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In the digital age we now live in, security for your business is about far more than safes and locking office doors. Just like our data and personal information, threats and security risks have also moved online. These can be tricky to identify, often slipping under the radar and having potentially catastrophic implications on your business. But, they can be prevented, and quite often it’s pretty simple to set up some decent security against data breaches

Security setups for your communications, including your mobile device management, video conferencing software, and cloud systems, not only allow your team to work effectively and collaboratively, but make sure they are safe and protected whilst they do it. Many communications apps and programs already have security features integrated, it’s just a matter of knowing what and where they are. 

But where do you start? How can you ensure the security of your communications is thorough and the best it can be? There are so many parts to a business's communications, it can be difficult to check and protect every aspect of them. This is especially worrying as 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. 

However, by making the following improvements, you can boost the security of your business communications and reduce any vulnerabilities.

Source: IBM

Start with what you have

Take stock of what security features and software your business already uses. This helps to build a picture of what is already at your disposal, or might even raise some queries of your own. For example, how secure are your video conferencing technologies? What do they include in their data protection policies?

Note down all the communication apps and programs your company uses and comb through them - how they keep your data safe, what security measures they have in place, and do they have features you can further utilize to improve their security. It may seem tedious, but until you know what you’ve got, you can’t improve it. This can also start to highlight what you’re missing and easy ways to immediately improve your security.

Train your staff

Regarding your employees, the first thing to do is ensure they are all on the same page with basic security training. From setting up secure passwords to recognizing what data should be protected, and sharing sensitive information on a need-to-know basis, can all create a foundation of secure knowledge management within your business. After all, common sense isn’t as common as you think.

Source: Hiscox UK

Your employees can’t get far without inevitably using some form of business communication, so it's essential they know what they can do to protect and secure themselves. From scheduling their writing routines into an online calendar to organizing team meetings, it’s all a part of your communications. Make sure they know what processes are in place and why security matters to their role, helping to understand how they can improve and maintain secure communication.

Check your local regulations

Across the globe, data and security regulations vary considerably, so make sure you know the legislation applicable to your business. If your business is active in multiple regions, it’s best practice to make sure all branches are complying with even the strictest security requirements, making sure your back is covered. This applies not just to your DevSecOps compliance, but to everyone within your business.

Ensuring your company is viewing these as the bare minimum also improves the reliability and trustworthiness of your own business. Clients are far more likely to cooperate with businesses that they know look after their data and are following data security laws. Whether hosting secure video calls or encrypted messages, clients want to know their data isn’t available to just anyone and that you do care about protecting it.

End-to-end encryption

Another really easy way to improve your business communications security is by ensuring whatever channels you use to communicate are end-to-end encrypted. Simply put, this means that the messages you send can only be received and read by those you send them to. This stops interceptions from outside sources by encrypting communications at both sender and receiver ends. 

There are plenty of apps and programs available that include end-to-end security, whether sending text messages, voice notes, files, or documents, so it’s well worth doing a bit of research and finding an internal comms setup that suits the needs of your business.

When it’s so easily available as a security option, it makes sense to protect your data regardless of the format you are sending it in.

Burn-on-reading

Having this function allows your emails and messages to be automatically deleted - either immediately after having been read, or after a specified period. Not only can this help clear out your inboxes, but also minimize the information a hacker can access should they get into your emails. This should be part of your employee’s regular security practice anyhow, but automating the process of message deletion, even using robotic process automation, makes it even easier.

Similarly, some programs or apps enable you to delete from both the receiver and sender end of communications. This can make data even more secure, and effectively removes all traces of it within that platform. It’s important not to be complacent with this though - depending on what you are using, it may be possible for others to make a copy of the message, which your deletion won’t erase. However, screenshot notifiers are also available, to inform you when this happens.

Plan for breaches

Although these tips help you to avoid it, sometimes mistakes happen and data breaches can occur. How you manage those situations is something to consider in advance to make sure the clean-up operation is swift and effective. Being transparent with clients and employees over the breach can help maintain your trustworthiness, reassuring them of how you are acting to regain control of the data.

Having a plan for the worst-case scenario can also help highlight areas of your business that are easily made more secure. This could prompt researching hosted contact center solutions or alternative types of business communication.  Accessible plans can also give your business clarity and focus in the event of a breach. It helps identify and minimize the extent of breaches, reducing their severity. 

Secure your communications today

One thing to be wary of is that data and security are constantly evolving and just because you’ve secured your business once, does not protect it for life. As technology and software continue to evolve, there will constantly be better ways to protect your business’s communications, but likewise, new ways that people can breach them. These cyber-attacks can not only be dangerous, but costly, as organizations spend $3.86 million recovering from security incidents.

Source: IBM

However, you can save yourself the hassle and the money by doing simple checks, reviews, and keeping your security protections up to date. It’s quite likely you already have some of the pieces in place and other programs that just need a bit of care and attention to boost their security. Regularly check the security of your communications, following any new guidelines or regulations to prevent breaches and reading up on any security updates they may have.

Hopefully, this can act as a starting point for checking and improving your business communications security. It’s not an exhaustive list and many other features and measures may be useful to your business. Nonetheless, this is a good place to start, and if you can confidently tick off these recommendations, you’re well on the way to secure communications and protected data.

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