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Why security is the unsung hero of collaboration

A new era in the work environment has put a heavy emphasis on collaboration tools such as videoconferencing. This also demands a new solution for security, explains Lindsay Brown.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a wholesale reinvention of the way we work. Around one-third of some countries are now working from home, a figure translating to about 4.3 million people. This new way of working has put a heavy emphasis on collaboration tools, including videoconferencing, as a way of extending the office to people’s homes. And with that trend comes the need to ensure the chosen solution is secure.

Organisations will need to ensure they have the right security posture in place which includes an identity and access management (IAM) strategy that offers security for everyone and everywhere, while also remaining easy to use to drive collaboration. Securing a remote workforce doesn’t need to be a challenge, but it’s important that all aspects are considered to ensure a successful work from anywhere model – which is built on collaboration and productivity.

Keep it secure

When you’re collaborating and using videoconferencing, it’s important to go with a provider that has the credentials and track record to keep your vital data secure.

One of the key assessments you can use is the Australian Government’s Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP). IRAP is a comprehensive program that provides the framework to endorse companies to provide cyber security assessment services to the Australian government. The government is one of the largest consumers of IT services in the nation, so any endorsement it gives for technology services is one that is worth considering.

For example, LogMeIn recognised the importance of protecting Australian government organisations from modern cyber security threats, and to show our commitment to the local market, we ensured LastPass’ Australian credentials were bolstered with the IRAP assessment. According to the LastPass Psychology of Password report, 90 per cent of Australians know password reuse is insecure, yet more than two-thirds do it anyway (69%). So, focusing on building a company culture that prioritises security and providing easy to use solutions is necessary for supporting agile and collaborative workplaces of the future.

Keep it authenticated

One of the key vectors attackers use to gain access to systems is by social engineering, such as phishing, and through taking advantage of end users’ poor password hygiene. This includes using weak passwords and then reusing those passwords across multiple applications, possibly even using them in both personal and business contexts.

An enterprise password manager (EPM) is a good way to make sure staff are using strong, unique passwords each time they log into your remote conferencing solution, as well as any other application or device they’re using to get their work done. An EPM is also built to work well for protecting remote workforces, something that every company is currently dealing with under COVID-19.

Another powerful method for ensuring that only legitimate employees access your company resources is to implement a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system. With MFA, a staff member is required to have something they know (a password), something they have (usually a USB key or mobile device) and something you are (a biometric). It provides an additional layer of security to your remote workforce, and works to make sure that it’s even harder for a hacker or bad actor to gain access simply by stealing a password or discovering it through phishing or a social engineering attempt.

Keep the network available

We’ve all been there. You’re in a videoconference and it drops out, or the picture and audio become disconnected. That’s why it’s important to maintain a great network connection – without it, your collaboration tools become useless.

Working from home compounds these challenges, but with the National Broadband Network (NBN) connected to most houses, network reliability should be OK for those people who are remote. For businesses, investing in the right amount of bandwidth is also critical. Doing so will let your video and collaboration solutions work smoothly, even if the network is bogged down with other activity.

Without security, there can’t be seamless collaboration

COVID-19 has challenged us all during 2020. From lockdowns to working from home, we have all come to rely on collaboration and videoconferencing tools to keep our businesses going – and maintain those ever-important social and familial connections.

A holistic IAM strategy is critical to keeping a remote workforce productive and protected. With an integrated solution, workers are properly authenticated and can quickly access what they need to keep working collaboratively and efficiently. Would-be attackers, on the other hand, are thwarted by hard-to-crack passwords, strict authentication protocols and other requirements. Secure collaboration is the clear winner here.

Lindsay Brown is VP of Asia Pacific at LogMeIn. He has over 20 years of sales and executive management experience alongside a successful track record in growing and scaling emerging and established multi-national technology companies.

Read next: How remote workers can accelerate your business growth

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