Handling Data Security Challenges In Slack - Newport Paper House

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Handling Data Security Challenges In Slack

You've managed to get your Slack team off the ground and are happy with the team's communication flow. Then, one of your colleagues decides to share a sensitive document containing information about their research project on Slack.

Judging by how quickly Slack has become an integral part of some workplace conversations, it would be easy to assume that sharing sensitive documents on this platform is nothing out of the ordinary.

Still, there are quite a few Slack data security concerns you should keep an eye out for. That's why we're diving into these concerns as well as how you can handle them.

Employee and Guest User Onboarding

One of the biggest security concerns any Slack account user has to deal with is how to effectively onboard employees and guest users on Slack.

What we mean by this is how do you best ensure that you've got full control of your company's Slack account without the risk of opening it up to the wrong people?

The answer here lies within your Slack account's access controls.

For instance, if you want to allow multiple team members to have access to a shared channel, but only if they're contributing to a particular project, then you'll want to make sure that only those people can access that channel.

Fortunately, if you've got your team members or users hooked up to your Slack authentication app, you don't have to worry about onboarding as long as you've got a Slack admin (or administrator) who can take care of the rest.

Onboarding a guest user at this point is just a matter of adding them to the guest list and delegating them with specific permissions. As far as those people go, you can't do anything about them accessing Slack until now.

Interestingly enough, this is also one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to Slack data security, particularly from the guest's side. It doesn't matter how good your guest user onboarding app is if you aren't doing a good job in protecting the sensitive data you're sharing with your guest users on Slack.

To make sure guests and user don't overstay their welcome, cut off access immediately after they're no longer needed. Also, you can always review the access logs to make sure no one is overstaying their welcome.

Owner and Admin Access Rights

Another Slack data security concern any company should be aware of is the issue of accessing shared channels.

Take, for instance, giving an admin ultimate access to creating, sharing, and deleting groups or users from your workspace. This has its benefits, but it also has its risks, particularly when the wrong person gets ahold of these admin rights.

To mitigate this risk, you'll want to be careful in assigning permissions. For example, instead of giving one person access to all your Slack account's shared channels, you should just give them access to the specific channel(s) they need to get the job done.

The best part about regular reviews is that you'll be able to keep track of how much access each team member needs or doesn't need. You'll just have to keep tabs on these changes so that you don't end up sharing sensitive data with the wrong people.

On top of these, there are also small tweaks you can do to help prevent Slack data security issues such as installing the Two-Factor Authentication for Slack and disabling direct messages from certain guests and users.

Third-Party Integrations

Despite its versatility, Slack is still a platform that has a lot of room for third-party integration. Unfortunately, this also makes Slack one of the top places for cybercriminals to target.

For instance, if you're not careful about making sure you're installing the right apps—or any apps at all—onto your Slack account and workspace, you could be putting your company's security at risk.

We recommend doing a thorough security audit of all third-party apps you add to your Slack account and workspace. This will ensure that you're only trusting and installing safe apps.

You should also be cautious about who has access to these integrations as well. For instance, instead of giving every two-factor authentication app or password manager access to your entire Slack account, it'll be a good idea to give them only the permissions they need on their own accounts.

Improving Your Slack Security

There are a few more things you can do to keep your Slack account and workspace secure. For instance, we recommend mounting a two-factor authentication app on Slack as this gives you extra security for accessing your account.

Similarly, you should also limit how much of your sensitive data is shared with external users or guest users. You can do this by limiting the number of external and guest users you invite to Slack or by removing their access to shared channels as soon as they're no longer needed.

Either Way, Slack is still a great platform for organizing team conversations and a great place for you to communicate with your employees, colleagues, and partners.

However, there are still ways you can improve your security settings so that Slack is nothing but a fun place for you and your colleagues to talk about the latest game of ping pong.

Still have questions? We're here to help - get in touch with us by leaving a comment below.

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