Virtual collaboration is nothing new, but the current coronavirus outbreak has significantly increased the need at organizations for remote tools. Companies are coping with the migration of their workforce to their homes. As a result, virtual meeting software and collaboration tools have quickly become one of the most important pieces of business software. Whether for working sessions, staff meetings, or even virtual happy hours – everyone has seen an increased need for secure collaboration tools.
Unfortunately, the rapid expansion in use of these tools carries with it the potential for vulnerable platform configurations or improper tool training. This creates the potential for unintentional security consequences. You need to protect your business before teleworker security becomes a problem.
Choosing a Secure Collaboration Tool
So, what kind of collaboration did you want, anyway?
The most important thing an organization can do right now is select the right collaboration tool for their needs. Each tool comes with its own set of capabilities and security implications. For example, some platforms focus more on security than usability. This makes them more appropriate than others for confidential business. Other platforms allow for very easy one-to-many presentations, which can be appropriate for large company staff meetings or public marketing endeavors.
Each of these platforms carries a unique set of security controls intended to assist in securing the platform and the data shared within. It is important that you outline and detail your organization’s needs. This ensures that the collaboration platform you’re leveraging meets not just the security needs of your organization, but the business needs as well.
For example, do you intend to complete confidential business through your collaboration tool? If so, take a few precautions:
- Validate the technical specifics of its encryption.
- Ensure that data is being transmitted in a way that meets or exceeds the technical requirements of your security policy.
- Know how information is being encrypted.
Several collaboration tools offer proper end-to-end encryption, but many only have transport-layer encryption. The right tool for you depends on the types of information you intend to share and what impact their exposure would create for your organization.
User Guidelines for Collaboration Security
Yeah, yeah, I know, “requirements gathering,” but we’ve done that and have already purchased a product – now what?
Once you’ve selected and purchased a product, train your users on how to secure it. Training is critical for protecting the data being shared in the virtual meetings. There are a few best practices to share with your users:
- Ensure that users are not promoted to presenter by default. The presenter role should be manually transferred to users. A recent national news story captured an example of this at a large-scale town-hall meeting. It’s an important lesson for any meeting where there is a defined presenter for the entire duration.
- Internal meetings should be protected by a password to gate entry and only allow invited users.
- Use a waiting room to manually approve individuals as they enter the call. This feature may or may not be available, depending on your collaboration platform. It is especially useful for meetings shared with individuals outside of your organization.
- Know how to properly add and remove presenter roles – and how to quickly remove disruptive participants from the meeting. Sharing your meeting with the general public? Ensure that your meeting administration staff are trained on these features.
- Only share a meeting link with the relevant individuals. Don’t post meeting links – or passwords – on social media or other public platforms.
Know What You’re Working With
Each of these boils down to the same core tenet: know the security features of your collaboration platform. Configure features in a way that treats your data with the consistent security you have established across your organization. Make your users aware of their responsibility in keeping your organization’s data safe while collaborating virtually. Finally, continue to actively train them on the effective and secure use of the platform.
If your organization is currently struggling with remote work and collaboration needs, iVision is happy to help. Our experts will work with you to understand your business’s exact needs. We want your users to be empowered to complete their work and meet effectively to support your business.