It’s astonishing how much has changed within just a few months around the world. In the wake of COVID-19, businesses are grappling with remote work and beginning to think about what that might look like long-term. Even prior to the pandemic, 7 million Americans, or roughly 3.4% of the population, were already working remotely. Now, a Gartner study reports that 74% of CFOs plan to shift at least some of their team members to remote work permanently.
For businesses that are new to remote work (at least on this large of a scale), the unfolding crisis has prompted a shift to new digital tools to keep workers connected and operations running. Yet as companies adopt video, messaging and other collaboration platforms, concerns are cropping up around privacy and compliance issues. Many large videoconferencing and chat applications are experiencing major security breaches, such as unwanted visitors participating in meetings or exposure of sensitive company data.
Open collaboration will almost certainly continue to be the trend for many companies, but for businesses with sensitive client information to protect – like personal health information or client depositions – open collaboration doesn’t cut it. Businesses in regulated fields like insurance, healthcare or law need a far more serious approach to collaboration.
That’s why Workstorm was built from day one with secure, compliant collaboration in mind. We’re committed to providing a digital platform that protects private data while connecting professionals from anywhere, with anyone. Here’s the story behind how it all began.
Trading Open Collaboration for Digital Privacy
Before founding Workstorm, CEO Raj Fernando built cutting-edge trading technology in the financial services industry. Dealing with massive amounts of data, the software had to operate flawlessly at a large scale and adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Data privacy was critical, since the technology contained sensitive trade secrets. If someone were to hack the trading system, significant damage could be done not just to the company, but to the economy.
We’ve watched the growth of digital collaboration, and we recognized the opportunity to improve efficiency by facilitating data-sharing across an organization. When we surveyed the digital landscape, though, we didn’t see any tools that would meet the needs of a firm with privacy concerns. All of these tools revolved around open collaboration, with the idea that the more information is shared, the more easily professionals can find the resources they need to get the job done.
It’s a great system for some, but there was no way it would work for us. That’s true for many other industries as well: companies with valuable intellectual property, those who secure deals, those who handle sensitive patient information, and of course, companies with trade secrets. These companies need to be able to work efficiently with remote teams around the globe, without exposing valuable information. Workstorm was built with that premise in mind.
Here’s how we’ve designed the platform to meet the collaboration needs of serious businesses:
Data privacy, not just data security.
Plenty of platforms invest in data security, but data privacy is an entirely different matter. Privacy originates from company philosophy, and what a company actually does with your information.
In a world of open collaboration and data monetization, protecting user information hasn’t been a priority across much of the tech landscape. For venture-backed tech companies with aggressive growth goals, the quickest path to scale is to offer free products and then monetize user data that should remain private. Workstorm has never explored or gone down that path, and we never will. Privacy and security come at a cost, and we think it’s an invaluable one.
Protecting data during external collaboration.
Particularly in service-based fields, professionals need to be able to communicate remotely with clients or vendors as well as coworkers. But how do you maintain privacy standards when you bring in external people and systems into your organization?
At Workstorm, we’re always thinking about how to foster external collaboration while protecting sensitive information and data. Features like flagging external users and making conversations private by default enable businesses to maintain ethical walls and segregate confidential client or company details. Our approach to integrations also prioritizes privacy, reducing third-party vulnerabilities that can compromise data.
Putting company privacy first.
There has been a lot of discussion in the tech community at large about individual privacy and protecting personal data. There are many great platforms and companies that protect personal communication. While protecting individual privacy matters to us, our top priority is ultimately the security of data at a corporate level.
As a corporate entity, success depends on effective oversight of your intellectual property and trade secrets. Workstorm ensures that you have control, with corporate governance features that give you confidence that your organization’s most valuable assets are truly protected. We’re a platform built for businesses, and we’re committed to protecting those businesses so they can focus on day-to-day collaboration.
Constantly evolving to meet security standards.
Security is always evolving, and you need a digital platform that can evolve right along with it. We built Workstorm through investing in a wide variety of relevant security standards that can fit a variety of industry needs. For example, Workstorm is SOC 2 compliant, which ensures the security and privacy of sensitive data. Workstorm is also HIPAA-compliant to meet the needs of telehealth providers, especially during a time where many of us are being asked to stay at home.
Additionally, Workstorm has been shaped through the feedback of security experts on our leadership team and in the broader security community. We are here to listen to this community’s insights and continue growing our product capabilities, so that we can meet evolving security needs.
Serious Collaboration for Serious Businesses
While digital collaboration has been growing for years, the novel coronavirus pandemic has proven that businesses across all fields need a digital strategy to keep operations running. For many professional businesses, though, it’s not enough to simply have digital tools that promote general collaboration. You’ll also need a digital tool that prioritizes both security and privacy to protect what matters to your organization. At Workstorm, we understand what it takes to run a serious business, and we’re committed to empowering these businesses to get work done.