Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

The Top 7 Enterprise Security Tools For Slack And Microsoft Teams

With employees communicating out-of-band more than ever before, its important that these channels are secure. This article explains the key features of the top communications security tools, their prices, and best uses.

The Top 7 Communication Security Tools For Slack And Teams include:
  • 1. Avanan
  • 2. Cisco Cloudlock
  • 3. HighSide Secure Teams
  • 4. IRONSCALES
  • 5. Netskope For Managed Cloud Applications
  • 6. Proofpoint CASB
  • 7. Symantec CloudSOC

Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and Box make it incredibly easy for teams to communicate around the world. But, as with any technology that we rely upon in the workplace, they also present a target to opportunistic hackers. With these apps, employees can communicate quickly in a range of ways. Links, photos, and documents can be shared internally and externally, and with varying degrees of formality.

Many organizations, for example, will have an informal channel to discuss the latest football results or their weekend plans, and a separate, “work only” channel for important business. This diversity of messages and recipients can make it difficult to track where data is being shared and stored, and even more challenging to ensure that it’s being shared securely.  So, if an attacker were to gain access to a user’s messaging app, they could potentially have immediate access to critical or sensitive corporate data. 

But the problem doesn’t end there – cybercriminals can use compromised communication apps as a base from which they can extend their attack to the rest of the company network. In 2022, Uber reportedly fell victim to an attack that utilized social engineering to gain access to the company’s Slack channel. From here, the attacker was able to log on to the corporate VPN, roam around the network, and locate details of Uber bug bounty reports – these acting as a catalogue of vulnerabilities to hack Uber.

Communication applications also offer extensive access to other employees within an organization. If an account were jeopardized, it could act like a gateway to more senior accounts with greater privileges. In one step, a low-level breach has become a big problem. 

In this article, we’ll highlight the top solutions with Integrated Cloud Messaging Security (ICMS) to secure your Slack and Teams accounts. These function in a very similar way to email gateways – they scan inbound files and content to protected users from malware and scan outbound content for DLP purposes. 

We’ve decided to focus on Slack and Microsoft Teams, in this article, as these two companies have grown rapidly over the past five years. With nearly 80% of Fortune 100 companies using Slack, and Microsoft Teams recording 270 million users in 2022, they represent a good portion of the digital communications users.

Avanan Logo

Avanan is a well-established security company, primarily operating in the email and cloud collaboration security sector. Their email solution goes beyond just your mailbox and protects your Slack and Teams accounts with technically advanced security layers to prevent malware distribution, protect your data, and ensure your organization is compliant. Avanan is an all-in-one solution that will regulate your internal communication, whatever form that takes. Avanan was acquired by Check Point in 2021.

Avanan Features:

  • Avanan Slackbot controls access to data to ensure only valid users have access
  • Every file is sandboxed before it can be downloaded
  • Zero-day threats are quarantined, and any threats are extracted
  • Security events are flagged, and users are notified
  • Information Rights Management (IRM) encryption aids data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Anomaly detection identifies suspicious activity and account take over

Pricing: Avanan’s most advanced package, Complete Protect, is priced at $7.20 per user/month, and offers protection for email, Teams, OneDrive, Box, Slack, and Google Workspace. Advanced Protect, priced at $5.50 per user/month, covers all of the same applications, but does not provide DLP or encryption capabilities. Avanan’s Protect solution, $4.30 per user/month, focuses on spam and virus filtering, phishing protection, without the advanced sandboxing or DLP features, but does work across the same applications.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Avanan is a widely adopted solution, which allows it to compile accurate intelligence gathered from millions of mailboxes and messages. This ensures that you are well protected against even unknown or zero-day threats. The solution receives widespread praise for effectiveness, and integration with usual workflow practices. Avanan is an AI-backed solution that is constantly learning – this reduces the instances of false positives over time, ensuring that your network remains secure whilst not impacting your productivity.

Cisco Logo

Cloudlock is brought to you by San Francisco based Cisco. It is an effective means of securing your third-party messaging applications from intrusion and data loss. Cloudlock identifies sensitive information stored in cloud environments, then uses out-of-the-box and custom policies to protect this data.

Cisco Cloudlock Features:

  • Quick to set up, offering value in minutes, without impacting the end user
  • Automatic field-level encryption and file quarantining
  • User and entity behavior analytics
  • Driven by Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence team – this gathers data from billions of security events globally
  • Integrates with Slack, Teams, Google G Suite, ServiceNow, Salesforce, and Webex Teams
  • PCII-DSS and HIPAA compliance

Pricing: Contact Cisco directly for more information on packages and pricing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Cisco is a well-established player, with products across the breadth of the cybersecurity sector. As part of Cisco Umbrella, Cloudlock is readily integrated with a suite of advanced tools to protect your organization. Cisco has focused on designing a product that protects larger organizations and governmental agencies – it provides a high level of security, whilst ensuring you remain compliant with relevant regulation.

HighSide Logo

Founded in 2015, HighSide is relatively new to the ICMS sector, but brings a highly effective and easy to use encryption service to the market. They offer an extension for Teams that encrypts all messages and files with FIPS 140-2 grade encryption – both AES and Triple-DES encryption are compatible with this framework.

HighSide Secure Teams Features:

  • Technically advanced end-to-end encryption on all messages
  • SecureDrive cloud storage
  • Granular use access policies
  • Custom data retention policies
  • Sandboxing
  • Geolocation-based access controls

Pricing: For Business customers, HighSide costs $12/user/month. This plan supports all file formats, allows multi-user file editing, and customizable data retention policies. For $20/user/month, HighSide offers an Enterprise plan. This has all the features of the previous plan, but also offers unlimited storage, sandboxing capabilities, and geolocation-based (RF signals) access controls. There is also a Government plan (POA), which incorporates FedRAMP Moderate (or High) and DoD Impact Level 4, with Impact Level-5 also available.

Expert Insights’ Comments: HighSide provides an advanced level of encryption in a user-friendly and ergonomic design. It is ideal for securing out-of-band communication, though it should be noted that it works solely on Teams, unlike some of the other products featured on the list. Therefore, for organizations who primarily use Teams, this is the ideal solution. The sandboxing and geolocation-based access controls are particular highlights that set this solution apart.

IRONSCALES Logo

Email security company IRONSCALES announced its integration with Teams and Slack in 2020. IRONSCALES combines machine learning with human threat intelligence to identify suspicious behaviors and to take effective action. Not only does IRONSCALES work hard to keep your accounts safe, but it saves valuable admin time by providing a streamlined dashboard with customizable policies.

IRONSCALES Features:

  • Links are automatically scanned and blocked to identify malicious or suspicious content
  • Sender and recipient are notified of the malicious link when detected
  • Investigation of the attack account and any users in a shared group who may be affected
  • Reports and incident management are controlled through the IRONSCALES dashboard, app, or email
  • Detailed information on threats allows you to harden defences and adjust policies

Pricing: IRONSCALES offers three pricing options for their email security solution, with Teams coverage being a feature of only their most advanced offering: Complete Protect. This is priced at $8.33 per mailbox / per month and offers BEC, phishing, malware, and credential theft protection, as well as security awareness training and cover for third-party applications like Slack, Teams, Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace.

Expert Insights’ Comments: IRONSCALES is widely praised for its email capabilities, with users saying it is a highly effective tool with an impressive ability to detect malicious and phishing attacks. The company’s service in communication security is equally successful. Having messaging visibility extended from your email inbox to every way that you communicate is key to preventing network attacks from a variety of angles.

Netskope Logo

NetSkope is primarily a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) provider that secures your online apps such as Teams and Slack. With NetSkope, admins gain visibility of messages, snippets, posts, and files. The solution will also detect anomalies and non-compliant behavior across a range of messaging applications. NetSkope automatically audits traffic to create a detailed risk profile, with risk-scores associated to different applications, thereby giving you intelligence on security posture and allowing you to make informed decisions.

Netskope For Managed Cloud Applications Features:

  • Real-time DLP management
  • Encrypt sensitive content without impinging on productivity
  • Full visibility of network events
  • Context based policy creation
  • Discover and control sensitive content
  • Identify share status – private, internally shared, externally shared, or public
  • Multi-layered threat detection and remediation

Pricing: Contact NetSkope for detailed information on pricing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: NetSkope offers an impressive number of integrations. Beyond Slack and Teams, it works well with Microsoft 365, Box, DropBox, and Salesforce – the list goes on. This wide range of integrations is useful as it allows admins to have complete oversight of the network, thereby decreasing any vulnerabilities. Being able to access this information regarding your whole network from one dashboard saves time and reduces the chances of critical information being overlooked.

The broad coverage options and the granular insights provided make NetSkope a good option for larger organizations, or organizations who are looking to expand their environment by incorporating more applications.

Proofpoint Logo

Proofpoint is a cybersecurity organization whose background is rooted in the email sector, but which also offers effective secure for other digital communication channels. Proofpoint’s CASB solution addresses a number of vulnerabilities that arise from the use of cloud services – it manages DLP, extends visibility, and uses adaptive policies for higher risk users. Any DLP policies made within Proofpoint CASB will be shared with other Proofpoint products in your security stack, ensuring that standards are enforced across your network.

Proofpoint CASB Features:

  • Improved threat visibility
  • Reduced dwell time with out-of-the-box DLP policies
  • Manage cloud apps and discover shadow IT
  • Monitor accounts for suspicious activity
  • Manage cloud security posture
  • Identifies data associated with regulated sectors – PCI, PII, HIPAA, GDPR, and FINRA

Pricing: Contact Proofpoint for more information on pricing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: As well as integrating with Slack and Teams, Proofpoint CASB works well with Box, DropBox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. This level of visibility makes managing your network as a whole much easier. Proofpoint describes their solution as “people-centric”, as it aims to mitigate the effects of social engineering-based attacks. This is an important perspective as, all too often, staff are manipulated into giving out critical information or allowing unauthorized access.

Symantec Logo

Symantec, now a subsidiary of Broadcom, is a cybersecurity provider with an established history in the security sector. Their CloudSOC is a CASB that employs user analytics and adaptive risk analysis to keep your network secure. For Slack, the solution even allows you to define policies based on channel type (public, private, and direct message), amongst other attributes. The solution assesses file reputation, carries out antivirus scanning, and sandboxes content when required to give you a high level of confidence that content is safe.

Symantec CloudSOC Features:

  • Detect and analyze risky activity and content exposure
  • Enforce DLP on stored and transmitted data
  • Automatically block messages that violate policies
  • Scan message content for malware, ransomware and advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  • Automated user coaching to encourage safer practices
  • Intuitive dashboard and reporting functionality

Pricing: Symantec’s CloudSOC is only available for purchase through partners – contact one of these for detail on pricing options available.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Symantec has a long history in the cybersecurity space, making their CloudSOC product a trusted and highly functional solution. The solution offers a host of features – such as shadow IT identification – which go beyond securing your communications channels to keep your organization secure. CloudSOC readily integrates with Symantec’s broader product suite, making it an effective solution for organizations looking for Teams or Slack security as part of a comprehensive security stack.

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