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Slack security: How secure are Slack workspaces

Faulty Slack security could ruin your experience on this collaboration hub. You might already know employers can read private Slack messages exchanged between co-workers. However, Slack’s security concerns go beyond that after digging deeper into its data protection practices. See what security and privacy protections Slack offers and what elements depend on decisions from individual workplaces.

Slack security: How secure are Slack workspaces

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is Slack, and how does it work?

Slack is a user-friendly platform for companies to unite employees. While its original purpose was to support organizational communications, it also became a community platform.

  • Slack offers a free plan with limited features, but premium plans offer more, such as enterprise-grade security and advanced identity management.
  • The free version supports two-factor authentication and data encryption at rest and in transit.
  • Only premium plans have SAML-based single sign-on (SSO) and OAuth with Google.
  • The support for HIPAA compliance only comes with the most expensive premium plan.

Slack security: What you should know

Slack faces many challenges, from vulnerabilities to human error. Its popularity could also make it a more lucrative target for criminals.

For example, Slack suffered a database hack in 2015, exposing encrypted and salted passwords of Slack accounts. While you might continue using Slack due to its productivity benefits, it is essential to recognize the potential risks.

Vulnerabilities in Slack security

Slack security teams are responsible for keeping software compliant and safe to use. However, many services battle bugs and flaws that could interrupt workflows or assist as exploits for hackers. Previous Slack security issues related to threats like stolen employee tokens and execution of arbitrary code within Slack.

Slack users cannot control how quickly security research teams resolve issues. However, it is crucial to ensure timely updates for Slack as they might fix critical bugs. Also, enable a VPN to ensure that all data exchanges happen safely.

Picking appropriate Slack plans

Slack promises data protection at rest and in transit for all users. However, depending on what information teams share, only particular plans might work.

For instance, Slack Enterprise Key Management allows companies to encrypt messages and files using unique keys. Furthermore, only the Enterprise Grid plan offers support for HIPAA compliance.

Companies interested in using Slack can contact their sales team. They should help you choose an appropriate plan for securely and conveniently managing information.

Reassuring invite-only compliance

You must receive invitations to join Slack workspaces. This helps to ensure that only intended people can join particular channels. So, Slack security directly depends on limiting access to your workspace.

These tips can help boost Slack security and guarantee that the right teams have access to information:

  • Admins should require approval for invitations to join workspaces.
  • It is possible to set that only particular email domains can join your workspace.
  • Slack Connect allows you to accept people outside your company safely.
  • Consider setting up guest accounts for employees who do not need permanent or full access.

Onboarding and offboarding procedures

Another Slack security issue might be how companies deal with onboarding and offboarding. For instance, adding external members to a workspace is a delicate matter. It is crucial to guarantee that they can only gain access to data within their scope.

One key element of secure onboarding and offboarding is smooth communication between HR and Slack admins. Former employees should not retain access after leaving.

Another crucial thing is regularly reviewing whether external members should get removed from Slack workspaces.

Third-party app integrations with Slack

Third-party integrations with Slack facilitate a seamless task flow without leaving your workspace. However, experts associate certain risks, mainly after integrations have already caused issues.

Companies should establish clear policies regarding app integration or keep them at a minimum. It is also possible to ban specific Slack app integrations.

Problems with open Slack communities

Slack workspaces likely have many channels, many of them unrelated to work. Guaranteeing that exchanged information is safe from offensive comments or malicious content is crucial.

A suspicious activity like sharing confidential information on the wrong channel might be accidental. However, there are some things you should avoid via Slack messages for security and general courtesy:

  • If you try to inform your team about dangerous links, clearly state that others should not click on them.
  • Never share clients’ personal information, like names, passwords, or email addresses.
  • Do not share passwords or other highly confidential information on Slack.
  • Use various security tools and techniques like two-factor authentication.

The general rule of thumb is that information hackers could exploit does not belong on Slack.

What information does Slack collect about active users?

According to its privacy policy, Slack can collect an array of user information:

  • It gathers account and workspace details like email addresses, phone numbers, and billing information.
  • Slack logs which channels, workspaces, content, and links you interact with or view.
  • It gathers what website you visited before opening it, IP addresses, dates of the visits, and browser configuration.
  • Slack also gets details about your approximate location, likely through IP addresses or third-party integrations.
  • Slack also retrieves video and audio metadata generated through calls or Slack Huddles.