Keeping your company’s data safe can be tricky when your competitors are begging you to put all your conversations, projects, and hard work right into the palms of their hands.
To make sure its competitors aren’t able to look behind its tightly drawn curtains, Microsoft has a list of online services that it forbids its workforce to use, according to a report from GeekWire. They’re familiar names for most modern professionals: Slack, Google Docs, and Amazon Web Services (among others).
Despite the popularity of some of these services that allow for easy communication between employees and data storing and sharing, Microsoft wants to make sure everybody is keeping all their information in-house with its own programs. Actually, not even all of its own programs are safe, as the Microsoft-owned GitHub is also off limits.
The idea behind this is that these services would theoretically allow companies like Google and Amazon to look directly at some of the things Microsoft is working on. There’s no way Microsoft wants to make it that easy for its competition.
Here’s an excerpt that GeekWire provided from Microsoft’s internal document with regard to Slack:
Slack Free, Slack Standard and Slack Plus versions do not provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft Intellectual Property (IP). Existing users of these solutions should migrate chat history and files related to Microsoft business to Microsoft Teams, which offers the same features and integrated Office 365 apps, calling and meeting functionality. Learn more about the additional features that Teams can provide your workgroup. Slack Enterprise Grid version complies with Microsoft security requirements; however, we encourage use of Microsoft Teams rather than a competitive software.
It makes sense when you put it like that. Not only does it open Microsoft up for other companies to see, but it’s kind of a bad look when your own employees are using a competing service It’s like if someone who worked at Apple did their work on a Windows computer.
Another interesting inclusion on the list of banned software is Grammarly, a tool that helps correct spelling and grammar. While that’s a nice tool to have, it logs every keystroke users make in documents and in emails.
Just something to keep in mind if you’re working with sensitive information.