A secure collaboration platform enables remote employees to work together on important projects, share data files, and communicate via voice and video without having to worry about their files or communications being hacked. The demand for this type of secure collaboration has been slowly increasing over time, but especially in the past year. To enable your employees to securely work from home, you need to adopt a secure collaboration platform for your enterprise.
Growth of the Remote Workforce
In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that less than 10 percent of all employees worked remotely at least once a week. Last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, that number had nearly quadrupled, with 36 percent of employees working remotely at least once a week, as reported by TechRepublic.
As significant as that change was, it was dwarfed by what has happened in the past year. Due to COVID-19 isolation protocols, a large number of businesses closed their offices and, almost overnight, created a fully remote workforce. According to a Gallup poll, during the height of the pandemic in October 2020, 58 percent of people were working from home for at least part of the week.
This trend will likely continue after the pandemic. Gartner reports that 82 percent of companies say they’ll allow their employees to work from home at least some of the time when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. In other words, the remote workforce is here to stay.
The Need for Remote Collaboration
This sudden explosion in the number of remote workers has highlighted the need for remote collaboration. All of the employees working from home still need to work closely with their co-workers, but they can no longer physically drop in to each other’s offices or meet in a conference room down the hall. Collaboration now has to be virtual and remote, yet still accommodate all the different ways people share information in real time, such as messaging, voice calls, and in-person meetings.
If done right, however, successful remote collaboration produces significant benefits. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report reveals that well-connected teams realize a 21 percent increase in profitability. Clearly, there is an essential need for enterprises to establish effective and efficient remote collaboration solutions.
Remote Collaboration Challenges
The shift to remote collaboration is not always smooth. According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work report, 20 percent of participants say that collaboration and communication represent their biggest struggles when working remotely. (The other biggest struggle? Loneliness.)
The biggest challenge in establishing a remote workforce is that everyone and everything is located in a different place. Instead of working in a central office, team members are working from their living rooms or hotel rooms. Some essential files still reside on the company’s central server, but others are located on different employees’ laptops. Some people are even located in different time zones.
Some collaboration can be done asynchronously via file sharing, email, and fax. Many daily operations, however, need to be done in real time via text messages, voice calls, and video conferences. Finding a collaboration platform that accommodates all possible means of communication is the true challenge.
An even bigger issue with remote collaboration is ensuring the security of all shared files and communications. Having employees work from home dramatically increases the risk of the company’s network being hacked and data being breached.
Malwarebytes reports that, since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, one-fifth of all enterprises have experienced a security breach caused by remote workers. There are several reasons for this.
Using Work Devices at Home – and Home Devices for Work
First, remote employees often use their own personal devices, including personal computers, phones, and tablets, for business. These devices are less secure than those issued and configured by your company’s IT department.
Work computers used outside of the office are also at heightened risk for physical theft. A stolen device can be hacked to reveal corporate login credentials and other confidential information.
Connecting Over Unsecured Networks
Unlike your secure corporate network, home wireless networks are much less secure. Employees connecting to your network from home are at risk of having their connections hacked. This not only exposes any sensitive data stored on their devices, but also opens a potential gateway for hackers into your corporate network.
Lack of Security Training
Many, if not most, current remote workers made the transition without any prior training–including training in security issues. As a result, the employees are not properly security-conscious and are thus more susceptible to phishing, hacking, and other forms of cyberattacks.
Let Wickr Be Your Enterprise’s Secure Collaboration Platform
All of these factors underscore why it’s essential that your enterprise embrace a secure collaboration platform like Wickr. The Wickr platform offers text messaging, voice calls, video conferences, and file sharing, all secured by military-grade, end-to-end encryption. Wickr is the most secure enterprise collaboration platform available today – perfect for your company’s remote workforce.
Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure collaboration platform.