Learn more about secure internal communications, including the different methods at your disposal, common threats and vulnerabilities, best practices, and what to look for in a secure internal communications platform.
Table of contents
The right internal communication tools keep your team connected and productive, no matter where they are.
In this article, we look at five key features of effective and secure internal communications platforms.
What Is Internal Communication and Why Is It Important?
An Internal communication platform is a system that allows information to be shared within your organization. It allows managers and employees to share knowledge and updates, ask and answer questions, and manage important tasks.
There are many benefits to using a secure internal communications platform:
- It protects sensitive data by ensuring conversations take place in a controlled environment. User permissions, revocable access, and the ability to remove inappropriate content keep conversations professional and private.
- It improves workplace productivity by making sure employees have the information they need. Features like checklists, forms, shift notes and knowledge base articles limit errors, increase efficiency, and reduce employee frustration.
- It contributes to a strong workplace culture through group discussions, company-wide updates, and consistent documentation. This is especially important for deskless workers, who are prone to feeling disengaged from company culture.
- It helps keep mobile and lone workers safe. In industries such as construction and transportation, safety is a top priority. Real-time updates keep deskless employees informed and safe.
Different Methods of Secure Internal Communication
Businesses can ensure their internal communications are kept secure in several ways.
- Data encryption. Encryption on-device and in the cloud ensures conversations and company assets cannot be viewed by unauthorized individuals.
- Secure instant messaging allows managers and employees to exchange files and discuss work-related topics, without the distraction or security issues of personal text messaging.
- User permissions define who can see what assets and conversations at what time. The ability to group employees by jobsite, project or rank is especially useful.
- Cloud-based solutions limit what information is stored on employees’ devices and give greater control over all company assets.
Common Threats to Secure Internal Communications
The right software can help alleviate many common security concerns. However, businesses still need to be mindful of security, especially when it comes to human error.
Common threats include:
- Unauthorized access. Where the wrong people can access company information. Managers should perform regular audits of user permissions and ensure the access of off-boarded employees has been revoked.
- Phishing attacks. This occurs when employees are tricked into revealing information or clicking on a link in a message. Employees should undergo regular security training to help them identify and avoid these attacks. Limiting conversations to a secure app, rather than everyday email or texting, helps as well. A dedicated group conversation allows employees to notify management and one another of suspicious emails.
- Insider data abuse. Intentional misuse of sensitive data by employees is an unpleasant reality. Share only as much information as employees need to do their job and focus on building good company culture, which can greatly limit abusive intentions.
Best Practices for Secure Internal Communication
Knowing the threats to your company’s security is just the start. Here are the must-have elements of an internal communication policy to keep your information safe.
- Encrypt private data. Employee records, customer data, financial reports, and other sensitive data should all be encrypted. Any software you use should do this by default.
- Use secure apps. Apps designed for business have built-in security features. They give authorized personnel control and the ability to monitor communications.
- Limit access to private information. Only employees who need access to sensitive information should have it. Monitor who accesses sensitive files to prevent misuse of data.
- Offer data security training. Employee training will educate your employees to data security threats and teach them best practices when chatting and sharing company assets.
- Create and regularly update and review security policies These tell employees how to use software securely and what their obligations are.
- Use multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication requires users to prove their identity (e.g. by entering a code sent to their mobile phone) in addition to entering a password.
- Update your software. Always update company software to the latest version. Alternatively, use a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform like Connecteam, which is always up-to-date.
How to Choose a Secure Internal Communications Platform
Look for these features when choosing a secure internal communications platform.
Data encryption, user permissions, and cloud-based storage
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption is the gold-standard for securing data during transmission. Make sure your internal communications platform supports this.
Additionally, choose a platform that lets you control who has access to what data. You should be able to set user and group permissions for documents, chats, and other company assets, and revoke access on the fly.
Finally, company data should never be kept on employees’ devices. Conversations that take place on Connecteam, for example, are stored securely in the cloud, and cannot be downloaded or shared by employees.
Budget and scaling
Be wary of platforms that have a high per-user pricing model. $10 per user may not seem like much, but for even a small company of 15 people, that $150 per month. This makes scaling difficult. It’s also a wholly unnecessary cost, as cost-effective solutions do exist.
Connecteam, for example, offers a Small Business Plan that’s free for up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $29 per month for up to 30 users, and $0.50 per user after that.
Finally, rather than paying for separate operations, communications and human resources software, go for an all-in-one platform. Not only will it be cheaper, it will also be much more secure.
Usability and compatibility
One of the greatest threats to secure internal communications is poor usability.
Employees quickly become frustrated with tools that are difficult to use and will adopt less secure methods like personal text messaging as a result. Use of these unauthorized applications puts company assets at significant risk.
Any platform you use must also be compatible with your current software and fit into existing workflows and day-to-day operations. Customizability is therefore an important feature. All-in-one platforms also help solve the issue of compatibility and make for smooth operations.
Secure internal communications ensure company assets remain safe while day-to-day operations run smoothly. Connecteam is the best internal communications and team management app available today, with tools to keep teams aligned and productive.
It features a rich in-app chat experience that’s engaging for employees, simple to manage, and highly secure. Managers can create chat groups for projects, clients, shifts, and more, and have full control over who’s involved in the conversation. Chats are never stored on employee devices, and when an employee is offboarded, their access to company information is immediately revoked.
You can use surveys and polls to gather feedback from employees and make informed decisions. Your employees will appreciate having their voices heard, and you’ll gain powerful insights into your employees’ experiences.
Finally, Connecteam has tools to help you organize events, securely share knowledge and company information, share updates with individual teams or your entire organization, and more.
You can manage all your internal communications, operations, HR and more with Connecteam for seamless and secure team management..