Collaboration is essential to any team’s success, and secure collaboration is necessary to protect your organization’s assets and communications. To enable and encourage teamwork within your organization, you need to build a secure collaboration framework for both data and communications.
Understanding Collaboration Security
Collaboration security is similar to traditional data security but with its own unique requirements and obstacles. In essence, collaboration security deals with the risks involved with team members — especially remote members — who need to collaborate using today’s state-of-the-art technology. This collaboration utilizes a wide variety of different technologies and processes, including:
- Text, audio, and video communications
- File storage and sharing
- Workflow automation
Collaboration security aims to enable communication between team members while securing their data from unauthorized use.
Obstacles to Secure Collaboration
Secure collaboration is essential, but many things can stand in the way of it happening. Some of the primary obstacles to secure collaboration include:
- Remote workforce
- No established collaborative framework
- Unclear responsibilities
Defining the Framework
A secure collaboration framework should include five interrelated areas:
The first three of these areas – Protect, Mitigate, and Prevent – are the collaborative environment’s normal operating state. The final two areas – Respond and Recover – come into play when some cyber incident or system breach occurs and must be remedied.
The first three areas of the secure collaboration framework all share the same general goal of disrupting potential cyber attacks or data breaches. The first of these missions takes discrete actions to guard against potential attacks, including:
- Risk management — identifying critical areas and activities
- Understanding potential threats and how they might occur
- Gathering and sharing information about emerging threats
The second component of the disruption phase is to minimize any potential cyber threats. This phase should include:
- Identifying and reducing immediate vulnerabilities
- Developing contingency plans in case of an attack
- Implementing cybersecurity best practices, including firewalls, anti-malware tools, etc.
The final part of the first three interrelated areas is to disrupt any malicious actors and their ongoing activities. This could include:
- Publicly exposing malicious activity
- Taking down active botnets
- Working with law enforcement
On a larger scale, this part of the mission may also involve retaliating against known attackers.
The final two components of the framework can be collectively seen as incident response. The first of these areas involves the real-time response to and recovery from any identified breach or attack. Key responsive activities can include:
- Identifying the cause of the attack or breach
- Containing the attack or breach
- Disconnecting networks from the Internet
The final phase involves recovery activities after an attack or breach. These activities should include:
- Identifying affected data or communications
- Restoring data from a backup
- Reopening affected communications channels
Enabling Secure Collaboration
Several essential operations need to work across this framework to enable secure collaboration. Both security and collaboration can be compromised without these operations.
It’s important to know what cyber threats currently exist and keep aware of new threats as they develop. This makes intelligence gathering – both within an organization and across multiple organizations and industries – essential to creating any security framework. You have to know what’s out there to understand how to protect against it.
If your framework doesn’t include effective risk management, you won’t be fully protected against any burgeoning cyber threats. You need to establish a risk management framework, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, as part of your secure collaboration framework. It’s essential to identify your most critical data and systems and evaluate their current risk to outside attack. This will drive much of the rest of your collaboration framework.
Contingency planning flows across all aspects of your secure collaboration framework. Your team needs to know what possible attacks could occur and what to do if they do happen. Unfortunately, according to an IBM study, more than half of all organizations do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan. Determining how to respond to a breach or attack should not be left to the moment — everyone needs to know their roles well in advance.
When planning your secure collaboration framework, don’t fall into the trap of only planning for data breaches and network attacks. Communications are essential to all collaboration and must be equally secure as your data and systems. Identify your critical communications platforms, know how they may be attacked, and determine how to guard against and recover from any potential attacks.
Why Wickr Should Be an Essential Component of Any Secure Collaboration Framework
Your secure collaboration framework needs to include a secure communications platform like Wickr. Wickr is the most secure collaboration platform available today due to its use of industry-leading end-to-end encryption for text, voice, and video messaging and conferencing, as well as file sharing and other collaboration tools. Wickr is perfect for organizations looking to secure their remote workforce and will enhance any secure collaboration framework.
Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform!