COMMUNAUTÉS & EXPERTISES — Expertises

Virtual Future Modern Governance 

Navigating through the new normal



How many different applications do you use to communicate and share information? Chances are it’s way more than one. (Crédit: Utamaru Kido)

How many different applications do you use to communicate and share information? Chances are it’s way more than one. (Crédit: Utamaru Kido)

Though we could see it coming, like a slowly approaching tidal wave, for many it was a question of overnight change: one day you’re in the office, the next you’re setting up a workspace at home. The spotlight beams on the management for guidance. What is the first thing you try and do as a leader? Connect. Whether to discuss work protocols with managers or take fast decisions on sensitive topics, everything is being done via virtual meetings.

The day-to-day collaborations of employees and the sharing of files and updates now typically take place over third-party apps, which are very effective to stay connected. How many different applications do you use to communicate and share information? Chances are it’s way more than one. We’ve all been there, especially in recent months: flitting from a meeting on Skype to a call on WhatsApp, to a webinar on Zoom; then modifying a shared Google doc, receiving a WeTransfer link, and downloading a Dropbox file. Many offices use Microsoft Teams, others swear by G Suite, and then there’s everything in between.

Security not a certainty

Fairly on in the pandemic lockdown in the West and the steep rise in the use of video conference platforms, the term “ZoomBombing” was coined to describe the incident of uninvited guests breaking into and disrupting a call. While practical and easy to use, various video conferencing platforms have been found to be vulnerable to privacy breaches, with meeting invitation links being easily discoverable by outsiders, messenger boxes relatively simple to crack open, and other data leakage issues.  

“Connectivity and convenience lead to greater risks. The more connected we are and the more information we share on platforms, the higher our exposure and the greater the risk of attacks, information theft and personal hacking,” says Jesse Thiel, Regional Sales Director, Diligent Luxembourg.

While some recorded examples of the more comedic sort circulating the web caused some light lockdown laughter, people were made uncomfortable as they realized the extent and gravity of what a confidentiality leak could mean for their companies. Many looked for more secure solutions, understanding the added importance of not continuing to scatter files and company conversations on less-than airtight platforms.

The more connected we are and the more information we share on platforms, the higher our exposure and the greater the risk of attacks, information theft and personal hacking.

Jesse Thiel,  Regional Sales Director,  Diligent Luxembourg

A risk is that companies take fewer precautions and looser practices become habitual. As people become more comfortable with tools, they are more likely to share confidential documents, have conversations online or via messaging platforms they would usually only have in person, in private. Daily discussions can turn into confidential conversations that no company wants leaked or listened to. Companies and leaders needing to share confidential information require tougher security solutions for their third-party platforms. 

Everything in its (one) place

Sooner or later companies will realise that everyone is using a mixture of different tools and programmes for communicating and sharing files, which makes it challenging and time-consuming to find what you need. There is also a distinction between operational activities and exchanges of a sensitive nature. “With the scaling up of virtual collaboration and information sharing, centralising is not just a question of security but the ease of having everything in one place,” points out Jesse Thiel.

Companies can turn to a one-stop shop solution for everything, from messenger to file-sharing and workflows, to prevent the situation from becoming unmanageable. “As well as supporting organisations with organising virtual meetings, our tools can ensure that all attachments, meeting links and minutes remain confidential,” says Jesse Thiel. 

Diligent provides several best practices for board leaders and executives to use modern governance tools to communicate about the most sensitive topics easily and in a secure environment.