The current state of security in the digital workplace
Hybrid and remote work are now permanent fixtures. Organizations that have returned to pre-pandemic operations still face immense pressure to offer hybrid work accommodations. The demand for cloud communication and collaboration tools has grown exponentially in these market conditions. Several Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) platforms have risen to meet the demand.
UCaaS solutions merge collaboration platforms like Cisco Webex Calling or Microsoft Teams Voice with cloud telephony. Based on these trends, it’s a safe bet that, eventually, most companies will utilize the benefits of UCaaS for both internal and external communications. The adoption of cloud telephony is the natural next step in the evolution of modern business communications, and it has been incredibly well-received across sectors.
However, the need for enhanced security protocols has grown as UCaaS continues to gain traction as a principal form of business communications. Unifying UCaaS and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions into a single platform means that security controls must be robust and flexible enough to deploy across varied environments. Beyond threats of security breaches, other pressures driving security include the widespread adoption of cybersecurity insurance, which dictates which strong security measures organizations must take. Additionally, regulators from HIPAA and other regulatory bodies increasingly demand enhanced security practices. In this blog, we will review core technologies driving digital workplace communications and explore the security threats posed to UCaaS, as well as the security solutions emerging to oppose them. By understanding the security technologies landscape, your company can safely access the full benefits of UCaaS solutions.
The challenges of securing UCaaS
Security is one of the most significant benefits of adopting a UCaaS platform. On-premises data centers need ongoing maintenance, including patching, firmware, and hardware updates, upgrading infrastructure, and firewall management. UCaaS transfers security management to the service provider.
Managed services are not just for collaboration or communications but for all types of workflows and Software as a Service (SaaS) use cases. Businesses crave the benefits of on-prem equipment without the need for costly maintenance, which managed services provide.
Cloud infrastructure is undoubtedly more secure than on-prem data centers. However, that does not mean that there are no threats. Cybercriminals continue to develop threats of increasing sophistication that target the digital workplace. Remote workers vastly increase the number of connections, devices, and apps that interact with your company’s network. Each one of these network communication points is a potential backdoor or vulnerability.
Video calling and collaboration platforms also have security concerns. “Zoom bombing” and other eavesdropping attacks highlight the need to encrypt recordings, connections, and end-to-end file sharing.
Enhanced security tools for UCaaS
Next-gen security protocols, especially SSE and SASE, deliver cloud firewall protection—CASB, ZTNA, CSGW—to any device. These new protocols shift the paradigm from building fortifications around an organization to creating a “wall” around each user. Microsoft Security Protocols are native in Teams and other programs in the Microsoft Suite, but they should be applied in conjunction with SASE when securing software supply chains or custom-built apps.
Other security innovations include:
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR): AI-powered malware and virus detection that flags suspicious user activity.
- Cloud access security broker (CASB): Monitor API flow in multi-cloud environments and feature threat detection and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions.
- Device ID and management: Admins gain greater control and visibility of devices connected to the organizational network.
- Patch management and vulnerability testing: Systemized patch management and testing and regular threat assessments significantly reduce the risk of security breaches.
OnX Canada deploys these tools with security philosophies like zero trust networking access (ZTNA), which reduces risk by limiting permissions based on a user’s role.
Integration and streamlining
Advanced security tools are needed to defend today’s digital workplace properly. However, many organizations struggle to balance too many moving parts—a concept known as tool sprawl. In choosing the appropriate security features from various vendors, your IT team may wind up overseeing half a dozen or more security platforms. Tool sprawl challenges even the most seasoned IT professionals. In response, industry leaders such as Palo Alto Networks are working to combine many of their critical offerings into singular dashboards.
A managed security provider like OnX removes the tool sprawl factor by becoming the main point of contact across tools, platforms, and vendors.
The demand for streamlined controls comes with the need for integrated workflows. Vendors may meet this demand by creating interoperable dashboards operating across multiple tools or platforms (even ones from outside vendors). If this feature is not built into your platforms, OnX can build a custom dashboard to manage all your security vendors and tools in one place.
Machine learning and AI
Advanced AI fuels better threat identification, monitoring, and remediation efforts. Machine learning tools monitor your UCaaS system and the rest of your network to protect against real-time threats.
Compliance legislation such as the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in the U.S. force IT leadership to consider compliance management. Hiring a managed services provider such as OnX helps keep your company ahead of ever-evolving data compliance standards.
Achieve the full benefits of UCaaS by partnering with OnX Canada
The drive for organizations to adopt cloud-based platforms will only grow in the future. To fully benefit from UCaaS solutions, IT leadership should select managed security providers with broad experience in securing communications. With its highly refined processes, OnX can implement UCaaS systems while ensuring maximum security by deploying next-gen security tools and philosophies.
Additionally, OnX provides end-to-end solutions to support each phase of an organization’s digital transformation. Contact us to learn more about getting the most benefit from your UCaaS platform and implementing security tools that help your company grow without fear.