Enterprises require stringent administrative controls for platforms that drive mission-critical business processes now more than ever. In the age of the mobile workforce, control measures are particularly important for communication and collaboration channels, which are key drivers of operational performance.
According to a new study from Maintel, companies must learn to listen to user concerns about corporate-approved communications platforms or risk their workers using unsanctioned tools. A large percentage of workers shift towards consumer systems such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger for work purposes rather than business-grade resources. The way employees want to interact and the channels that are currently sanctioned by businesses are substantially disconnected.
As the workforce becomes more mobile, collaboration is more important than ever for business success. The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the transition to remote working, which shows no signs of abating. Upwork predicted that 73% of businesses would have remote employees by 2028 in its “Future Workforce Report,” while IBM predicted that the global mobile workforce would reach 1.87 billion workers by 2022. Enterprises would need purpose-built real-time communication systems that securely link workers in remote locations while allowing administrators to track and audit utilisation as the mobile workforce grows. The ability to control the lines of communications within that organisation would also be an immediate requirement.
Non-Enterprise Grade Apps can be the most common
Consumer-oriented platforms are far more common than many enterprise-grade platforms, according to respondents to Maintel’s survey. This stems from the ease of use, reaction speed and collaboration. Also on the rise is the use of modern, often consumer-oriented apps. These platforms are currently, however, largely used for non-work purposes, unless it is to talk to peers.
Security threats and the impossibility of organisational monitoring mean that many of these outlets in the workplace are frequently blocked. For example, according to the study, Instagram is not approved by 41% of organisations, Facebook Messenger by 34% and Snapchat by 38%.
Many workplaces have implemented a BYOD approach which is why the above apps pose a risk. Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to a system in which employees communicate and access work-related systems via personal networks. These systems may store sensitive or confidential information from within their corporate networks. Smartphones, desktop computers, laptop and USB drives are all considered personal devices. When you utilise BYOD, your users’ personal devices have less power and visibility than you would like. Employees aren’t always cautious, and if they have too much data access, they might cause havoc. Even if you spend a lot of time training your employees on best defence practises, there’s no guarantee that when they’re stressed or busy that they’ll follow the advice. Organisations sometimes need to communicate in a manner that blocks certain external apps which often isn’t possible with BYOD.
There are many reasons as to why organisations may wish to prohibit certain systems to protect their organisation, with the desire to maximise activity within the workplace, reduce expenditure and optimise their security. When workers struggle to use these resources, it’s typically because their experience is inferior to that of consumer platforms; which is why we see so much use of WhatsApp and Facetime for business purposes. Employees should be consulted closely to determine what frustrations they have with current resources, and then pick and build strategies to make these platforms more appealing.
All platforms will need a policy
Businesses must also let go of the notion that just because they have a “corporate-appropriate” communications system, it can’t be misused, either intentionally or accidentally. What is permissible and reasonable at work, and what is not, must be clearly stated in policies.
In addition, the reasons for these policies are to promote adherence and build greater understanding of safety among the workforce are worth explaining. Businesses can also ensure that anybody who uses their services, such as a business partner or a client, is represented with the same specific guidelines.
How to Communicate with your employees safely
Listening and reacting to your employees’ feedback on existing, business-based resources is the best way to avoid pushing them into the arms of vulnerable, unmonitored consumer-focused communications networks.
Dialogue between management and employees is the most effective way to inspire staff members to use the right resources, and it can also lead to changes in practises and business-approved platforms that can enhance the user experience and make it more efficient. Regardless of which platform is used, best practises must be clearly communicated.
Enterprise communications is subject to stringent regulatory criteria in some industries. The privacy and regulatory pressures on today’s businesses necessitate a strategic and measured approach to compliance. The organisation’s ability to fulfil its regulatory requirements is jeopardised by lax administrative controls. Decision makers need to know that IT managers have control systems in place for effective enforcement at all times to reduce the risk of fines, penalties and most importantly when it comes to private communications; leaks.
IT teams need an enterprise communication platform with comprehensive administrative controls for controlling users, tracking operations, and implementing corporate policies in order to achieve information security, regulatory enforcement, and bottom-line business improvement.
Salt Communications works with clients all over the world who recognise the value of maintaining complete control of their confidential communications. Public leaks damage their organisation’s credibility and, in some instances, jeopardise the protection of their employees and the general public. With a secure communication platform such as Salt Communications in place, you will be able to control your communications and feel safe in any situation you may encounter during your daily operations.
If you require further assistance feel free to reach out to our team for more information on this article. To sign up for a free trial of Salt Communications or to talk to a member of the Salt team, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Salt Communications
Salt Communications is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. Salt Communications offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. Salt is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit Salt Communications.