6 ways to secure communication in privacy-conscious organizations

Rocket.Chat Content Team
September 19, 2022
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5
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In a digital-first world, organizations use a wide range of secure communication channels such as chat, email, phone, and video calls. In an enterprise, team members share sensitive information internally and with clients. 

Is your communication platform reliable at all times, with zero vulnerabilities? Your enterprise and customer data may be compromised if your platform doesn't guarantee these features.

So, how does security for communication work on an enterprise level? What are the most secure ways to communicate online, and what are some trustworthy tools to do so?

How is communication made secure?

While choosing the right security and communication tools, specific requirements must be kept in mind. Make a shortlist of these specific to your organization’s needs and ensure that the tools provide these features. Some secure communication principles to consider include: 

1. Protecting data in transit

Among multiple methods of safeguarding communication, protecting data in transit is crucial. An untrusted network should not have access to any data within your enterprise. As communication travels between participants, a secure collaboration platform ensures end-to-end encryption. This provides options to block distrustful or unauthenticated profiles. This way, third-party access in any manner is denied. The platform must also be able to identify the sender and receiver’s identities.  

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬† Find out what the 10 best encrypted messaging apps are.¬†

2. Protecting access to data

In secure communication tools, a cryptographic key is the root of trust for security. Any part of the service that involves key management must be secured at a higher level. Further, as communications transit, they pass through servers and routes, and any network nodes with access to unencrypted data must be securely protected. 

3. Advanced admin controls

Unauthorized user access can be a dangerous way of leaking data or spreading misinformation. Hence, access to communication must be protected with authenticated user access. The devices that access the communication channel may contain unencrypted data such as account credentials. Hence, mobile device management is a key security feature that helps regulate device control and access to app data. 

4. Controlled use of metadata

Security and communication tools should provide transparent terms and conditions on the data it requires to operate. Of these, metadata is what summarizes the 'who, what, and when' of the communication. This is necessary for the application to work. But, it must mention what sort of metadata is being collected and its purpose. 

5. Regular security audits

With proper justification, regular security audits can be performed. But when not attempted by the right people, security audits can lead to accidental or intentional misuse of information. To detect any fault or event of unauthorized access, notifications for failed login attempts and unusual access requests must be recorded. This limits any damage and notifies the organization in case of a possible attack. 

How secure are the most common ways of online communication?

Chat applications

Chat applications provide the convenience of real-time chat and faster response. Popular chat applications such as Whatsapp and Signal/Telegram have end-to-end encryption. But, enterprise usage requires an additional layer of security.

These applications are relatively secure when the right conditions for usage are met. Including additional security features and refraining from using them in public networks are ways to ensure security.

Video conferencing tools

The rapid adoption of video conferencing tools does not guarantee security with every application. About 74% of organizations experience a data breach due to third-party applications gaining access to more data than necessary. Hence, regulating how these tools can access and use data, using password-protected meetings, refraining from providing screen controls to users, and turning on automatic updates are important to prevent data privacy breaches. 

Emails 

Did you know that in 17% of cases, phishing emails were hackers' way into organizations? Even with security measures on board, an employee falling victim to phishing attacks is more common than we think. 

Along with these, popular email applications such as Gmail have data settings that allow third-party data access. This allows advertisers to display hyper-targeted advertisements. Using non-secure email providers leaves the organization vulnerable to malware, spamming, and phishing threats and risks. 

Phone calls

There are many rules surrounding phone calls, making it all the more vulnerable to data breaches. In some jurisdictions, recording phone calls is legal as long as the other party is aware. With no end-to-end encryption, phone calls can be tapped in to listen by third parties. Passive surveillance may occur, and the data stored can be hacked. Hence, only use phones for workplace communication when it is end-to-end encrypted. 

Best secure communication tools for businesses

Data security should be at the forefront of secure communication tools. Organizations can selectively search for tools that distinguish themselves in terms of security. Here's our compilation of tools that focus on data protection and privacy, 

1. Rocket.Chat

secure communication

A real-time, all-in-one communication platform, Rocket.Chat prides itself on tackling security the best way. The security features of Rocket.Chat ensure transparent data management, and leave teams communicating in a worry-free manner. 

Rocket.Chat’s security features make it a popular collaboration tool in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and government. The combination of open source code and on-prem deployment makes it possible to adapt the software to your existing environment and ensures data sovereignty.

How does Rocket.Chat make communication secure?

1. Multi-factor authentication

2. Open source antivirus plugin 

3. End-to-end encryption

4. On-premise deployment

5. Data loss prevention 

6. Secure push notifications that are ID only

7. Prevention of data loss through an approval process for sensitive data

2. Pexip

secure communication

Pexip is a collaborative platform that adheres to industry-standard encryption, security compliances, and protocols. Pexip is a tool widely used by military institutions, healthcare companies, and larger organizations. 

How does Pexip make communication secure?

Pexip offers self-hosting, API support, encrypted communication, GDPR compliance, and even a native integration with Rocket.Chat. This allows organizations to step up their security and access chat, video communications, and files in a single, secure location. 

3. Element 

secure communication

Element is built on an open network platform for secure communication, known as Matrix. For users using other Matrix apps, Element forms a great addition and offers chat, unlimited voice, and video calls.

How does Element make communication secure?

1. End-to-end encryption

2. Cross-signed device verification

3. On-premise deployment 

4. Prevention of unauthorized access to data. 

Element also offers auditing and antivirus and ensures secure transmission of messages across traditional collaboration applications. 

4. Troop Messenger 

secure communication

Troop Messenger is secure and boosts workplace productivity for enterprises of all forms and sizes. It offers audio and video calls and collaborative tools. 

‚ě°ÔłŹ Check out the most secure messaging apps for enterprises besides Rocket.Chat, Troop Messenger, and Element.

How does Troop Messenger make communication secure?

1. Biometric sign-in systems

2. User Authorization

3. Multi-Factor Authentication

4. End-to-End encryption

5. Audit logs

Along with these, Troop Messenger offers a wide range of admin controls that help secure one-on-one communication within the workplace. 

5. Mailfence 

secure communication

Mailfence is a platform that ensures secure and private email communication. It integrates messages, files, and groups and is browser-based. 

How does Mailfence make communication secure?

1. Password encrypted emails

2. End-to-end encrypted emails

3.  Two-factor authentication

4. Strips IP address from emails before sending

Mailfence helps organizations send and receive password-protected emails for an added layer of security. It supports popular email protocols and offers features in group chats, calendars, polls, and document storage. 

6. Perception Point 

secure communication

Perception Point offers enterprise communication that is protected and suited for the modern work environment. The chat application takes on email-based threats, possible threats from public channels, and unmanaged third-party threats. 

How does Perception Point make communication secure?

1. Dynamic-based engines that work to prevent any channel-based or internal threat

2. Zero lags or vulnerabilities while scanning content

3. Spam mail filters

4. Recognition analysis for phishing attacks

5. Antivirus engines that identify multiple threats.

It improves the organization's network and communication by securing remote access and encrypting data in transit and rest. 

How to double down on communication security?

There are multiple security measures that an organization can take to double down on securing confidential and enterprise data. Ultimately, following the best practices for safe enterprise communication is vital.

Even with thousands of apps in the market that guarantee security, choosing self-hosted communication tools and researching why they may be best for your organization is the first step. A virtual private network is another tip, providing a secure tunnel for receiving and sending information online. 

Conduct security awareness training throughout the organization to implement the best security practices. Such secure communication and safety protocols eliminate vulnerabilities caused by human error and provide an added layer of security. 

Conclusion: data security as a priority

For enterprises, ensuring that business-critical data is secure must be a top priority. This avoids data breaches and, most importantly, boosts customer trust in the brand. Hence, being aware of the extent of security your enterprise needs is the best way to search for a secure collaboration tool that offers the same. 

The best bet is to move towards tools that provide data protection, avoid any loopholes and unwarranted access to data, and are reliable. These deliver the best security layer to protect enterprise data. 

Looking for a tool that helps your organization communicate seamlessly without having to worry about security? Download our checklist on the top features of a secure business communication platform you should look out for!  

Rocket.Chat Content Team
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