Time to rethink how your board members communicate

Time to rethink how your board members communicate

Data security is of the utmost importance to any business, and great steps have been made in this area in recent years in the face of growing international concern surrounding cyber-crime.

The recent WannaCry attack brought security back to the forefront of everybody’s attention. The ransomware attacked organisations around the world, but one of the largest to be affected was Deutsche Bahn, throwing Germany’s rail network into chaos.

The ransomware, masquerading as legitimate email attachments such as invoices, job offers and security warnings, encrypted the data on the machines where the file was opened, demanding payments of up to 500 Euros to restore access. As with other cyber-crimes, there is very little guarantee that even if the ransom was paid, that access would be restored. More likely, a higher ransom would then be demanded with the threat of permanent deletion of the files.

This was the latest in a long line of such attacks, each prompting further enhancements to bolster file storage security, but what happens when you need to collaborate on a document or send it for reference?

The State of IT Security in Germany 2016 report by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) highlights that transferring data via email is still the most convenient way of digital communication and sharing, and that the guidelines in place puts the onus onto the email service providers to implement the technical and security requirements. However, are they going far enough? It would appear not.

The most high profile case of email hacking in recent times was during the 2016 US Election, when hacking of Hilary Clinton’s personal email account was one of the deciding factors that handed victory to Donald Trump, but this is by no means an isolated incident.

Yahoo alone in the last 4 years have reported 1.5 billion accounts have been compromised, in a combination of hacks. Reuters reported 272 million stolen accounts being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, largely from Russia’s own most popular email provider, Mail.ru, but also including accounts from Hotmail and Google.

Using email for important documents doesn’t just have security implications, it’s traceability too. How can you be 100% certain that the email reached the right recipient and they read the right attachment? This gets even more complicated if you’re trying to reach an important business decision and have to scroll back through a long email conversation looking for the relevant information. For businesses, controlling communication routes is much simpler than higher up in the organisation, board members for example often use a personal email account.

The information shared around the boardroom and amongst its members can be highly sensitive. It is critical that the method of communication has an adequate level of security. If you are sending documents containing information such as financial reports or strategy documents – it is a necessity for them to be protected- at both ends of their journey and every stage in between.
Don’t risk letting your board documents be part of a hacker’s playtime. By using a secure board portal such as BoardPacks that encrypts your data and stores it in a secure database, you can be sure that the information you pass between colleagues is safe and the communication lines are secure. By storing and accessing documents through BoardPacks, you can also be sure that the right information is available to everyone at all times, at their fingertips.

BoardPacks is built using the Microsoft Active Directory, which is a standard that demonstrates the stability and security of our infrastructure. If you choose to have our hosted solution, you will be glad to know your confidential data and the infrastructure behind it is secure. Our data centres in the UK and Luxembourg are ISO27001 compliant, the highest standard of data security possible. We also offer options for you to host on your own SharePoint servers.

For more information on how BoardPacks could be used to secure your boardroom documents, visit the website for more information.

posted on & filed under Corporate Issues, Governance Practices.