What Can Businesses Do to Combat the Inherent Risks in Internal Communication


Modern communication tools make it simple to share and even create this information, making it even simpler for people to accidentally or purposefully overshare information that could put them at risk of harm.

The pandemic has greatly changed internal communications within organizations which, paired with the Great Resignation, caused a higher risk for insider threats. What makes the most vulnerable industries and sectors the most targeted?

Any industry that handles sensitive data, including passwords, trade secrets, material non-public information (MNPI), and regulated personal information, is at high risk. Modern communication tools make it simple to share and even create this information, making it even simpler for people to accidentally or purposefully overshare information that could put them at risk of harm.

In-company interaction risks due to sharing of information, and this occurs every day, are more important to address today than the security and compliance guardrails that most companies still rely on.

How do communications specifically pose a threat to an organization

In connection with the foregoing, communication tools are frequently secure, do not present a risk, and are crucial for enabling better collaboration and cost-saving efficiencies. With the growing use of chat, voice, and video collaboration technology, it is the human element that poses a real risk because people can make mistakes or act inappropriately.

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It reveals how poorly prepared organizations are for the various conduct and information security risks that human users introduce into the communications within collaboration tools in terms of policies, procedures, and guardrail technology.

A new, growing risk surface area has emerged due to the mismatch between tools designed for email, network, cloud, or device security and the reality of where communication takes place and where information is shared today.

Tactics to reduce the risk of communications-related data leaks

Companies must first implement well-documented policies and training around the dos and don’ts in these new communication tools in order to reduce risks in the new digital workplace. Along with actual policy enforcement, that should also include recurring policy audits and spot checks. Then, businesses must switch to implementing purpose-built technology that enables them to detect risk in the communications inside of their new communication tools and to take action on that risk. The communication platforms ought to test and certify these security tools.

Customers can put the safeguards in place to best protect their employees, customers, and data from abuse and misuse by adapting security and compliance practices and using supporting technology that is trusted and certified by the communication tool providers. As information is shared more frequently and employees interact at work through collaboration, it is essential to maximize compliance and security standards.

Increasing employee awareness

While implementing security and compliance technologies specifically designed for integrated voice, video, messaging, and chat tools, there should be clear posting of policies and actual training on proper procedures to increase employee awareness. There are technologies that assist with managing monitoring, automating risk detection, and coaching employees inside of chat, voice, and video communications while monitoring and enforcing that users keep proper security settings enabled on the platforms themselves, similar to how technologies are used by businesses for email security, network security, cloud application security, and endpoint security. Users frequently unintentionally disable the extremely potent security features that businesses like Zoom include in their products in the latter location.

In order to maintain a secure digital workplace, technology can and should be transparent and set up to notify employees when it is watching them. It should be regarded as a clear guardrail, an audible warning, and a safety system that only engages when necessary and in response to risk. For instance, technology may be able to replace a file or link to a file containing customer information in a chat with a message stating that the file was blocked because it needed to be protected because it contained sensitive data.

Technology can be used to address the risk and alert employees as compliance and security teams forensically review meetings, chats, and conversations that have triggered risk. By lowering signal noise, these kinds of clearly visible guardrails and warning lights can significantly lower the most common risks and make it simpler to concentrate on the trickier ones.

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How can organizations prevent the threat posed by disgruntled or resigning employees

The best method for handling outlying disgruntled employees is to make the rules and consequences for violation as well as the fact that there is an advanced technology that can and will detect those violations well known. This is in addition to doing the best to treat employees fairly and with respect to put foundational disincentives in place for dissatisfaction.

Employers can reduce the risk surface area by issuing clear communication rules, information-sharing policies, and information and communication storage procedures. This is where compliance and security tools, whether they be for video, voice, chat, or the shared files within them, enable risk detection while locating precise moments or instances of compliance issues across every collaboration interaction and conversation.

These guidelines and their implications can be included in the standard privacy and conduct policies that employees sign as part of their onboarding as well as the initial employment agreements.

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