Advantages & Risks of Unified Communications for SMBs

Technology inherently comes with advantages and risks, and the benefits of secure unified communications (UC) are undeniable. Compared to alternative communications platforms, UC boasts superior reliability, expanded options for mobility, integrated data, on-demand collaboration tools, affordability and on-demand scalability. However, UC also presents some unique security challenges because it brings together numerous communications technologies, such as VoIP, video, chat, and email, together into one unified messaging system.

SecureUC-300x200 Advantages & Risks of Unified Communications for SMBsAnd while large corporations can and do often dedicate substantial resources towards securing their communications systems, SMBs are much more reliant on their UC vendor for providing security enhancements to mitigate risks. Some key considerations when selecting your UC provider include the following.

  1. Data center security and redundancy. Ideally, your UC vendor should have their own data centers where they host the UC platform. This is the only way they can truly guarantee against system failures.
  2. Ability to respond to demand. There are two key factors that impact The first is ensuring your UC vendor has their own instance of the UC platform being used. Vendors who rely on third parties have much less control over how quickly services can be scaled. The second consideration is internet connectivity. It doesn’t matter how great your UC provider is, if they don’t provide dedicated fiber optic internet connectivity as part of their services, you’ll be left relying on public internet vendors. Not only are outages much more likely, but because bandwidth is shared with a variety of customers, data transmissions can also be slowed, and voice call integrity can be disrupted during peak usage times.
  3. Data encryption. How your UC vendor handles data can have a direct impact on your risk exposure. To ensure secure unified communications, your UC vendor should encrypt all of your data at all times – including when data is in-transit or at rest.
  4. On-demand account management. One of the benefits of UC is that once the system is installed, on-site administrators should have the ability to manage permissions and network access without having to contact your UC vendor.

If your small or medium sized business is looking to upgrade to a secure unified communications system or have questions about the security of your existing UC, the team at ATB can help. Our IT experts can help you evaluate UC vendors and make recommendations to ensure your communications needs are met while security risks are minimized. Don’t wait until you have a communications failure to contact our team. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn more today!

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