The majority of executives and IT managers are normally unaware how many unauthorized shadow IT or shadow cloud apps and services their employees are using. Cloud apps and services are easy to use without oversight, they can be quickly adopted by employees or teams to solve business problems, and often no formal involvement of the enterprise's IT department is required. Since there is a huge demand for messaging for the internal business communication, if there is no enterprise messaging app available, employees are quick to use Whatsapp as an insecure and unprotected alternative (please read our blog posts on the disadvantages, damages and security of Whatsapp). Actually many businesses currently have a huge Whatsapp problem as part of the shadow IT, because they haven't deployed an enterprise messaging app yet.
There has been a huge discussion recently about a security vulnerability of Whatsapp, which some people quickly proclaimed as a "backdoor" for governments to snoop on users. A new analysis by a security researcher showed that Whatsapp could read some messages due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol. Some security experts say that the vulnerability is a known “trade-off” due to the size of Whatsapp's user base and can hardly be used for mass surveillance. However, since Whatsapp always highlights its privacy and security, this raises some serious questions for its users. Enterprises and employees, which use Whatsapp for business purposes, ask themselves if they can rely on the encryption and security of Whatsapp?
BARMER health insurance has chosen Teamwire's enterprise messaging app to digitize internal communications. With 9.4 million insureds and more than 400 locations, BARMER is one of the leading insurance companies in Germany. Teamwire provides easy and efficient communication to employees and teams of BARMER to better serve customer needs and improve customer service. Teamwire ensures strong German data protection and security for highly sensitive customer and insurance data. For the initial phase, BARMER has acquired 3,000 user licenses from Teamwire and is running the solution at T-Systems' high-security data center.
The demand by businesses for our enterprise messaging app is strongly growing. On the one had businesses are increasingly understanding the problems of using Whatsapp for enterprises communications. On the other hand in a mobile first world there are more and more important business use cases, scenarios and benefits of an enterprise messaging app. Last year we wrote a first blog post on how to select an enterprise messaging app. Now we want to update that blog post with latest requirements, criteria and market trends, and focus on the needs of European businesses when they search for the best enterprise messaging app for their organization:
In January we wrote a detailed article about the disadvantages of using WhatsApp and similar consumer messaging apps for business purposes. These apps have significant weaknesses in security, compliance, administration and business productivity. If you use WhatsApp and Co. in an enterprise environment, these weaknesses can lead to substantial damages for your business. Today we want to follow up on our first article about the disadvantages and explain as well as quantify the potential damages of using WhatsApp and Co. for an enterprise:
Whatsapp and other consumer messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Threema, WeChat and Line are increasingly part of the shadow IT in enterprises, and are often used by employees for business purposes. The main advantage of these messaging apps is, that they are much faster and efficient than email, and lead to improved team communication and higher productivity. On the other hand when used in businesses these consumer messaging apps have significant weaknesses with regard to uses cases, data protection, security, administration, ecosystem integration and support.
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