Slack is a communication platform for businesses that appeared in 2013. It became popular during the last five years. Statistics say that about 10 million users around the world use the platform every day.
Being so popular, Slack poses a strong temptation on hackers to penetrate it and access sensitive data. That is why it is important for any company to think about extra security measures to feel protected against Slack security breaches.
Why Is Slack Vulnerable?
Here, we want to mention some common reasons for Slack being hacked.
Is Slack encrypted? To some extent. It doesn’t have end-to-end encryption and it is the biggest problem. Why is it so? Many top executives still want to have full visibility of all the communication processes. They do not understand that a Slack breach can turn out to be disastrous for the whole company, while insufficient communication monitoring cannot harm the business processes as much.
Slack uses HTTPS encryption just as any other legit website. This means that data is secure while it’s being transmitted to and from the website but it isn’t secure when stored on the servers. A hacker can receive a decryption key quite easily and access the data stored on the servers.
Any company can also face the inside threat if its workers maliciously reveal information to threat actors. The problem can emerge from:
- people who do it intentionally when they are recruited by competitors;
- those who are not satisfied with their workplace;
- workers who have experienced unfairness or harassment within the company;
- staff that just intend to quit;
- employees who use social networks in the workplace too often and fall for hacker scams accidentally;
- former employees who have been fired but still have access to their workplace.
You need to consider all these factors to maintain Slack privacy.
Phishing in Open Communities
The next question is: ‘Is Slack secure when used in open groups?’ Fairly. Open communities are a very attractive option. They are opened by one person and protected only by the username. That causes Slack holes for hackers.
Most people believe that their business is secure only because no one can enter the open community without being invited. This is a big mistake. The community can be exposed to phishing and spam easily. A hacker can use a virtual account to send messages to everyone in an open group. The message could contain a link to a fake account that reads out all the sensitive information and, what is worse, financial details. That happened in 2017 when hackers sent emails pretending to be a ‘Slackbot’. It was very damaging, indeed, because most users didn’t see the reason why they had to distrust such accounts.
Can a Business Protect Itself While Using Slack?
No one in business would ever think about abandoning the use of email. Similarly, businesses do not consider the idea of ceasing to use Slack. Though the question is here: how secure is Slack messaging? Not too much. That is why new solutions are needed.
It is the responsibility of security teams and vendors to develop some protective measures and find applicable solutions to reduce the risks of threats.
IT Solutions against slack vulnerabilities include:
- Security apps. Many security apps for Slack have already been created meaning that this platform can be installed from the browser only via such an app. So far, such a solution is believed to be almost an ideal way of using the tool securely.
- URL filtering. Another development, presented by Avanan, is a special Slack app security platform that ensures URL filtering. It can automatically block suspicious accounts and those that have already been hacked. It can also protect business communication from phishing links.
- Archiving and Compliance. One more developer, SafeGuardCyber, offered a platform for archiving and compliance that can assess all messages and attachments sent to Slack and detect the malware content.
So, damaging data breaches and IP thefts should be mitigated quickly and effectively by using special IT apps.
Every business needs to consider threats that arise from using Slack and develop a set of rules that should be mandatory for any worker. They should include access rights as well as employee provisioning and de-provisioning. The procedure of security control also needs to be implemented and followed to diminish Slack security vulnerability. If your employee does not need access to the company’s account, do not give it to them. All the access for people who have left the company should be blocked or/and terminated immediately.
One more measure regulates the development of new training programs for employees on security issues and their continuous implementation. If all the people are aware of possible risks and issues, the entire company will be more protected.
Everything mentioned above implies that Slack security concerns should become one of the priorities for businesses. They need to take specific measures for their protection.
The first step on this way is to check what employees are doing via Slack. Sharing sensitive information of any kind should be forbidden. All the workers should use two-factor authentication as well. Everybody in the company has to be informed about the possible threats and preventive measures. Using different apps and effective solutions for security and protection as well as effective Slack encryption is also vitally important. All in all, these measures can minimize the risks of hacking, phishing, and data breach to make your business more secure.
What is more secure – Slack or email?
Like other messaging platforms including email, Slack is not completely secure. Even though private channels, passwords, and all kinds of encryption are used by the platform, both email and Slack can be exposed to hacking and monitoring by criminals.
Does Slack use end-to-end encryption?
No, it doesn’t. But Slack does use other types of encryption. It is not end-to-end but HTTPS. The company’s bosses say that it helps control the information shared in this way. Though hackers can use the same kind of control for their benefit.
Does Slack have private channels?
Yes. Private and public channels are available on Slack. Public channels allow for transparency, while private channels are used to share confidential information.
Do Slack administrators have access to private channels?
No, they don’t. They can deal with public channels only and export messages there.
Can other people have access to my private channel on Slack?
No, they can’t. Private channels are meant only for the members who are invited.