Flocks enterprise messaging system

It is highly inadvisable to allow work collaboration and messaging over WhatsApp: Devashish Sharma, CTO, Flock

The disruption that communication platforms have caused is immense. This digital world rides on the power of these ubiquitous platforms that are an undeniable necessity for any kind of communication. But amidst security breaches and cyber thefts, a generic messaging platform, like WhatsApp, will certainly not be suitable for business/corporate message exchanges.

When business productivity now a days depends heavily on effective mobile communication, a secure enterprise-grade messaging platform is therefore in great demand. As enterprise messaging covers the growing convergence of both physical and virtual communication, communication glitches across geographical borders get blurred, and it significantly eliminates the threat of security breaches.

One such popular enterprise-grade messaging platform provider is Flock. The company is India’s pioneering simple and efficient team messaging app with advanced security features that makes collaboration between any enterprises’ team members easy.

Devashish Sharma, CTO, Flock, in an interaction with VoicenData explains why not having a strong security apparatus in place can lead to official and confidential company data being compromised and runs the risk of cybertheft. Few excerpts:

VoicenData: In lieu of the recent reports wherein employees sell confidential data to competitors, how important is it to have a separate team collaboration app for corporates?

Devashish Sharma: While generic platforms offer the same basic communication benefits as their workplace-specific counterparts – that is the ability to send messages – they are not designed with enterprise-grade security in mind. This is especially true in certain industries where non-compliance with regulations can have legal implications. The recent WhatsApp breach that targeted millions of people raises another weak point of these generic platforms. Their use by regular consumers at a large scale makes them a prime target for hackers looking to steal private information.

The recent WhatsApp breach that targeted millions of people raises another weak point of these generic platforms.

WhatsApp is not alone in these vulnerabilities; they likely exist in most consumer messaging apps. Given the pitfalls that can occur if sensitive information is exposed through a breach of employee communications, businesses should look for enterprise-grade communication and collaboration platforms with a specific set of security features to minimize risks. While there’s no silver bullet to prevent breaches, as hackers are getting more sophisticated by the day, there are features and certifications that lead to a safer and more secure employee communication strategy.

Security of team messenger apps is crucial as large amounts of valuable employee and organizational data are exchanged. Not having a strong security apparatus in place can lead to this data being compromised and runs the risk of cybercriminals getting hold of this data.

VoicenData: How important is it for messaging platforms to follow cybersecurity best practices? 

Devashish Sharma: Messaging platforms are the backbone for all company communications. Massive amount of supercritical business data and information is shared and stored on messaging platforms. The impact and consequences of a data leak could be disastrous for a business and can also lead to significant financial and legal liabilities for the business. So it is imperative that messaging platforms follow the best possible security practices to safeguard the interest of businesses dependent on them.

Impact and consequences of a data leak could be disastrous for a business and can also lead to significant financial and legal liabilities.

VoicenData: Can we know about Flock’s security quotient?

Devashish Sharma: Security is a top priority for us at Flock. All traffic between Flock clients and servers is encrypted using TLS 1.2, the industry standard for securing communications over the Internet. AES is our preferred cipher for encrypting all communication, and where available, perfect forward secrecy is used to protect against compromise of long-term private keys.

Also, one of our key driving principles with regards to privacy is that any message you send on Flock should only be visible to participants in that conversation. As a result, no third person can access messages exchanged in a one-to-one conversation, and only members of a private channel have access to messages exchanged in that private channel.

We also provide complete security assurance as we ensure that security requirements have been established for all software used in Flock, whether on the client or on the server. Security requirements are established for software development and operations & maintenance processes. Each code review includes an evaluation of the security requirements. We regularly perform an evaluation of software security and requirements.

We also provide complete security assurance as we ensure that security requirements have been established for all software used in Flock, whether on the client or on the server.

VoicenData: How can WhatsApp breach and security issues be solved by using team messengers like Flock?

Devashish Sharma: It is a huge security problem right now because a lot of people don’t realize the problems they face when sharing data and information on insecure communication platforms. As you have no idea how your data can be compromised. So, to me, it’s highly inadvisable to allow any kind of work collaboration over WhatsApp, as it’s a generic platform not meant for enterprises. I would suggest organizations to shift to a secure platform like Flock which has been specially built for business and workplace communication. Here, you have complete control over what information is shared and exchanged as well as you can be sure that your data is 100% secure.

So, to me, it’s highly inadvisable to allow any kind of work collaboration over WhatsApp, as it’s a generic platform not meant for enterprises.

VoicenData: How do you see this trend graduating in the coming years and how can this be aligned with Flock’s growth?

Devashish Sharma: I would say the whole category in terms of enterprise collaboration and communication, especially the messaging part is still extremely nascent. All the numbers we talked about are going to grow multi-fold in the coming years. People are realizing the power of using these tools in an enterprise environment. I believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who is a customer of email potentially is going to need a business communication software at some point. And these users are going to grow multi fold. While 200% year on year seems decent, we foresee 500% growth for at least a couple of years.

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