Third-Party Mobile Messaging Platforms Jeopardize Sensitive Data

Many enterprises allow their employees to use third-party messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, G-chat, Google Hangouts or Skype, to communicate with each other throughout the workday.

On the surface, nothing is inherently wrong with these services, but employees often use them to exchange sensitive documents or data with each other, clients, external partners, or stakeholders.

According to a study by Infinite Convergence Solutions, only 17% of companies say they use an internal, company-created mobile messaging app more often than third-party applications.

Unsecured employee communication, regardless of the medium, is a security risk.

“Third-party messaging apps, especially those that are primarily for consumer use, do not have the necessary security regulations in place to protect sensitive or classified business information,” stated Anurag Lal, CEO of Infinite Convergence.

Fifty-four percent of retail employees, 51% of healthcare employees, 44% of legal employees and 38% of finance employees say their company does not have an official mobile-messaging platform.

But many companies are inclined to sacrifice security for the sake of convenience. “Instead of implementing an enterprise-grade platform, employers are allowing their employees to use the apps they’re most familiar with for personal use, which risks information being compromised,” stated Lal.

Employees in every industry, according to the study, are willing to switch to a company-wide messaging platform if one were to be implemented. Eighty-four percent said they would use their company’s messaging service if there was one.

“Many [employees] are aware that consumer apps are not secure, but their employers are not providing an official, compliant platform for their use,” stated Lal.

As individuals allow mobile devices to ingratiate themselves into their lives in an ever-increasing manner, companies need to think more conscientiously about their internal security and communications policies.

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