3 types of business communications and the risks they pose

If your company is like most, your stakeholders are communicating online and via cloud-based solutions more than ever. While modern types of business communications are efficient and practical, they also introduce security risks that your enterprise needs to address.

Poorly managed business communications can lead to privacy issues, security breaches, or problems with misuse. The reality is, leaks and hacks into your internal communications can put your profits on the line. Lawsuits, reputation damage, and the costs of remediation can take a huge bite out of your revenue.

Also, they aren’t generally one-time expenses that you can pay and be done with.

Security incidents can lead to ongoing costs that last for years and add up to millions. According to a recent report from IBM, the average total cost of a data breach in the US is $3.92 million. 

Take a look at three widely used business communication channels and the specific risks they pose. With a clear idea of possible risks, your enterprise can put a plan in place to keep your business communications secure.

File sharing

With the popularity of business file-sharing apps such as Microsoft’s OneDrive and unified communications platforms that offer file sharing features, most businesses are allowing employees to share files instantly, empowering real-time remote collaboration. This makes group projects easier, increases productivity, and saves time.

However, file sharing can also be a weak point in your business communications system because of the nature of the information being sent. Often, files contain sensitive data, including confidential or private info. The platform the file sharing is hosted on, as well as the individual accounts that can access shared files, all offer entry points for hackers. If your workplace uses a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, this can increase the risk even further.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging is a powerful tool because it allows for frictionless communication. Employees can seek a quick answer to a problem or share information instantly, making IM a faster alternative to email.

The problem is, messages are at risk both while in transit and upon delivery and receipt. This is why it’s so important to use a platform that offers end-to-end security, as well as encryption to safeguard data at every point.

It’s also important to set ground rules surrounding the use of IM. Because instant messaging offers an easy, informal place to chat, this is one communication channel that invites distraction and free-flowing conversations, which can lead to all sorts of legal issues when the wrong information is discussed.


Cyberattackers use a variety of methods to infiltrate business systems through email communications, including social engineering, phishing, and spear phishing. These threats put both the sensitive data being sent by email and account information at risk.

It’s not just outside threats your enterprise needs to worry about. Human error is a threat as well.

According to a recent report released by software company Tessian, in 2019, 1,357 data breaches were the result of employees sending sensitive data to the wrong email address. This sheds light on how easy it is for a simple human error to lead to a data security disaster and how important it is to educate end-users on both threat identification and vulnerability processes. 

How to secure your business communications

Leaving your internal communication channels vulnerable to hackers and data loss puts your company’s profits at risk. You can keep your business communications safe by teaching your employees about best practices when communicating and by choosing a communications solution that offers best-in-class protection. With security and compliance features including end-to-end encryption, permission controls, and compliance logging, you can rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to properly manage your enterprise’s business communications.