How to Choose a Secure Messaging App for Your Business

Data security and privacy have become issues most businesses can't afford to neglect in today's marketplace for a host of reasons. A recent survey by a software firm found that over 70% of IT professionals in financial services were concerned about the security of consumer messaging services, and 85% of security professionals felt that their business's instant messaging solution had security problems that needed to be addressed.

These security issues revolve around the problem of third parties outside your company handling private or sensitive data. Your employees may engage in communications with people outside your business, and data can be harvested for various purposes by third parties. On top of these concerns, there is the ever-present threat of hackers stealing your sensitive data. Choosing a messaging app that's appropriate for your business requires careful attention to security as well as functionality.

Personal vs. Enterprise Messaging Apps

Instant messaging has become a convenient replacement for voice calls and email because of its ease of use, and recipients can receive and respond to messages from any location using mobile devices when it's convenient for them. Businesses looking for ways to improve collaboration between their employees are finding that messaging apps are a decent communication tool for their workplace. This situation is especially real for large organizations that want to reduce the need for in-person meetings.

Businesses, however, have special needs that include security, administration, and employee authorizations. As a result, enterprise messaging app services have sprung up that help IT administrators better control their employees’ use of a messaging service.

What are some of the pitfalls of allowing employees to use personal messaging apps instead of a dedicated enterprise messenger for their office chat?

Sensitive Data Leaving Your Network

Personal messaging services, as well as some enterprise messenger apps, communicate with servers outside of your company's network. This issue can lead to several problems. Personal messengers, for example, are often tied into advertising networks that use the data their customers exchange as intelligence for creating targeted ads. The reality is that messaging services can and do store and process the data their users send to each other. This feature is a security threat to your business if your employees are sending sensitive or proprietary information to each other.

Sending data outside of your network also makes it possible for it to be intercepted or received by bad actors. Fraud and man-in-the-middle attacks are more common in today's threat environment than they have been in the past. A secure enterprise messenger will keep your data inside your network at all times.

Messaging Family and Friends

This is particularly problematic of personal messenger apps because you aren't able to control the contacts your employees can communicate with. The result is that there will always be a temptation for them to spend unproductive time messaging with non-employees, which can also lead to security problems. Enterprise messaging apps give you more control over who employees can communicate with while they are at your workplace.

Insecure Data Storage

Another problem with many personal messengers is a lack of strong encryption of data on the device where it's installed. This is a security risk that we often overlook because in our personal lives the chance of being hacked is low. In a business setting, however, every effort must be made to harden your internal network against the risks of a security breach. Data encryption of messages and file transfers can prevent sensitive data from being stolen even if a bad actor gets access to your business's network.

Lack of Interoperability

A problem large businesses encounter when allowing their employees to choose their messaging apps is the multiplicity of platforms that exist. One team might opt to use a business-oriented service while another decides to use several consumer messenger apps. The functionality of each service often drops when working with another platform. The competition between different messenger services gives them incentives to create proprietary features that only work for users on their platform. This makes it cost effective to choose a single enterprise solution for your workplace.

LAN Messenger Solves Many of These Issues

Softros's enterprise messaging solution was designed with all of these problems of the modern workplace in mind. It avoids the security risks of sending data outside of your company's network by using a peer-to-peer architecture that eliminates the need for a server to route messages. It also uses strong encryption when sending and storing data exchanged by your employees. This solution also keeps communications inside your company by preventing employees from adding unauthorized contacts.

Download LAN Messenger today and try it out for yourself at Softros's website, or contact us for more information.