WFH

Secure workplace collaboration platform necessary for seamless communication: Bhavin Turakhia, Flock

Flock is a proprietary messaging and collaboration tool, founded by tech entrepreneur, Bhavin Turakhia, in 2014. The app is available on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Web. Here, Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO at Flock, tells us more about how businesses will be, post Covid-19. Excerpts from an interview:

DQ: Elaborate on the video conferencing platforms and their flexibility as per different sectors.

Bhavin Turakhia: Undoubtedly, all business establishments, irrespective of their employee strength or the industry sector they operate in, have been affected by this Covid-19 pandemic. In this scenario, video conferencing has quickly emerged as the core of many collaboration and communication strategies for leading brands, worldwide. We believe that this is not a temporary peak, and this trend will continue in a post-Covid-19 world as well.

This age of remote working has shown us how valuable this medium can be, not just for working from any part of the globe, but also for boosting productivity and efficiency at the same time. By 2027, the video collaboration market is set to hit a value of around $11.56 billion, with demand for this technology growing at a rapid pace.

However, many organizations are not well equipped to work from home. Sectors, such as insurance and healthcare, may find it difficult to work remotely due to the nature of the business. However, in the last couple of months, we have seen even these sectors pull out all the stops to adapt to this fairly new work model by employing workplace collaborative platforms. Additionally, the government is trying to develop a secure video conferencing platform for use by the government and courts, which will enable various departments to work seamlessly.

FlockDQI Bureau | DATAQUEST

DQ: What is the enterprise security risks of using generic messaging platforms?

Bhavin Turakhia: For all the collaborative and productivity benefits that come with teams messaging platforms, they also open up to a host of security risks if they don’t have the right protocols in place. High-risk sectors, where customer privacy is paramount, like financial services, government and law, must be especially cautious. In the recent past, a WhatsApp data breach that targeted millions of people brought to light another vulnerability of these generic platforms.

As communication platforms are used for personal and professional communications, it makes them a prime target for hackers looking to steal private information. Given the drawbacks that can occur, if sensitive information is compromised through a breach of employee communication, businesses should look for enterprise-grade communication and collaboration platforms with inbuilt security features to minimize cyberattack risks.

While there’s no guarantee in terms of prevention of such breaches as hackers are getting more sophisticated by the day, there are features that lend to a safer and more secure platform.

A key standard practice is to ensure there is encryption, businesses should always consider using encrypted rather than decrypted messages no matter how sensitive the content, due to the higher risks associated with the latter.

TLS 1.2 is the industry standard for encrypting communication over the internet and providers of this level of service will typically advertise their compliance with this along with wider security certifications like SOC 2. Look out for information on their data center security, opting for trusted hosting providers like Amazon and Microsoft where possible.

DQ: How can Flock help to keep your organizational data secure in this WFH environment?

Bhavin Turakhia: With a large proportion of the workforce working remotely due to the Covid-19 challenge, organizations need to put the necessary measures in place to ensure the security of confidential organizational data.

The first and foremost step is to use a secure workplace collaboration platform that enables seamless communication across teams. The next step is to build awareness among employees about the risk and repercussions of a security breach. For this, the top leadership has to educate themselves first about security practices.

It is often a misconception that large enterprises are more at risk when it comes to a data breach. However, small and medium enterprises should also take steps towards educating every individual in the organization. Additionally, it is extremely vital to empower the IT team to make decisions around security by helping them undertake training and courses that are relevant to their profile.

From an individual standpoint, one can follow the following tips:

Prevent any unauthorized system access: Cybercriminals and hackers are everywhere, looking for an opportunity to hack into your system and gather important confidential data. If you think they are going to let you off the hook during these difficult times, you are mistaken. The fear of unauthorized access is way higher during these times as hackers know a large portion of the population is working from home. Every small and medium business needs to have a strong access control policy defined for its employees.

Ensure two-factor/multi-factor authentication: An increasing number of companies are requiring two-factor authentication when employees log in to their devices/accounts. Two-factor authentication adds a layer of redundancy to ensure that only the actual account owner can access their account.

Beware of phishing emails and messages: If you ever receive an email around huge discounts, lotteries, etc. think twice before clicking on the link. There is an increasing number of cases where employees receive such emails, which once clicked on provide an inroad to hackers with malicious intent.

Secure your home networks: Even if you have a separate work laptop provided by your office, while working from home, you are probably using your home Wi-Fi. And, your organization’s IT team has no control over it, whatsoever. Changing your password to something far more complex than just names or birthdays of family members is the most basic step in securing the home network.

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