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Can you trust Whatsapp to keep your business information secure? [New data]

Whatsapp may expose your business to security risks

Enterprise CIO recently revealed the most banned software technologies in businesses today: WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Why?

“The majority of the banned apps were flagged by Appthority for data leakage, as well as vulnerabilities such as disabling default HTTPS encryption.
... WhatsApp Messenger, for instance, has a relatively high risk score of 7 out of 10 in terms of data leakage on both iOS and Android. Facebook shares the same risk score, despite being slightly less popular among enterprises.” - Enterprise CIO

Don’t leave your company vulnerable by using WhatsApp or Messenger for work

Enterprises are worried about lax security on the apps their employees use. In the first 6 months of 2019, over 4 billion records were exposed in data breaches. Confidential company information, such as financial results or links to internal files, could be hijacked and shared as employees use consumer-grade messaging apps or simple texts to collaborate.

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) should be just as wary of these insecure apps as large enterprises. If you work in or own an SMB, take a step back and consider how much private financial and operational information is being shared every day over texts and WhatsApp. Beyond security, there are other downsides of using a consumer messaging tool for business.

Use of insecure apps start at the top

If you are a business leader, chances are you may be the source of potential security breaches for your business.

Flock surveyed 500 small US-based business owners and leaders, and our findings show that the more senior you are, the more likely you are to be using informal messaging tools like texts and WhatsApp to communicate. CEO's and founders are 10% more likely to use informal messaging tools compared to managers!

CEOs and founders use informal messaging most
 

Startups use informal messaging more than regular SMBs

Surprisingly, tech-savvy startups have a higher rate of usage of informal messaging tools than established businesses. What’s interesting is that while 37% of startups reported using messaging tools like Slack, 56% also use informal messaging tools like text and WhatsApp to communicate. So why is this a big deal?

Startups use informal messaging more than SMBs
 

Should SMBs trust WhatsApp or Messenger to keep them secure?

SMBs - startup or not - are especially susceptible to security breaches due to their shorter technology adoption curve. The consequences of such incidences are exceptionally damaging since SMBs lack the budget and technical expertise to combat serious breaches.

Entrepreneur highlights four ways for SMBs to protect themselves from potential security incidents:

  1. Recognize that SMBs are highly lucrative targets
  2. Put security systems in place to safeguard your business
  3. Train employees continuously
  4. Use systems and tools that are easy and secure

Secure team communication software is accessible, even for SMBs

For team communication, consider moving away from texts or other consumer messaging tools and try using a business messaging solution that is designed for security. On top of keeping your business communication secure, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that these tools improve team collaboration.

Business communication and collaboration software like Flock allow team members to exchange messages - just like in a texting app - but offer a secure environment that gives business owners peace of mind.

What's more, there are productivity and efficiency benefits from using collaboration software. Modern business messaging tools offer more features for group chat - such as the ability to create open or private channels for specific topics and projects, video conferencing and screen sharing, file tracking, and note-taking. What’s better, messages and channels are searchable so you can trackback to a file or conversation from earlier in the month, something that’s very hard to do with texts.

How do you communicate for business and will you reconsider how you use tools like Whatsapp and Messenger moving forward?

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