Most large organizations have a well-thought-out security strategy to protect their valuable data. But how many have a similar strategy to protect their equally valuable communications?
If your company’s communications are as important as your data – and they are – then it’s essential to develop a strategy that ensures secure communication for all employees. Here’s how to do it.
Why It’s Important to Develop a Strategy for Secure Communications
Data security is an important part of any company’s IT strategy. What many companies don’t realize is that employees’ communications are just as valuable as the data collected. Employees discuss sensitive business data, projects, and strategies. If those discussions were to be intercepted it could prove ruinous for your company. It’s essential for the continued well-being of your company that all business communications remain private and secure.
This includes all forms of communication, including text, voice, and video messaging, emails, and file sharing. Malicious actors can eavesdrop on any of these communications and steal company secrets. They can also initiate man-in-the-middle attacks to use these communications to gain access to corporate networks and all the valuable data stored there.
Communications security is especially important when you have a large number of employees working remotely, often from unsecure public hotspots using their own personal devices. A survey by Owl Labs found that, post-COVID, 80% of employees expect to work remotely at least three days a week. The more diverse your communications, the more potential access points that are vulnerable to outside attack.
Best Practices for Developing a Proactive Strategy for Secure Communications
While it’s impossible to guarantee 100% protection from attacks on your organization’s communications, there are steps you can take to dramatically reduce the risk. Here are some of the most important best practices to follow.
Require Secure Authentication
It’s imperative that your communication solution employs secure authentication, with a focus on strong password protection and multi-factor authentication (MFA). That means requiring employees to use longer and more complex passwords and to change those passwords on a regular basis.
Limit Unnecessary Access
Not every employee should have unlimited access to all communications. For more secure communications, employ least privilege access to limit permissions only to those employees that truly need it, regardless of their level or position within your organization. The fewer people accessing any given communication, the less likely that communication will be intercepted.
Employ Strong End-to-End Encryption
One of the most significant steps you can take to secure your organization’s communication is to encrypt all communications between employees. End-to-end encryption helps ensure that if a communication is intercepted, the eavesdropper won’t be able to view or listen to the communication itself. Only authorized users with the proper decryption key have access to the contents of the communication.
When choosing an encrypted solution, know that not all encryption is created equal. Stronger encryption ensures that the decryption keys are considerably harder to crack. In addition, end-to-end encryption (as opposed to the simpler single-point encryption) ensures that communications stay encrypted at both ends and in transit, so there is no point where an outside party can access the data.
Use Ephemeral Messaging
Storing old messages on your organization’s server is a major security risk. You can take all the steps you want to protect communications while they’re happening, but if stored messages can be breached then you still have a significant security risk.
The solution is to employ ephemeral messaging, where all messages are deleted a set amount of time after they’ve been received. No messages are stored on your servers or on users’ individual devices. This type of “burn on read” functionality ensures that there are no stored messages that can be accessed by unauthorized users.
Don’t Collect Metadata
Surprisingly, some supposedly secure communications solutions store metadata relating to each communication. Even if the messages themselves are deleted, stored metadata can reveal sensitive information to attackers, including the identities and IP addresses of senders and recipients, when messages were sent, what devices were used, and more. It’s important that your secure communications strategy includes deleting all metadata for company communications.
Look for a Multi-Platform Solution
Your employees use a variety of devices and platforms to communicate with one another, including– Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS computers as well as Android and iOS phones and tablets. Any secure communications solution you employ must guard communications across all these platforms and devices to ensure complete protection.
Employ Wickr as Part of Your Proactive Secure Communications Strategy
Wickr is a secure communications and collaboration platform that follows all the best practices for a secure communications strategy:
- Secure authorization
- Least privilege access (Zero Trust platform design)
- Military-grade end-to-end encryption
- Ephemeral messaging
- No metadata collection
- Supports all popular platforms and devices
The Wickr platform protects all of your organization’s text, voice, and video communications, as well as file sharing and other collaborative activities. Wickr is the only solution you need to protect all of your enterprise communications from a breach.
Contact Wickr today to learn how to develop a proactive secure communications strategy for your organization.