Communication in the workplace is undergoing a huge shift – the way employees, partners and stakeholders communicate with each other both internally and externally is expanding into new technologies and platforms.
Old methods, like fax machines and pagers, have either decreased in usage or have disappeared from traditional workplaces. In their place enters alternative methods with increased capabilities for faster, better and more effective communication.
While email continues to be the most widely used communication channel, it’s quickly fading as the dominant channel as a direct result of consumers’ growing preference for more instant messaging communication. As an example, we recently conducted a study that found 44 percent of employees regularly use mobile messaging apps to communicate throughout the workday. They’re communicating on a variety of different operating systems – iOS, Windows, Android, etc. But it’s not just phones that employees are leveraging for communication.
Employees are also beginning to integrate other mobile devices, like tablets and wearables, into their communication habits. Smart watches, glasses, headsets – the new wearable devices available are only beginning to take off for business communication use.
Where the problem comes in is that the way people communicate over these platforms and devices for personal use varies greatly from the sensitive, private business communication and information that is regularly exchanged in the workplace, especially in key professional industries like healthcare and finance. Ensuring that messages are secure across platforms and devices proves to be a difficult task for enterprises. This is due to the fact that many enterprises are not educated on the difference between enterprise and consumer mobile messaging apps, nor the new devices available for communication.
Business communication needs to be secured in a completely different way than your typical personal conversation. To secure mobile messaging apps on multiple platforms, organizations must implement safeguards that protect sensitive and confidential information.
Implementing secure mobile messaging in the enterprise
The best way to enable secure mobile messaging is to implement an official, internal mobile messaging app company wide. Instead of trying to navigate and secure the various messaging apps available for employees to download on their phones, the IT department should implement an enterprise-grade mobile messaging app that gives them complete control via an administrator control panel.
This is also extremely important because then IT departments can remotely wipe content shared via these platforms when an employee leaves the company. Additionally, IT departments can control user access and the availability of specific features at any point – a capability unavailable on third-party consumer apps.
Another key consideration for organizations looking to implement a secure mobile messaging platform is to check for the availability of device-to-device encryption. Device-to-device encryption is a key feature in an enterprise-grade mobile messaging app because stored messages on servers are often intercepted by penetration of the server. 256-bit AES device-to-device encryption with elliptical curve key exchange provides uninterrupted protection along the entire delivery and storage chain. With this, businesses have the advantage of the highest level of security and ensure only employees and intended recipients can read sensitive messages.
Finally, but arguably most importantly, organizations need to make sure that a provider's messaging technology is battle-tested and has the proven track record of delivering highly reliable and scalable enterprise-grade messaging solutions.
With the rise of mobile messaging and the availability of so many more platforms and devices that enable instant communication in the workplace, organizations are quickly under an immense amount of pressure to find a secure solution. By enabling secure mobile messaging, especially via an internal app that works across devices and platforms, organizations can prevent compromising sensitive business information while still improving efficiency.
Anurag Lal is the President & CEO of Infinite Convergence Solutions, wireless messaging and mobility solutions provider for carriers and enterprises. Appointed by the Obama administration, Lal previously served as a Director of the U.S. National Broadband Task Force (part of the Federal Communications Commission). Lal has also served as Senior Vice President at Meru Networks and Chief Business Development and Sales Officer at iPass Inc.