Integrating voice, chat, video/audio conferencing, faxing, and email, unified communications (UC) delivers a wealth of advantages in productivity and collaboration. These gains however, also come with security challenges and industry standards that must be met for a thoroughly sufficient UC implementation.
When it comes to security and compliance requirements for unified communications, deploying layered-defense counter measures are the best approach to ensuring proper protection. Here are some key considerations to look for from your unified communications solution and your provider.
When considering any potential unified communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider, it’s important to explore capabilities regarding all applicable privacy regulations – and look for a high-level of compliance assistance. For example, healthcare providers should seek a UCaaS provider that will sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which signifies an active role in ensuring your own compliance with HIPAA regulations.
Overall security considerations
Beyond the above industry considerations, every enterprise seeking to move to UCaaS should ensure four critical security considerations are fully covered:
Pairing UCaaS security with network security
For an ideally secure UCaaS implementation, look for a provider that can pair a robust UC solution with a reliable and secure data connection and/or SD-WAN overlay. This will bolster performance by transmitting encrypted calls, messages, and meetings over a QoS-enabled and SLA-backed design, so that critical voice calls aren’t competing for bandwidth against general Internet traffic. This will also allow you to modify ﬁrewall and security policies by location for maximum control of critical network and UC functions.
In short: A satisfying UCaaS implementation requires much more than combining all forms of communication and collaboration. It requires making sure that they are securely designed, operated and unified.
Austin Herrington is Vice President of Enterprise Voice Product Management for Windstream. He oversees Windstream’s enterprise product strategy and roadmap. He and his team develop, manage and market advanced products and services offered to customers nationwide, executing programs to help businesses achieve a perpetual state of winning. He was previously director of product management responsible for Windstream’s Internet portfolio and value-added services. Prior to joining Windstream in 2006, Herrington was director of product management for Alltel. He holds an MBA from the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business.
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