Over the past years, Slack has gained popularity, especially among businesses with most top Fortune 100 companies already using it.
This only proves that it has become one of the leading platforms for organizations to do business considering its impressive features.
However, like in any online platform, there is a risk in cybersecurity where hackers can find their way to infiltrate your network and acquire sensitive information. It is therefore imperative that you do the necessary research to check the security of Slack as well as prevention measures to protect your online branch within the platform.
Collaboration platforms are certainly valuable tools in today’s new ways of working. Though, it should be noted that security steps such as passwords and private chats are not enough to protect your data as a company.
This article will explore cybersecurity challenges that you might face using Slack and how to overcome them. Let’s get right to it!
1. The Security of Slack
In comparison with other messaging apps, Slack doesn’t have end-to-end encryption which is a security concern for some. A possible data breach could put the users in a real bad situation with this. Meanwhile, other companies are fine with this setup as their bosses would like to maintain full visibility into communications across various work channels.
If you’re planning to use Slack, you should be aware of the risk that your organization will be liable should there be a confidential data breach subject to compliance regulations. Therefore, some opt for installing data loss prevention (DLP) tools that could help them to classify and prioritize data security. Companies can be assured that having a DLP tool strengthens data security allowing apps to be eligible for HIPAA regulations among other regulatory compliance.
Since Slack also uses HTTPS encryption, the security is at the mercy of the platform and its security protocols which could start a business disaster if trade secrets shared on the channels leaked. It is almost impossible to monitor everything manually so there is such a high risk that organizations should be on the lookout for.
It is important that you’re also aware of the Slack hacking incident in 2015 when you’re considering using the platform for your business. Some accounts have been compromised at that time as its systems were hacked for over four days, leaking user data such as their email addresses and passwords. This has prompted Slack to finally enforce two-factor authentication.
2. Possibility of Phishing Attacks
One of Slack’s features is allowing many users to easily communicate in open communities where an individual simply needs a username to be verified. While this can be convenient for some, it still poses the possibility of phishing attacks such as directing people to a fake landing site to collect their financial data.
Your company’s security team should remain vigilant and not automatically assume that everyone truly has a verified identity. Be on the lookout for malicious content posted on servers as well to put an added layer of defense. Other precautions can be implemented as needed upon discussing them with your management.
3. Addressing Slack Security Concerns
Despite the said risks, there are ways to protect your business on Slack. Vendors can use their open-source APIs to create security solutions where they can install different security apps for Slack. It is possible to do account blocking, URL filtering, attachments evaluation, and malware protection among others with available solutions that can be implemented.
You can consider looking into SafeGuard Cyber and Avanan to check how they established their security platforms. Moreover, you must deliberate carefully about authorizing access rights as well as user provisioning and de-provisioning. It would be wise to avoid providing other people access to your Slack channels as much as possible.
Do not forget to revoke access rights to those who have left the company as well to further prevent possible malicious content from being posted. Come up with a documented process on how to conduct your security controls just to ensure that all bases are covered as you mitigate threats.
You should also consider regular training for your employees so that they can have a thorough understanding of the security risks on Slack. This can be an opportunity to provide them with guidelines on the things that they only discuss and what they should do in case they come across malicious content or accidental disclosure.
In such scenarios, be prepared to activate automated solutions where you can quickly alert your admins to do mitigation procedures. Doing so will allow you to be one step ahead of the game, preventing further data leaks and being ready to copy with consequences in a smooth manner.
In summary, understanding the security of Slack and knowing possible solutions to address risks are the first important steps to covering cybersecurity when using the platform. Implement two-factor authentication, install security apps, and guide your employees through training. Establish your processes to be prepared for any cybersecurity crisis that may come your way.