Increased Security and Enterprise Social Networks

It appears this will be the year Enterprise Social Networks hit main street.  Companies of all sizes, government agencies, educational institutes, and non-profits are all rushing to deploy private, secure social collaboration networks for internal use. These industries are all interested in real-time communication, effortless collaboration, quicker access to answers, easy file sharing, and faster information flow.  The expectation is this will all add up to more efficient, more informed, and more productive workers, who get more done in less time.

A recent report from McKinsey & Co. settled any question about the ROI of Enterprise Social Networks.  After interviewing 4,200 executives from companies all over the world, McKinsey predicts nearly $900 billion in value can be produced by effectively implementing social collaboration networks. And unlike other IT implementations, workers tend to be excited and highly supportive of enterprise social networks.  Workers want to be able to communicate, collaborate, and share files easily. Today’s hard-to-use and complicated enterprise applications leave workers frustrated, and executives are finally realizing the real business value of enterprise social networks.

Security Concerns

When it comes to enterprise social networks though, security can still be a concern. Conversations and documents shared within an internal company social network are often sensitive and potentially quite valuable. Unfortunately, most enterprise social networks offer only multi-tenant shared cloud solutions. This means that all customers of that vendor work off the same software code, and all customer data is hosted together.  While there is a logical separation of data, many companies have strict IT policies which prevent them from using multi-tenant shared cloud services, as they are deemed not secure enough.

Security Advancements of ESN

To satisfy security concerns, some vendors offer additional deployment options, such as single-tenant private cloud or on-premise behind the customer’s firewall.  MangoApps specializes in social collaboration networks for mid-size companies and offers both private cloud and on-premise as deployment options.  As an added bonus, with MangoApps you don’t need thousands of users. Both these advanced security deployment options are available for groups as small as 10 users. The best enterprise social networks also offer these advanced security options:

  • IP range limitation
  • AD and LDAP Integration
  • Two Factor Authentication
  • Custom password length and complexity
  • Mobile device management, including the ability to disable and wipe-out lost devices
  • Enable mobile access by platform (allow iPad, but disallow Blackberry, etc.)
  • Choice of data center location (USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, S. America)
  • Certifications: SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 / FISMA / HIPAA

If you decide upfront which deployment model best fits your security requirements (shared cloud, private cloud, or on-premise), you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the vendor selection process. Will this be the year your company or organization implements an enterprise social network?