UCEXPO: Comms security – the great Twitter debate!


UCEXPO and UCInsight jointly hosted a live Twitter debate yesterday on the future of communications security (#COMSECFUTURE) – in advance of UC EXPO 2016, which will take place at Olympia, in London, on 19-20 April.

UCInsight believes that security should be about people, policy, and business strategy first, and technology second, to which collaboration platform Team Zeus (@teamzeusapp) added, “Implementing right tools to enforce company policies is the way to go. As security is a measure not a feature.”

AT&T Security (‏‪@ATTsecurity)‬, tweeted, “The future of communications security will (hopefully) be that ‪#UC is part of broader ‪#security context vs. just a standalone,” while the Vodafone-supported ‏‪Your Ready Business (@ReadyBusiness) said, “Future proof UC solutions by ensuring flexibility, scalability and ensuring they can respond quickly.”

On the future, @teamzeusapp‬ noted, “The newly created AIs could prove very useful in ensuring the most efficient security measurements on/offline.” However, the comment was made not long after Microsoft’s AI chatbot, Tay, was taken off Twitter after posting racist and other inflammatory tweets. Hardly the best public demonstration of secure AI in communications and social media!

But back to the core topic of how to ensure comms security. “

It’s always a balance of security v internal resources – that’s why you should go to a high quality service provider,” said Colt Technology (@Colt_Technology‬).

But how can you tell a good provider? “Industry standards like ISO and @UK_CIF accreditation help demonstrate high quality CSPs,” said cloud services specialist, Outsourcery (@Outsourcery).

The impetus of enterprise technologies is now strongly into the cloud, and unified communications and collaboration systems are in the vanguard of that change. But do cloud communications make us more, or less, secure? we asked. “Cloud solutions deployed correctly and with the right due diligence are arguably more secure than on-prem,” said @Outsourcery.

“Is cloud good or bad for security? It’s not so black and white. It’s more about managing risks to make it more secure,” responded @ATTsecurity‬, to which @Colt_Technology replied, “Cloud comms give potential for more security, but the risk profile has to be understood.”

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes are both a boon and a risk in many organisations, freeing up staff to work flexibly within the business in whatever way they choose, while risking the rise of shadow IT – the unauthorised and perhaps insecure use of unofficial technology platforms. So, despite years of usage, does BYOD provide more risks than benefits?

@Colt_Technology tweeted: “BYOD risk depends on use case: risks can be managed – benefits can also be squandered,” while Red Box Recorders ‏‪(@redboxrecorders‬) said, “Thankfully there are solutions to help organisations enjoy the benefits of ‪#BYOD whilst minimising risk.”

“Mobile recording is vital for compliance, considering many regulators now demand that all business comms are monitored,” added @redboxrecorders‬.

While the debate was clearly dominated by vendors with an interest in pushing their own products, there were some good exchanges. @teamzeusapp ‏said, “Enterprise taking seriously comm security?? NO not really.”

Cloud evangelist Alastair Ralph ‏‪(@allyralph)‬ responded, “Is this due to old school comms being taken for granted as secure and changes to technology bringing more risk?”

“I think it’s more that security is taken for granted and change triggers a re-assessment,” replied next-gen telecoms expert, Aled Treharne (@thinksip),

“Poor user experience no matter what the root cause – continues to be the Achilles’ heel,” said Siphon Networks (‏‪@SIPHON_Networks).

Of course, the debate about communications security now has another context: the increased pressure on suppliers to assist government surveillance programmes – as evidenced by Apple’s recent battle with the FBI over unlocking the iPhone, and the British government pushing through its surveillance programme against the advice of many tech companies, comms suppliers, and mobile networks.

So might these developments put comms security at risk? “More than the proposals, the lack of understanding from Govt foreshadows poor choices in using proposed tools,” said @thinksip.

Wise words, as we suggested earlier this week.

Learn more about comms security and talk to the experts at UC EXPO.
Minor edits have been made to spelling and punctuation in some tweets, to aid sense.

About Author

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton is a widely respected business and technology journalist, author, and magazine editor. In recent years he has been Editor of Computing (where he remains Consulting Editor); co-founder and Managing Editor of Professional Outsourcing – a magazine he developed from scratch and grew to be the leading magazine in its field; Editor of CBR in its most successful year; and co-founder and launch Editor of Sourcingfocus.com. Today, he is co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, and founder, designer, and Editor in Chief of Strategist magazine (UK), the boardroom magazine that provides strategic insight for business leaders, and of its mobile-first digital edition at www.iamtheStrategist.com. He is also co-founding Editor of Child Internet Safety magazine, and a contributing Editor of Diginomica.com. Over the years Chris has also written for, among many others, The Guardian, The Times, the BBC, and Computer Weekly. He is the author of several successful books on digital media, and a commissioning editor of more than 50 books.