure better security for the team collaboration environment:
Devise an effective governance strategy, blending both centralized and decentralized approaches by applying the key management, data-loss prevention, and single sign-on all over the organization and leave the security management of specific workspace, channel, and team members to the departments and workgroup administrators.
Adopt Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) to ensure better security and control over your data in mobile devices
Assess Security Certifications of the vendor and check if it complies to the regional regulatory authorities
Keep the security policies and strategies simple to encourage the use and the collaboration
Adopting federation services to define boundaries to integrate secure guest account facilities
It is very important to keep a close watch on the current security scenario as well as reviewing the present and future collaboration needs well while choosing the vendor for your collaboration platform. To operate efficiently in a multiple custom application environment, it is important to introduce time-to-time changes in security strategies and customize it to mitigate the emerging threats and risks that can jeopardize the enterprise’s collaboration environment and efforts and will hinder its adoption across the enterprises.
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