How companies can protect their communication channels from hackers

Channels against hackers

Effective communication is a cornerstone of business success. Internally, ensuring your team communicates seamlessly helps you avoid friction, misunderstandings, delays and overlap. Externally, frustration-free communication with customers is directly related to a positive customer experience and greater satisfaction.

But corporate communication channels are also an important target for cybercriminals. In recent years, especially after the pandemic, the number of cyber attacks has skyrocketed. Statistics show that last year alone the number of hacks increased by 38%. What’s worse, it still takes an average of 277 days for a company to identify a breach, resulting in an average loss of $4.35.

So, how can companies safeguard their communication channels from hackers, while providing the best possible customer experience and maintaining team productivity? Here’s everything you need to know and what mistakes you should avoid.

Use secure platforms

For starters, there is the choice of communication channels. To meet your customers’ communication needs, you’ll need to offer a variety of channels, from SMS, email and live chat to voice and video calls. Not to mention the channels for internal company communication, messaging and team collaboration tools, above all.

When choosing all these channels it is necessary to give priority to security. When comparing communications platforms, whether UCaaS providers or contact center software, it is crucial to take their security standards into account.

Have they been hacked before? What server infrastructure and encryption do they rely on? What cybersecurity protocols do they implement? Do they comply with international data security regulations? Do they offer additional security measures like two-factor authentication?

All these are questions you should find answers to before settling on any communication platform for your business.

Check your passwords and permissions

Next, your company needs to check its passwords and see which team members have which permissions.

Incredible as it may seem, statistics show that the vast majority of data breaches (as many as 80%) are due to compromised login credentials. They also reveal that 75% of people don’t adhere to password best practices, despite knowing better.

In fact, “123456”, “password” and “admin” still remain in the list of most used passwords in 2024.

Increasing password complexity dramatically reduces the risk of successful cyber breaches. That’s why a thorough password review and implementation of draconian password standards should be at the top of your priority list to safeguard your business communications.

As for reviewing permissions, the more people have access to a system, the more likely it is that someone will make a mistake that could result in a breach. Make sure only people who really need it have access to sensitive information.

Invest in cybersecurity protection

Another strategy for protecting business communications from hackers is to invest in cybersecurity tools.

With skyrocketing rates of cybercrime and hackers’ adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity companies have stepped up their efforts to provide tools to fend them off.

Check which cybersecurity tools your company uses. A robust antivirus system, virtual private network (VPN) solution and password manager or (team) password vault combined with a strong password policy should be the absolute minimum.

Going further, you can invest in financial fraud monitoring, identity theft monitoring for your team members, and spam call protection.

Cybersecurity monitoring tools, in particular, are underutilized by companies, one of the main reasons for the delay, often months, in detecting a breach. In the event of hacking, it is essential to detect it as soon as possible in order to limit the damage and loss of customer trust.

Improve your team’s cybersecurity skills

The vast majority of successful cyber breaches are due to human error, not just weak passwords.

Phishing attacks in particular have become more sophisticated in recent years. Long gone are the days when a Nigerian prince stuck at the airport asked for a loan.

Instead, you receive an email from your supervisor near the end of the workday because he needs your login credentials for a high-level operation.

Or you get a message on Slack from a colleague two departments over with a link to sign the virtual birthday card for Sarah from accounting.

If the hackers really get ahead of themselves, you might even get a call from your company’s CEO asking for help with a technical problem.

In all these cases, many would not think twice before providing information or clicking on the link sent, without thinking about spear or voice phishing. And today this is enough to open the door to cybercriminals and allow them to silently penetrate your communications systems.

To prevent either of these scenarios from occurring, you need to brush up on your team’s cybersecurity skills and their ability to detect and report fraud. Having regular cybersecurity training is key, as is carrying out spot checks to ensure everyone is adhering to best practices.

Develop SOPs and a cybersecurity routine

Finally, to protect your company’s communication channels from hackers, it is essential to develop standard operating procedures and a fixed cybersecurity routine.

Your SOPs should cover not only how to secure your systems, but also what to do in the event of a breach, or if you suspect a breach. Everyone on your team should be able to spot suspicious activity and know exactly who to contact if this happens.

Who should they notify if they receive a spear phishing message on their work phone?

What is the procedure if databases are behaving strangely?

Which systems need to be shut down first to contain a potential breach?

All of these are questions that need to be clarified and communicated to your team.

Likewise, as inconvenient as it is, you need to develop backup plans for the worst-case scenario of a successful breach. What is your strategy for recovering your website if it has been taken hostage? And how do you alert customers to a potential threat?

Finally, you need to incorporate cybersecurity into your routines on a daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, and you need to stay ahead of the curve to protect your communications.

This means staying up to date on cybersecurity news, new threats and scams. It also involves regular password changes, system reviews, and SOP updates.


Protecting business communications from hackers is a complex task. It all starts with choosing cybersecurity platforms and tools, but requires constant vigilance. It’s critical to regularly review passwords and permissions, educate yourself and your team, and develop cybersecurity SOPs and routines.

While all of this requires a significant amount of time, effort, and resources, it is worth it. The alternative is to remain open and vulnerable to attacks that can have serious financial consequences and result in the total loss of customer trust. In this scenario, the question is when, rather than if, you will be hacked.

Only with the best tools and team members who follow cybersecurity best practices and are able to spot phishing attacks will you be able to defend your communication channels.

Note: This expert article was provided by Hasan Saleem, a successful serial entrepreneur, investor and founder of numerous technology and e-commerce startups. Now he runs a marketing agency that helps small businesses and startups establish a solid online presence.

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