Maintaining Security As You Invest in UCC

Successful UCC growth must also keep risk-appropriate security practices top of mind

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Security is a top priority today for businesses large and small as they tackle a strategic transformation to digital-first. According to recent research from our colleagues at LastPass, tackling the security challenge is a multi-faceted problem - IT leaders’ top priorities range from securing data (75%) to reducing risk (68%) and securing new technologies (68%). One area where IT is strategically looking to grow their tech stacks is in unified communications and collaboration (UCC). In fact, a May 2019 survey of over 2000 global IT leaders revealed that 73% have plans to increase spending and deployments of UCC technology over the next year.*

A key to successful UCC growth without growing pains will be maintaining risk-appropriate security practices. We’ve seen some companies fall into very preventable traps, as they work quickly to deploy collaboration tools that are efficient and easy-to-use to meet the demands of today’s modern workforce. Here are some simple considerations to keep in mind in order to mitigate security risk of rollouts within your UCC tech stack.

  • Seek Out Consolidation and Compatibility
    Many companies today are supporting a hodge-podge of collaboration tools that initiated as software requested from their users. While it’s important to provide teams with what they need, when it comes to security it’s just simple math – the more disparate tools being used, the more tools to maintain, and the greater opportunity for security risk. Take a step back and evaluate the collaboration stack you’ve implemented and also what’s being used (they’re not always the same!). Look for ways to consolidate from multiple vendors to a few select ones that you consider trusted partners. Finding ways to integrate collaboration tools into other workflows is also key, especially if consolidation is a challenge. If your collaboration tools are back-end compatible with other tech stacks, it can help minimize vulnerabilities.

  • Don’t Sacrifice Usability for Security
    Today’s modern workforce expectations for usability are unprecedented. Your users expect all their software to be simple to use and just work, no exceptions. The same goes for your customers – they don’t have the patience for a collaboration tool that isn’t immediately connected or intuitive. Don’t allow this expectation for ease-of-use to push you to security shortcuts. Users and administrators must be sensitive to default settings of the web applications being used to host their online meetings, and ensure permissions are set with both user experience and security at top of mind. Remind users to keep browsers up-to-date, including the latest security patches. Collaboration tools should never bypass operating system or browser security controls for the sake of simplicity to the end user. The risk is far greater than the reward.

  • Prevent Unknown Meeting Attendees
    Meeting spaces should be safe spaces for open collaboration and discussion. But online meetings have opened up every internal conversation to external hackers in a way that in-office meetings never have. An online meeting tool built with privacy features like unique meeting URLs and password-protection are one step to helping prevent unwanted attendees; and the ability to lock a meeting or receive audio or visual alerts upon meeting-entry enable more secure meetings for those managing a back-to-back schedule. Even with all of these features, there’s an important training component to make sure they’re used properly. Establish policies that require employees to be diligent about using these features within their meetings. Warn of the dangers of unwanted meeting guests and empower employees to be the ‘bouncers’ in their own meetings.

Choosing the right UCC vendor is critical to your digital transformation – but must be done with security standards in mind. Seek a partner that not only has well-documented confidentiality and data integrity policies, but also has completed external security compliance like SOC2. The right vendor should have a track record of trusted product development practices, happening in secure global locations. They’ll help you implement the right UCC solutions for your growing organization, while avoiding critical mis-steps.   

To learn more about LogMeIn’s security approach within our own UCC portfolio, check out this GoTo blog post. Discover how to unify your collaboration and communication tools in a more secure way at www.GoTo.com

*2019 Global UCC Survey conducted by Ovum

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.