Tell us if this happened to you: After nearly two years of toiling at home in sweatpants, accompanied only by your cat, you were excited to finally get back in the office for some human interaction and IRL brainstorming. But after the first week, you realized that despite holding a few critical, in-person meetings—and maybe having a lunch or two out with colleagues—you were logging almost as much time on collaboration apps like Zoom and Slack as you were from home during lockdown. And you had to wear real pants.
We’re all still figuring out the new world of hybrid work. But one thing is clear: As we strive to balance productivity, safety and in-person interaction, those new, online communication tools that got us through the pandemic aren’t going anywhere.
One problem, though, is that security and compliance haven’t yet caught up with these powerful new audio, video and chat platforms. As we imitate regular human interaction over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack and other applications, we’re finding that sensitive data and information can be exposed in innumerable ways: Confidential company financials written on a whiteboard might show up in the background on a Zoom call, or details of a deal might be inappropriately shared over Slack.
Before the pandemic, this type of information is easier to contain and control. With business conducted mainly in person, over the phone or on email, corporate security and compliance teams knew how to monitor these platforms to prevent devastating hacks as well as unauthorized leaks that could lead to regulatory or legal trouble. Companies like Proofpoint established significant leadership selling email-security software, and the company has over $1 billion in annual revenue today.
But the huge influx of unstructured data—namely audio, video and chat–shared on new communications platforms has completely changed the game and made many of these older monitoring technologies less relevant, especially as organizations also struggle to comply with new data-privacy and safety regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. The opportunity to address this new, post-pandemic market involving a larger set of online communications is far greater.
To that end, we’re excited to announce our investment in Theta Lake*, which makes innovative security and compliance technology for modern collaboration platforms.
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WRITTEN BY DHARMESH THAKKER, RENÉ BONVANIE, CHIRAAG DEORA, JASON MENDEL