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February 23, 2023

Seven Ways to Stay Compliant in Secure Business Communications

Organizations have a duty to protect and secure sensitive information that they have about their customers, partners, and employees. At the same time, they have legitimate reasons to share that information in-house and within their extended ecosystem using secure business communications.

With the right tools, companies can ensure secure business communications and collaboration so that sensitive data is being treated with the care and respect it deserves and requires. This means going beyond standard security offered by the likes of Microsoft 365 and adopting advanced, government-grade security, typically used in regulated industries. 

Let’s look at seven simple ways companies can significantly increase their chances of passing IT audits when handling sensitive information in secure business communications.

1. Strong encryption over unsecure internet connections

When handling sensitive information, it all starts with strong encryption. Your secure business communication solution should support S/MIME encryption and various security protocols like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF. 
Even if the server that transmits your encrypted emails, hosts your documents, or is involved in the signing process is somehow compromised, with strong encryption, the sensitive information remains protected.

2. Strong identification with multi-factor authentication (MFA)

When sending an encrypted email, you can always verify both the sender and the recipient. The same logic applies if you are signing a document, collaborating on a document, or capturing information using forms.

3. Restricted access per role and task in secure business communications

Many regulations require that you restrict access to sensitive information to the minimum needed in each context. It is therefore important to assign read, write, sign, and view roles easily when dealing with sensitive or secret information.

4. Store personally identifiable information (PII) only for as long as necessary

The underlying technology plays a role in the compliance game. Any privacy-respecting secure business communication solution ensures that only the minimal amount of sensitive information needed for it to work is used and only for the duration it is necessary.

5. Automatic protection of sensitive information

When sending sensitive data, your secure business collaboration solution should be able to automatically scan and analyze your traffic and recognize when sensitive information is in transit or being modified. Based on your policy or data categorization, you can automatically turn on encryption for such information or prevent it from being sent altogether.

6. Get a solid audit trail of activities

One of the most important aspects of compliance is that you can demonstrate your adherence to rules and regulations. Therefore, a solid audit trail of activities tracking individuals and the roles assigned to them when handling sensitive information is a must.

7. You decide where your sensitive data is hosted

Depending on the type of information in question, some regulations might demand that the sensitive data you are sharing stays within the boundaries of a country or another entity (like the European Union). This restriction sometimes applies to the location of the servers transmitting or hosting data. 

A proper compliance-driven secure business communication solution allows you to choose how it is deployed.  

  • Hosted in a third-party cloud or data centers 
  • In your private cloud or data centers 
  • Hybrid
  • Hosted by a security vendor

This type of flexibility gives you the deployment options you need for all possible use cases.

SSH Secure Collaboration - Your Partner in Secure Business Communications

Secure Collaboration by SSH Communications Security is a family of government-grade secure business communication solutions that helps you stay secure, compliant, and worry-free in secure business collaboration. The solution is used in heavily regulated industries (like banking, finance, insurance, and health care) but can secure any industry. 

The next time you are sending an email, signing a contract, collaborating on a draft, or collecting information, think about how sensitive that information is and whether you should wrap it up inside government-grade security to be truly safe from risks. And if an auditor came tapping on your shoulder, would you feel comfortable using your current tools for secure business communications? 

Learn more about securing your Microsoft 365 communications >>> 



Jani Virkkula

Currently employed by SSH.COM as Product Marketing Manager, Jani is a mixed-marketing artist with a strong background in operator and cybersecurity businesses. His career path of translator->-tech writer -> marketer allows him to draw inspiration from different sources and gives him a unique perspective on all types...

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