Modern Workspace Security: Don’t Block Your People, Coach Them

Aware HQ
11/5/18 5:26 PM

Research shows that organizations who embrace the digital workplace gain a leg-up on the competition—these companies demonstrate faster time-to-innovation, higher employee retention, increased productivity and revenue growth.

Collaboration tools—such as Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams or YammerTM—offer space and functionality for workers to share experiences, perspectives and opportunities. Communications on these tools are innately more casual and candid than on more traditional tools like email, which can lead to more professional intimacy and authenticity.

But the realization of these tools’ promised innovations and streamlined enterprise communications hinges on the freedom of natural conversations and information sharing—across the entire organization.

Too Many Restrictions Can Lead to Increased Shadow IT Risk

Despite the clear benefits of digital enterprise collaboration platforms, organizations sometimes hesitate to fully implement these technologies. Leaders cite concerns around security against insider threats, regulatory compliance and company policies.

Some organizations limit their employees’ digital workplace to such a small arena that there is no freedom to navigate or collaborate outside the list of approved apps or websites. The approved list generally satisfies security and compliance standards, with little regard to understanding if the approved tools actually fulfill employees’ needs. Some organizations take it a step further and only allow certain groups of employees to participate in a sanctioned platform, completely hindering the free-flow of information that drives innovation.

With too many harsh barriers employees may seek shadow IT solutions to accomplish their day-to-day work. This creates a blind spot for both cybersecurity and HR professionals, with no insight into potential breaches or inappropriate communication.

The sweet spot for a digital workplace is a solution where IT leaders do everything in their power to say ‘yes’ to collaboration, but with a watchful eye and safeguards in place.

The Digital Workplace Safety Sweet Spot: Say Yes, with Safeguards

Sometimes the key to mitigating a massive cyberbreach is just a bit of coaching. The Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center reports that 90% of security breaches are due to human error—versus a malicious insider.

What if, instead of blocking inappropriate or risky shared content, your employees were empowered to learn from their action with some intentional coaching?

By leveraging monitoring and natural language processing solutions in cyber security, your team can allow information and file sharing—but have the appropriate platforms in place to investigate and intervene as necessary.

  • Perhaps sending an unsafe filetype triggers an automated email educating the employee on why that filetype is unsafe and also offers an alternative for sharing the file’s content.
  • Maybe the posting of customer information triggers a notification to the employee’s manager to discuss the behavior with his or her employee to problem solve a different way to accomplish the employee’s objective.
  • And in extreme cases, such as an employee sharing personally identifiable information (PII) in an inappropriate channel, the sensitive information is automatically removed and the employee receives a link to watch a compliance video on how to handle PII

By going beyond CASB and DLP solutions and working to educate employees on best practices—you are setting your employees up for success, discouraging the use of shadow IT, and ultimately investing in risk mitigation moving forward.

Learn more about Aware’s risk management suite and why its reducing barriers—while increasing adoption—of Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams and Yammer for enterprises around the globe.

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