There are many reasons why employees use these services. Necessity is the mother of invention, as we know, and employees are reluctant to do without the conveniences that come with accessing applications that help them organize their personal lives. What’s more, the drawbacks are not immediately evident – and are initially grouped under the somewhat vague heading of “security and compliance” anyways. Many employees are unaware that – unlike in a personal setting – the professional use of messenger services is governed by the Federal Data Protection Act in Germany (BDSG). In other words: Technical measures must be introduced to protect personal data. There are other negative repercussions hidden away as well, among them insufficient knowledge transfer within working groups, inadequate backup procedures or loss of face for the company. It is conceivable that such security vulnerabilities may lead to research strategies or ideas ending up on the doorstep of competitors. Here are a few low blows that you should consider and communicate to your staff before you use a private messaging service to share proprietary business knowledge the next time:
- Insufficient data protection under European laws if the servers are located in the U.S.
- No backup of confidential, business content according to company policies
- No administration function for companies
- Lack of professional desktop or tablet clients
- No support for business file sharing solutions
- No integration in the companies’ processes and IT systems
- No audit-proofing and no support for companies
- No protection against data loss
WhatsApp is knocked out in the first round of the corporate division. Plus, many people forget another important fact: Even leaving aside all the deficits in regard to security and company compatibility, the messenger service only provides a fraction of the features and options included in professional solutions like Microsoft Teams.