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Collaboration and Communication Technology Sparks Enterprise Concern

A survey by Theta Lake found that unmonitored communication over channels like WhatsApp poses significant threats to security and compliance.

Collaboration and communication tools like Zoom have become an integral part of the workplace in the work-from-anywhere era. Even the most heavily regulated of industries are finding collaborative technologies a critical part of the communications infrastructure. Because of this, significant security and compliance challenges may be ahead. 

Software company Theta Lake, which provides enterprise security and compliance technology for collaboration and communication platforms, surveyed over 500 global compliance and security leaders for their annual report, “2022 Modern Communication Security and Compliance Report.” The company found that two-thirds of respondents believe employees use unmonitored communication channels. Eighty-one percent said they use chat and 63% use video to communicate more than they do email. Respondents regarded file sharing via chat functions, along with screensharing and screen recording, as the features posing the greatest risk. 

Compliance Challenges

Aside from security concerns, Theta Lake’s study also highlighted challenges that involve compliance and archiving across collaboration platforms. These challenges won’t impede collaborative tools from becoming more widespread, however. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents expect increasing usage of tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx by Cisco, and Slack, as well as a proliferation of new channels. This growth introduces complex problems for those tasked with maintaining compliance, security, and data privacy.

With the proliferation of new and complex collaborative channels, legacy and manual archiving technologies are creating critical blind spots. Thirty-nine percent of respondents cited gaps in coverage as a top challenge with their archiving tools. One such challenge is retrieving records and crucial information because of outdated or manual processes. Thirty-three percent said they use manual resources to search multiple communication systems and channels. Fifty-two percent cited the general difficulty in searching for information shared on collaborative platforms outside of email. With compliance crackdowns, the inability to retrieve information in a timely manner could result in potential sanctions and fines, making it a financial concern. 

Changes to Come

In response to these challenges, industries are expected to embrace new ways of working that prioritize more scrupulous regulatory checks, including a focus on communications recording and increased investments in surveillance technology.

“It’s clear the effectiveness of controls is determining the extent to which organizations are able to turn compliance and security challenges into competitive advantages,” the report states, underscoring just how crucial aggressive cybersecurity and compliance measures will become in a world with rapidly evolving modes of communication. 

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