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Why IT Managers Should Care About Workplace Mobile Messaging

By February 19, 2015blog

Like it or not, mobile messaging in the workplace is here to stay. Survey data from RingCentral illustrated the trend: 82% of respondents in their survey said they use texting daily for business. Additionally, 32% said they have used texts to close a business deal. Just as mobile messaging has become prevalent in our personal lives, it’s no wonder that mobile messaging has become so popular in the workplace as well. Mobile messaging is instanteous, reduces decision-making time and promotes employee collaboration and productivity.

The problem with consumer chat apps, group messaging apps, or even text through standard SMS, is that they pose a major security risk for the organization and don’t provide the level of control that businesses require.

One of the primary responsibilities of IT Managers (and CISOs (Chief Information Security Officer), CIOs (Chied Information Officer) , CROs (Chief Risk Officer) , CPOs (Chied Privacy Officer) for that matter) is to ensure that sensitive information does not leave company networks without proper authorization, otherwise known as data-leakage prevention or data-leakage protection (DLP). Given that the sharing of work-related information through text message or consumer messaging apps could potentially lead to serious security breaches and unwanted data leaks, why wouldn’t IT Managers implement a DLP strategy concerning mobile messaging in the workplace?

It’s obvious that the solution is not to ban text messaging, or even define what kinds of information can and cannot be shared via texting in the workplace. Instead, IT Managers should look to solutions that are “mobile-first” but with the necessary security layers: authentication, authorization, and confidentiality required in the business environment, especially in those industries that are highly regulated such as healthcare, finance, government, among others.

As mobile messaging is continuing to become the preferred method of communication amongst employees, IT Managers should implement mobile messaging DLP methods sooner than later. Text messages, internet messages, and chats inherently contain intimate or private information, even in the workplace. Without proper reins and controls, the leakage of those messages is what “juicy” security breach stories are made of, and can cause serious damage. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention may be worth many tons of cure”. Why wait until it’s too late?

With the widespread smartphone adaption, the growing BYOD trend, and commonplace use of text and instant messaging, workplace mobile messaging cannot be ignored, especially by IT Managers. It’s up to IT Managers to employ solutions that provide a secure environment where employees can easily communicate with one another via text such as workplace group messaging apps.

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