Companies need knowledge workers to collaborate to do business. To stay in business, however, companies also need strong security. The convergence of collaboration and security presents a challenge to the enterprise, as less secure collaboration can put the business at undue risk.
How can companies ensure secure collaboration between their employees and with outside partners and customers? The solution is to embrace a secure collaboration platform, such as Wickr.
Knowledge Workers Need to Collaborate
To get their work done, it’s essential for knowledge workers in your company to collaborate with one another as well as with appropriate parties outside of the organization. This is true whether the workers are in the office or located remotely.
Where onsite workers can collaborate by meeting in person or just dropping into each others’ offices, remote workers need the appropriate tools to communicate, participate in group meetings, share files, and engage in other collaborative activities. Because of the growing remote workforce, these activities need to be not just easy to use but also secure from unwanted access by unauthorized users.
This evolving situation is fueling an increased demand for secure collaboration applications and platforms. During the first six months of 2020, in the initial stages of the COVID crisis, the market for collaborative applications grew by five years’ worth of new users.
These applications range from simple messaging apps to more robust video conferencing platforms to full-featured communication and collaboration solutions with enterprise-level features and security. In many cases, knowledge workers chose their own collaborative apps, selecting from readily available (and often free) consumer messaging apps. In other cases, adoption was driven by their employers, recognizing the need for increased functionality, scalability, and security.
Demonstrating the need for enterprises to get ahead of their employees in this situation, IDC research indicates that, pre-COVID, 55% of collaborative applications were initially considered “unauthorized” by parent organizations. Unless an organization recommends or requires specific solutions, their employees will embrace all manner of collaborative apps—including those that lack the security required by the enterprise.
A company that encourages the culture of collaboration—and enables that culture via the adoption of collaboration solutions—reaps multiple benefits, including breaking down inter-departmental silos, increased productivity, and more connected employees.
Key Challenges to Effective Collaboration
Encouraging a culture of collaboration isn’t always easy. There are several challenges an enterprise faces when choosing a solution that enables effective and secure collaboration between employees.
Data silos represent a real challenge to effective collaboration. When data is sequestered by individual departments or locations, it isn’t always available to all team members who need it. Data in a given silo simply may not be capable of being shared, or access may be limited only to employees of that department or location.
Another issue comes from discrepancies between data owned by different departments. If differences between data in different silos cannot be rationalized, collaborators have no way of knowing which data is correct. Unless there is a single source of truth, which silos do not provide, collaboration is hindered.
Another significant challenge to effective collaboration is the increasingly important issue of data privacy. Companies of all sizes and their employees need to be cognizant of the growing consumer focus on data privacy and the increasing number of governmental and industry regulations concerning the use of consumer data. Collaborators need to take into account data privacy concerns and regulations when sharing consumer data.
At the very least, access to certain consumer data may need to be limited to specific teams or team members. Unfettered access for all team members can lead to privacy concerns and regulatory noncompliance, and the company needs to protect itself against any potential privacy issues. Any collaborative solution needs to take data privacy concerns into account and enable access only to those parties with a defined need to use that data.
Finally, data security is a huge issue affecting collaboration, especially remote collaboration. All data shared by team members need to be secured against unauthorized access, which requires enhanced levels of cybersecurity.
Remote workers are notoriously more laid-back about security than are traditional office workers. They often use their less secure personal devices for work purposes and their company-issued computers for personal use. They often connect from unsecured home wireless networks or public Wi-Fi hotspots, opening their communications to interception and attack.
For these reasons, and to ensure secure collaboration, all employee communications need to be secured. This is especially true for remote workers connecting via unsecured Wi-Fi networks and from personal—not company-issued—devices.
How Wickr Encourages Secure Collaboration
In the IDC Security Spotlight entitled Secure Collaboration: Addressing Data Ownership, Privacy, and Encryption, IDC Research Director Wayne Kurtzman highlights Wickr as a leader in the secure collaboration space.
Kurtzman points out that Wickr’s collaboration platform is used by U.S. military and governmental agencies, thanks to its robust end-to-end encryption of communications and shared files. He notes that Wickr enhances collaboration by bringing both ease of use and security to group messaging, videoconferencing, and file sharing. He also references Wickr’s “burn on read” technology that automatically deletes messages after they’ve been read.
Depending on a company’s needs, Wickr can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or air-gapped environments. This flexibility enables Wickr to meet the evolving needs of both internal and external users while ensuring utmost security.
Wickr concurs with IDC’s assessment of the current environment for secure enterprise collaboration and encourages interested parties to contact the company for more information. Wickr’s secure collaboration solution employs robust end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that text, voice, and video communications, as well as shared data files, are easily accessible by both in-office and remote workers.
Contact us today to learn more about how Wickr can ensure secure collaboration for your enterprise.