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A Quick Checklist for Enterprise Collaboration Security

by Aware HQ

Cover your apps with these fast, simple steps to alignment on collaboration information governance and security. 

Whether your organization implemented collaboration tools almost overnight in response to pandemic shutdowns, or you’ve enjoyed the time to roll out collaboration more deliberately, the risk presented by collaboration datasets cannot be overstated. No amount of preparation could encompass the unique challenges of collaboration. 

The communications happening on platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace from Meta (formerly Facebook) and Yammer are unique. They are chatty, casual, and incredibly unstructured. Compared with the linear nature of traditional communication tools like email, collaboration data is a tangled mess.

IT leaders are uniquely placed to recognize the blind spots within collaboration datasets, but how do you improve your risk posture and increase compliance across information that grows exponentially? What is clear is that ignoring the risks of enterprise collaboration is no longer acceptable. Unregulated use of messaging apps has cost the Fortune 500 $1.8 billion since December 2021. The regulators are coming, and when they do, businesses had better be prepared. 

Managing and mitigating risk and imposing collaboration security is not the remit of IT leaders alone. By following the steps in our quick checklist, discover how you can align a team of stakeholders from across the organization to secure your collaboration tools. 


Need to save this list for later? Download a PDF version straight to your inbox. 


A Quick Checklist for Enterprise Collaboration Security 

 Build your team and enable RBAC

  • Align your mission with stakeholders from other departments, including Legal, Compliance, InfoSec and Finance.  
  • Empower your stakeholders to establish collaboration retention policies, intelligent search, and data loss prevention measures by implementing role-based access controls (RBAC).  

Consolidate collaboration control 

  • Understand where employees are collaborating. Be sure to consider both endorsed and shadow (freemium) IT solutions.  
  • Identify ways to standardize acceptable use and retention policies across all collaboration tools.  
  • Proactively communicate endorsed tools and policies to employees.  

Extend your information governance and enrichment strategy 

  • Assess the organization's ability to handle the unique characteristics of collaboration data, including edits, deletions, private messages/hidden conversations, as well as files and attachments.  
  • Understand where collaboration data is stored (including any data archives) and how your records management policies apply to public, private and direct messages.  
  • Identify your organization’s ability to set dynamic retention policies that align with your records management policies, while also preserving important business context. Confirm your ability to purge data from the collaboration platform and any corresponding archives.  
  • Consider data enrichment technologies that apply metadata to messages for easy searchability, as appropriate for collaboration conversations. Applicable metadata could include modifications, deletions, message attachments (define type) and images. Also consider additional AI/ML metadata.  
  • Remind Legal and InfoSec leaders to balance information governance needs against the impact on the end user to retain high levels of adoption, protect your collaboration investments and minimize shadow IT. 

Formalize regulatory and compliance processes 

  • Support legal departments in outlining policies and procedures to satisfy employee Data Subject Access Requests and the right to be forgotten, such as required by the GDPR or CCPA.  
  • Identify tools that provide rules-based solutions to address accidental sharing of restricted data like PHI/PII/PCI and other confidential information.  
  • Work together to develop defensible monitoring and moderation processes to ensure compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA.  

Enable legal & eDiscovery workflows  

  • Review the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) framework to understand the standards for discovery for electronically stored information.  
  • Identify a solution to create an immutable archive of conversation content, including context, that preserves edits and deletions and creates defensible audit logs.  
  • Develop a strategy to create and release legal holds across all endorsed collaboration platforms.  
  • Assess efficient eDiscovery options to quickly filter through conversation data. Consider features that may be unique to collaboration tools, such as @ mentions, as well as the ability to export messages and message context.   
  • Understand your ability to leverage topics and big-data analysis to surface case analytics, participants and/or groups.  

Simplify your enterprise collaboration security strategy with Aware’s out of the box solution 

Discover how Aware’s turnkey platform quickly and easily mitigates risk across top collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Workplace from Meta.

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Topics:Enterprise CollaborationInformation Governance