Are virtual collaboration tools a necessary evil for enterprises? How to mitigate the risk

by | Aug 31, 2022 | Technology

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Just ask yourself: Have you used WhatsApp, Zoom, Teams, Slack (or the like) today? 

For the majority of enterprise leaders — and their employees — the answer would be a resounding yes. 

In just the 2 1/2 short years since the onset of COVID-19, organizations have become reliant on such virtual collaboration tools. They are nothing less than vital for inside and outside collaboration, business continuity and remote work — and everyone within a company simply expects to use them.

But with their advent and explosion in growth, it’s been made abundantly clear that these tools pose significant security risk. Organizations face a conundrum in preventing data exposure and misuse while also diligently tracking communication and, in regulated industries, ensuring compliance. 

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Most organizations are aware that many of these platforms aren’t secure or compliant — so why are they still using them?

Simply put, “the pandemic forced our reliance on video communication channels like Zoom, and now, we can’t expect the toothpaste to be put back in the tube,” said Shiran Weitzman, CEO of communication compliance platform company Shield.

However, he pointed out, “in today’s work-from-anywhere workplace, it’s likely that businesses, regardless of industry, are legally obligated to keep up with standards around securing customer data and keeping a record of internal communications and discussions.”

Sharing data, risking compliance

Employees spend an average of 2 1/2 hours every day on applications such as Zoom and Teams — and 27% of U.S. employees spend more than half the working week using them.

WhatsApp, for instance, has roughly 2.44 billion unique active users worldwide. Zoom has more than 350 million daily meeting participants. Teams is used by more than 1 million organizations as their default messaging platform. Slack has 10 million daily active users. 

In a survey by Veritas Technologies, 71% of office workers globally – including 68% in the U.S. – admitted to sharing sensitive and business …

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