As companies face challenges to manage secure messaging around the world, data protection solutions are becoming part of the new normal and, more than ever, businesses are mastering the way data can target audiences more precisely and accurately. The problem is that, in 2020, hackers proved they can redirect cyberattacks from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
Last year might not have been a good year for cybersecurity, but experts predict a cyberattack to take place every 11 seconds in 2021. Millions of Americans show great concern about data protection and privacy and numerous data leaks have influenced them: 52% of Americanshave decided not to buy or sign up for online services because they feared for their data security.
So, in order to make customers feel safe with your service and keep them coming back for more, we have gathered a list of the must-have features your team should keep in mind.
Cybersecurity is the new competitive advantage for companies
The lesson learned from 2020 and the risks of 2021 show us that the time has come for professionals to think of security as a proactive strategy rather than a reactive contention measure. In order to offer a safe digital space for customers, data-driven companies must become aware of how important data protection and privacy are.
Here are a few reasons why data protection is worth your time and effort:
1 - Your customer is paying attention
In case you are still wondering if your company should be looking for data protection solutions, a survey conducted by McKinsey should convince you. They interviewed 1,000 North Americans to understand how they feel in relation to data collection and it turns out half of them are more likely to trust companies that are proactive at tackling data protection issues.
A recent survey conducted by PCI Pal shows that 83% of Americans state they will stop consuming from a business for several months in the case of a security breach. And even though consumers’ trust is low overall, it varies according to the industry segment, with healthcare and financial sectors being trusted the most, by 44% of consumers. This shows why it’s so important to work on your cybersecurity and make sure you won’t lose customers due to data leaks.
2 - Everything is connected, vulnerabilities are everywhere
As a user, it’s often accurate to assume you don’t know how many different logins and passwords you have created so far. Technology is converging to a point where most tools and data are connected in order to make our day-to-day life easier. But as companies’ processes become more automated, hackers will get more and more opportunities to attack unprotected communication and team collaboration tools.
3 - Security breaches and data leaks cost a lot of money
Another reason why cybersecurity is a growing priority is the fact that most companies cannot afford the cost that security breaches cause. A recent IBM report calculated the average cost a data leak causes to be an eyebrow-raising US$3.62 million.
Additionally, new laws and regulations are being created by countries with the intention of holding businesses accountable for the data they deal with. Data compliance demands attention and up-to-date security, otherwise your company will pay fines and penalties for data regulation laws like GDPR, HIPAA and others.
5 Security features that every company should keep in mind
The global health crisis of Covid-19 brought to light a scenario full of vulnerabilities that made cybersecurity an urgent issue. Millions of people had to work from their homes, forcing companies to transition from physical offices to remote work in a blink of an eye. The communication tools we use every day gather a lot of information, so ensuring data privacy and secure messaging is critical.
And as companies centralize communication in team collaboration platforms (such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Mattermost and more), these tools become prime targets for cyberattackers. For example, considered one of the largest hacks in the past five years, the cyberattack of the U.S. Treasury Department involved Microsoft Office 365, including Microsoft Teams and is a prime example of how critical the cyber-pandemic is. This leads us to our first must-have security feature every company should have in mind. Read on!
1 - Open Source
Besides exposing weak spots in many software platforms, the cyber-pandemic scenario also gave way to a growing alternative: open source. IBM has conducted a report called “The Hybrid Cloud Platform Advantage” and here are some findings:
- 94% of the consumers consider open source software equal or better than proprietary software;
- 70% of them prefer open source when it comes to choosing cloud providers.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, open source means the code of the software is transparent and 100% available for users to see, adjust, modify and protect it the way they want to. This is an extremely powerful feature nowadays, because it allows companies to work independently from service-providers and is simultaneously very safe.
As we’ve mentioned before, open source is the weapon companies must use in order to ensure data protection. Being open source means transparency, reliability and infinite innovation potential.
Here at Rocket.Chat, our product is a powerful open-source platform, thanks to a huge community of developers that are constantly improving the code. The platform is continuously improved by over 28,000 developers and counting. In case you are a developer reading this article, feel free to read our documentation. You’ll love to learn we are always working to keep it robust and up-to-date at all times.
Rocket.Chat’s latest security bundle release brings ClamAV, a highly rated open source antivirus app. In addition to having a virus database that is updated multiple times per day, it has features for email scanning and web scanning.
The antivirus app analyzes all files that are uploaded to Rocket.Chat. After checking the content, the app classifies any viruses that may be a threat, and prevents your team from even being able to open the files and risking your data security.
2 - End-to-end encryption (E2EE)
Most of the popular messaging services, like Slack, WeChat and Mattermost, do not have end-to-end encryption, so they are not typically recommended for businesses that deal with highly-sensitive data. Other messaging services support a data protection solution but not by default, such as Facebook Messenger, Gmail and Outlook, which require third-party tools.
Through end-to-end encryption (E2EE), users can chat privately with each other and only each other, because the transmission and storage of the messages is encrypted. Messages are protected in a way that prevents cyberattacks during transmission – only the sender and the recipient have access to the content.
One of the main improvements released in Rocket.Chat’s data protection bundle is the fact that now you can create private channels that are encrypted by default and you can continue E2EE chats with a new encryption key after a proper key reset.
3 - Data compliance
There are currently 110 countries that have data protection regulations, according to Privacy Desk. Of course, each country has their own set of rules and penalties, but they all focus on accountability of information. In other words, the company is supposed to be accountable about where the data is stored, what kind of data is being collected, and so on.
With data leaks happening often, it’s no wonder users are questioning how their data is being used and what kind of information companies are collecting on the Internet. Data rights come with data regulations and the law will hold companies accountable in case they fail to protect consumer data.
Here are some of the most required compliance regulations nowadays:
GDPR – The General Data Protection Rule was created by the European Union in 2016. It is aimed at simplifying the regulatory environment for international business, and giving individuals the right to control personal data.
HIPAA – It stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996”and is an American federal law that protects medical information.
CCPA – TheCalifornia Consumer Privacy Act that went into effect in 2021 and regulates how businesses handle the data of all California residents. In case you want to know more, our previous blog post will help you learn about it.
Data privacy laws have severe penalties and can turn your pockets inside out due to legal fees if things go awry, so being in a secure messaging chat app is critical. In case you want to learn more about compliance, here’s a blog post that will help you out.
As countries continue developing their own data compliance laws, working with data in a fully customizable platform like Rocket.Chat makes your task of ensuring compliance easier. It allows you to control who gets access to what information all of the time. And the fact that it is open source makes the data flow visible and transparent for your technology team.
4 - Data Loss Prevention
This tool is meant to prevent human errors, which are both common and often unintentional. It classifies controlled and confidential messages and helps companies make sure data security policies are being respected. For example, you can prevent passwords from being shared with people outside your company or team.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features enable users to identify and protect their company’s data. Admins are able to list and monitor expressions that, whenever detected, appear blurred. The original content is then forwarded to a predefined channel for an auditing flow and moderators can analyze the context and decide whether to approve or reject the message.
The DLP feature is also part of Rocket.Chat’s latest security bundle for secure messaging and data protection. In case you are wondering if Data Loss Prevention is the right fit for your business, you can read more here.
5 - Self-hosting (on-premise deployment)
As we’ve mentioned previously in this article, you shouldn’t have to rely on other companies’ servers for data protection. Rocket.Chat allows you to run the platform on your own infrastructure.
With Rocket.Chat you truly own your data and have a world of possibilities ahead. Because of the open source nature of the platform, you are able to customize the platform as you need and can get the best of it. It also allows you to set moderators to purge messages so your teams can manage themselves the way you want them to.
Mike Schwartz is the CEO and founder of Gluu, currently considered one of the most comprehensive open source management servers. As most of Gluu’s customers are data sensitive companies, Schwartz chose data privacy features that only Rocket.Chat could offer.
BONUS FEATURE: Constant pen testing!
In case you have the “what is a pen test” question in mind, penetration test (or pen test) is an exercise in which authorized professionals simulate cyberattacks in order to test vulnerabilities and potential weaknesses in the platform. Through a partnership with Radically Open Security (ROS), Rocket.Chat is constantly tested and improved.
At Rocket.Chat, pen testing is an indicator of how data protection is a bar that is continuously raised. Some of the security improvements suggested by the latest pen testing include a more secure Electron client for the desktop app and resilience against client-side cyberattacks.
Ready to own your communication?
Successful data security should be simple and crystal clear and that’s why Rocket.Chat is a secure messaging app that has security built into our products by design.
We raise the open source flag because we believe that it’s the way to safer cyberspace for everyone. Organizations that deal with highly sensitive information, like the U.S Navy for example, are choosing open source alternatives due to their transparency, compliance and total control over data privacy offered to users.
This is why we have created a platform with advanced security features to ensure secure messaging for everyone. In case you have doubts, feel free to get in touch with us! Shoot us an email and talk to our team!