When it comes to deploying unified communications strategies, business managers may be concerned about the level of security that IP-based systems deliver. The supposed logic often goes that if hackers can infiltrate your network, they can gain access to your VoIP technologies as well. According to Defense Systems, these worries also stem from the fact that there are so many different forms of communication that fall under the UC umbrella: unified messaging, email, voice and so on. However, security can be strengthened by following certain guidelines, like installing firewalls, authenticating mobile users and implementing end-to-end data encryption.
The fact of the matter is that UC systems based in the cloud offer an elevated level of security for a number of reasons. Let's take a look at how UC is making it easier, safer and more productive to conduct business with customers and partners through the use of VoIP technologies:
"The market for cloud security will likely increase to $8.71 billion in 2019."
1. Feeling safe in the cloud
Despite concerns over cybersecurity when it comes to the cloud, there are distinct advantages to moving data and applications – including communications systems – to the cloud. According to CIO contributor David Spark, the cloud isn't inherently insecure, which is a myth that many executives tend to believe about these kinds of environments.
In reality, there are more considerations that go into cloud security than traditional on-premises infrastructure, mostly because cloud providers have the resources to spend on security investments at a greater scale than single organizations would. A report published by MarketsandMarkets anticipated that the market for cloud security would likely increase to $8.71 billion in 2019. This prediction is in line with increasing adoption of the cloud in general – in other words, as more businesses move toward a cloud-first orientation, they are investing in security solutions as well.
In this way, cloud-based technologies offer an enhanced level of security while simultaneously giving a boost to productivity. When the enhanced mobility and data-aggregating characteristics of UC are brought to the table, companies can benefit from implementing these kinds of solutions.
2. Fewer platforms
Another reason UC systems can provide additional security to organizations is due to the fact that they consolidate multiple forms of communication into one platform. Management is much easier with UC than it would be if employees were using various software and products to conduct business. Security becomes easier as well with UC. Managing and fortifying one communications platform is simpler than if there are multiple kinds of operating systems or programs that IT workers have to keep track of and oversee.
UC security example: Health care industry
How does UC stack up in terms of security in specific industries? Let's take a look at the health care field, for example. Due to laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and current considerations like the Meaningful Use guidelines set forth by the U.S. government, health care providers have their hands full trying to comply with stringent security standards. With VoIP and FoIP (fax over Internet protocol, or fax to email) technologies, however, medical organizations can achieve compliance while at the same time taking advantage of the powerful collaboration tools that UC offers.
Fax to email especially offers enhanced protection over traditional fax systems. Because with fax to email technologies there is no longer a need for paper records, physical security can be augmented. In addition, health care organizations can more easily achieve Meaningful Use, which according to HealthIT.gov depends on the utilization of electronic medical records to improve patient outcomes. There are many benefits of UC in the health care industry – and security of patient data is one of them.
By implementing cloud-based UC solutions, businesses, health care organizations and many others can be sure to take advantage of these security benefits.