Slack is a fast, secure, and reliable project management platform to communicate with your team. It also comes with some pretty powerful features that allow you to customize how data flows through the app.
With this article, we’ll show you how Slack builds in security by default, what kind of information it collects about your usage habits, and how you can control who has access to your account—all without sacrificing communication speed or reliability.
The benefits of using Slack are clear. It can help you boost your team’s productivity by making it easy to communicate and collaborate in real-time. But with great power comes great responsibility, and businesses need to be aware of the data protection risks associated with using messaging apps like Slack.
1. Slack’s Built-in Security Features
Slack comes with many features that help keep your data safe and secure from cyberattacks.
Slack encrypts data at rest and in transit for all of its clients by default. This implies that your communications are safe, even if they’re intercepted along the way.
They also have enterprise mobility management (EMM) integrations with top providers like to make it easier for companies to integrate their existing EMM solutions into Slack.
Slack Enterprise Key Management (EKM) is another tracking tool that helps businesses keep their data safe by giving administrators the ability to manage and monitor data shared by employees.
Audit logs help administrators keep track of who is accessing what data in Slack and when. This information can be invaluable in determining whether or not an unauthorized individual has accessed sensitive company data.
In addition to these features, Slack also offers audit logs and integrations with data loss prevention (DLP) providers. Adding DLP for Slack to your security arsenal can help you detect and prevent accidental data leaks before they become a problem.
2. Security Issues of Slack
Although Slack’s default security tools help protect your messages and other data, they’re not fool proof.
The biggest security issue is that Slack’s tools are options, not required features. If your company doesn’t take advantage of the built-in security tools, employees could inadvertently share sensitive data with unauthorized individuals, especially if you are internationalizing your business.
This is especially true if admins aren’t aware of Slack’s features or how to use them properly. Even worse, some organizations may choose not to enable these options because they believe that they’ll slow down communication or make the app less user-friendly.
Using Slack without dedicated IT support to help configure the app is another security concern. Without proper configuration, Slack can leave your business exposed to data leaks and other potential problems that could put it at risk of a costly breach or lawsuit.
The standard versions of Slack are also not HIPAA compliant, making them a bad choice for companies that handle sensitive healthcare information.
3. Slack Security Tips
Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your company’s sensitive information despite the drawbacks we mentioned above. If your admins understand how Slack works and have dedicated IT support, they can use the built-in security features as well as third-party tools to ensure that their data stays safe.
Many of Slack’s security features are optional, so it’s up to admins and employees to take advantage of them.
As a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, security is only as strong as the people using Slack. Organizations must do more than just create an account on Slack to safeguard themselves against the plethora of security risks.
The most pressing security issue on Slack comes from the inside. Employees comfortable using Slack may loosen their company’s data security by sharing sensitive information with unauthorized contacts or using features that don’t protect their messages.
Employees must be trained during onboarding ideally, threats must be monitored, and layered security measures must be implemented in addition to those included in Slack’s default options.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe using Slack
- Make sure your company has a dedicated IT team that understands how the app works and can configure it accordingly. This will help admins take advantage of all of Slack’s security tools as well as give them the ability to monitor activity.
- Regularly audit your Slack channels to make sure sensitive data isn’t being shared inadvertently.
- Train employees on how to use Slack safely and effectively. This includes knowing not to share sensitive information in public channels and using the app’s privacy settings correctly.
- Use two-factor authentication for added security.
- Link up with third-party tools that shore up any gaps in Slack’s security—as we mentioned, Slack offers easy integration with DLP providers that shore up data leakage prevention.
Despite its limitations, Slack is a powerful communication and business tool that can be used safely and securely if admins are aware of its features and how to use them. With the right precautions in place, your business can reap the benefits of this app without putting itself at risk.