How to leverage secure team collaboration for small business messaging
Cloud messaging has become the bread and butter of small business productivity. In late 2016, BI Intelligence estimated that total monthly active users of the four most popular mobile messaging platforms had surpassed that of the top four social networks in 2014 and widened the gap through 2016. While these services were originally designed with consumers in mind, their use in the workplace is widespread:
- A 2017 survey of U.S. workers by 451 Research revealed that 73% of respondents used SMS and/or third-party messaging platforms for business purposes.
- For comparison, only 66% relied on email and 58% on voice calls. No other workflow surpassed 50% of surveyed responses.
- 62% reported their firms had not updated their security policies despite the growing use of messaging. Only 9% said unapproved apps were forbidden.
Workers everywhere now turn to cloud-based messaging apps because of the unparalleled convenience, as well as the frequent integrations with other productivity-boosting services like video conferencing and HD voice calling. Cloud messaging applications are also economical for SMBs to deploy and simple for employees to use from any device, anywhere.
However, their levels of cloud app security are often below what most administrators prefer. Activity monitoring is difficult, as is diagnosing technical issues, approving or denying new accounts and managing specific corporate policies. Business messaging should balance an easy-to-use set of features with reliable protections against threats, so that there aren’t any compromises in either usability or security.
No compromises: Enhancing business messaging with airtight cloud security
A central challenge in any business messaging app deployment is offering a solution that’s sufficiently secure and also intuitive enough to keep end users from resorting to unapproved alternatives (aka shadow IT). Cisco Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark) rises to the occasion, through a broad spectrum of team collaboration capabilities that enable safe communications with colleagues, customers, and partners around the globe. Cisco Webex applications help boost cloud app security on multiple fronts, thanks to:
Simpler IT security infrastructure
Hosted Webex security is multi-layered yet streamlined. Secure data centers, firewalls, and policy management processes all combine to continuously secure your communications, while saving you the overhead and complexity of overseeing your own IT security infrastructure.
Advanced identity management
With shadow IT messaging apps, administrators are in the dark about what users are doing, including the extent to which they follow best practices for password hygiene. In Webex Teams, they have full insight and can manage accounts by enforcing specific password requirements and handling all activations/deactivations. Plus, single sign-on helps support a better user experience that’s also easier for administrators to control.
Dependable connections and data protections
In recent years, it has been difficult to keep up with which messaging apps encrypt data in transit and at rest, and whether they have any soft spots in their security. This is why consumer-grade messaging is so risky. In contrast, Webex Teams leaves no doubt about the safety of your messages. Transport Layer Security (TLS) connections between Webex clients and the cloud are secured at minimum by 128-bit encryption, with further options for 256-bit and end-to-end encryption. Cloud-stored data requires proper authentication for access, is not indexed or crawled, and can be removed upon request.
Messaging is essential to how today’s teams work together. With team collaboration tool, Webex Teams, the traditional complexities and concerns associated with cloud app security are resolved so that everyone’s ideas can take center stage. More secure messaging leads to easier compliance, stronger collaboration, and enhanced productivity across your entire SMB.
May 13, 2021 — Espen Loberg
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