Speed Limits

With instant messaging (IM) tools becoming increasingly important within companies for collaboration and rapid response, the threats exposed by these same tools are becoming a greater concern for cyber security and associated legal matters, says writer Carl Weinschenk in IT Business Edge.

Used for more informal communications, and offering more immediate conversation, employees are often less concerned about sensitive matters in such a format, discussing items in more casual terms and not considering the ramifications if such discussions would be exposed in legal matters. Similarly, with IM tools often moving under the radar of corporate security, companies need to form effective strategies to ensure tools are either approved or blocked, and employees are trained in proper use.

In particular, WhatsApp represents a risk because it is integrated with and supported by Facebook, which makes it a readily available route for instant communication. The app is also at least partially out of the control of IT departments, and a potential vector by which sensitive information can be transmitted outside of controlled networks, according to international business and IT consultant Pablo Valerio in an article on InformationWeek.