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Does Workplace Collaboration lead to data security threats?   

Workplace collaboration has been steadily evolving from sharing of information through simple email attachments to more sophisticated cloud-based applications sharing. In the business world, where every organization is garnering unique business practices to gain a competitive edge, data is the king.

This means that data has to be shared between organizations, where both mutually benefit. Access to the right information adds clarity and helps in faster decision-making. Working in teams enables employees to share information quickly across teams and businesses.

While the benefits outweigh the risks, data sharing between teams and between organizations leads to data security risks. This is because data as we know, comes in different forms and multiple formats, it is also rapidly changing and growing.

A tremendous volume of data is generated every second and data owners practically lose positive control of their assets leading to security threats and risks. Data sharing across the distributed network also leads to illegal access to network traffic and confidential information.  

Data security challenges in workplace collaboration 

Let’s look at some of the data security challenges in workplace collaboration:

  • Growing complexity makes organizations more vulnerable to attacks – As organizations expand their business and go digital, they have a wide range of assets that need to be protected. Even with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art firewalls and malware detection software, with third-party suppliers being their weakest link (read our article on third-party suppliers) organizations are easily prone to cyberattacks.
  • Working remotely  – Working remotely has brought with it a new set of challenges. While organizations have facilitated or enabled their employees to work remotely, they have taken security for granted. Data is taken out of the security system and is exposed to various users through file shares and collaboration tools. End users are not as skilled in managing access to sensitive data. Organizations have failed to apply the same security controls which they apply for on-premise safety thus exposing their valuable data. 
  • Lack of accountability – As the exchange of data becomes more and more complex, and the information exchange cycle becomes large, the sheer size of the communities accessing the system increases the risk to those systems. Identifying users who access the system and managing them adds to the risks.
  • Cybersecurity solutions are reduced to a checklist level– In most organizations, cybersecurity measures are introduced every now and then. Unfortunately, these measures are only formal compliances and checklists that the person responsible ticks off. It should rather be more focused on protecting valuable data.
  • IoT creates new entry points to defend– In the past, a large enterprise network might have a limited number of endpoints. But with the advent of IoT today there are millions of endpoints. Many of the old devices are outdated in their data security measures.
  • Insider threats – While a large number of cyberattacks are attributable to external party threats, a sizeable number of breaches and leaks comes from an inside element. The insider may be wholly or partially, willingly or unknowingly be responsible for the attack.
  • Treating cybersecurity risk as a technical issue– Many organizations still treat cybersecurity as a technical issue that needs to be taken care of by the IT department. They tend to invest in technical gadgets and underinvest in complexity reduction and consistent coverage of their whole value chain such as vendor risk management. Organizations must understand that data, infrastructure, applications, and people are exposed to different types of threats and levels. A comprehensive cybersecurity program that mitigates risks at all levels is required. 

In the new business world where everything is on the move yet connected through collaboration, organizations need to adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity system. While the rapid changes have accelerated the adoption of collaborative tools and decentralized management, organizations must rethink their security.

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They have to address cybersecurity risk from a business standpoint. It may not be possible to cover all endpoints in one go but they need to prioritize protecting their sensitive data. 

  • Focus on your sensitive data – Put controls on who has access to what information. Monitor the data 
  • Limit the access – Put a check on who can access what data. Identify whether it is overexposed. Classify data and user rights management system to limit access 
  • Protect data that needs to be accessed – Apply classification labels and encryption to data that moves out of the system 
  • Block unauthorized access – Apply fine-grained access policies to block unauthorized access to sensitive information

SECUDE is an established Microsoft partner and global security solutions provider offering innovative IT data protection for SAP users. Leveraging its 20-plus years of experience in SAP security and business process know-how in protecting enterprise IP and data, SECUDE’s products and solutions provide a holistic approach to protecting SAP data exports.

To learn how SECUDE can help mitigate your organization’s data security risks during workplace collaboration get in touch with us at

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