The remote workforce has challenged the enterprise to not only maintain communication and collaboration but also security and compliance.
By Shiran Weitzman, CEO of Shield
Among the many complications that have developed in this new, work-from-anywhere age is the need to maintain communication channels while also ensuring business security and compliance. Today, even though many industries never would have considered these tools a few short years ago, electronic communication channels like Slack, Zoom and even WhatsApp, are now vital to business continuity and a collaborative work environment. Necessary to remote work, which today is expected by many employees, these tools are ushering in a massive shift in the way we communicate but also bring significant risk, compliance and security concerns. “Application sprawl” is leading to a confused and unproductive workforce and putting businesses in danger.
In fact, a recent report just released findings that show 54% of enterprise employees believe poor collaboration tools are a problem, despite the numerous new applications that have been introduced in the past few years. Employees are constantly switching between Slack, Zoom and email., throughout their workday to keep up with conversations and complete tasks – causing not only a collaboration overload, but also an inherent increase in security and data privacy risks. Trying to keep up with who said what, on which channel, and if that channel is secure has become a challenge many enterprise executives are struggling to manage. Fortunately, there are certain steps and tools available that can help enterprises boost collaboration while maintaining security in the remote workplace without compromise.
The simplest of messages even need to be tracked and recorded; Photo Cred: Shield
Streamline. Monitor. Archive.
Simplifying collaboration and communication applications that meet an organization’s needs is crucial to both productivity and security. Employees using an inefficient application repeatedly can cause frustration to build up, stunting collaboration amongst team members and even causing some users to turn to applications that are less secure. For example, if a business has team members that operate in different countries, they will need to utilize applications that work and function across borders, rather than operating within multiple different messaging platforms to comply with each country’s protocols. Organizations will need to streamline which collaboration tools work best for their employees and then eliminate those that are no longer needed to avoid application sprawl.
After streamlining communication channels, businesses then need to strategize how they monitor and archive communications on these applications to keep data privacy and mitigate risks. Conversations via instant messaging tools are where the first signs of any nefarious activity takes place, whether its market manipulation or employee harassment. However, enterprises need to be aware that many messaging platforms, particularly WhatsApp and WeChat, are encrypted, making it difficult to properly monitor and archive. Organizations will need to look for monitoring systems that rely on artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processors, to efficiently record and archive employee communication, regardless of encryption.
In today’s remote workplace, it’s common that businesses regardless of industry are also legally obligated to keep up with regulations around archiving internal communications and providing adequate security for employee and customer data. Enterprises who fail to keep up with these standards can expect to see major fines and regulatory scrutiny that could setback both business continuity and trust amongst employees.
Facilitate an internal communications culture
It is often overlooked that building on an organization’s culture as it adopts new tools is needed to keep employees motivated, especially as remote work continues to be normalized. When introducing new applications, employers will need to develop and provide clear standards and direction to help keep employees compliant and collaborative. This could mean creating protocols around when conversations should be taking place, how to speak to coworkers, permitting the use of emojis or encouraging creative communication. It’s important that whatever protocols are decided upon, they are communicated effectively to the entire team so an organization understands how and when they should be reaching out to one another.
Aside from providing standards on how to communicate, enterprise teams should also think about conducting regular training and education sessions to keep employees up to date on the latest technological advancements and current security threats. This will alleviate frustrations from employees on how to utilize technologies – increasing the amount of time they can dedicate to their tasks – and also ensure they are implementing the correct security measures into their day-to-day communications.
Keeping collaboration and security in the remote workplace does not have to be a matter of compromise. Remote working demands company communications be re-invented to adapt to changes in employee behavior and trends to keep productivity on track. Strategies that used to work before the pandemic are no longer compliant in today’s workforce and organizations that wish to keep up with the future of work must establish new communication tools and measures that provide execution and protection for their employees.
Shiran is the CEO and Co-Founder at Shield. He has over 15 years of technology and management expertise, mainly in the Financial Services vertical. Before Shield Shiran was a Head of Sales at TM-Group, managing the company’s major tier 1 bank accounts. Shiran brings to Shield many years as a trusted advisor and a subject matter expert in the financial compliance market. Shiran holds an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Computer Science from IDC Herzliya.
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