Secure Collaboration for the Board

  • Carissa Duenas
  • Published: February 10, 2022
Secure Collaboration for the Board

Effective board collaboration is necessary for good governance. Without collaboration, it becomes a real challenge for board members to contribute to the oversight process and fulfill their fiduciary duties of care.  

The need for technology to help streamline board collaboration has become more evident today. In an era marked by quickly evolving, competitive markets and a dangerous cybersecurity landscape, boards must have a reliable and secure collaborative process in place for getting work done. 

In this article, we discuss the two main issues that boards have to contend with when it comes to employing technology for collaborative tasks. We also tackle why board portals continue to become an indispensable solution for secure collaboration and good governance.

ADDRESSING PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR SECURE COLLABORATION IN THE BOARDROOM

Collaborating securely in the boardroom requires a two-pronged approach:

    1.) Retaining the ability to effectively prepare for board meetings

    2.) Minimising security risks

1. SUPPORT MEETING PREPARATION

Board members usually don’t have any time to waste. Learning a technology platform that is not oriented for board activities and is too complex to use will fail to provide any value. Collaborative activities will falter.

Instead, board members and administrators need a solution that supports today’s faster pace of work, while retaining a sense of familiarity. To compete in today’s business environment, simple, practical solutions that address the current speed of information flows and strengthen the quality and integrity of information received are imperative. 

In other words, collaborative platforms must meet the board’s agile way of doing business. This helps ensure active and engaged participation throughout the board meeting’s lifecycle.

2. MINIMISE DATA RISKS

Board meetings have gone virtual or remote for many companies. More often than not, this has translated to shorter but more frequent board meetings. As board information travels to and from directors and administrators with more frequency, there is a proportional increase for data breaches. 

Many boards still use email to collaborate and communicate board information. This comes with greater risks. There is the danger of information ending up in the wrong hands, whether through misdirected emails or accounts being compromised. 

The risk isn’t entirely new for many boards. There has been growing hesitation to communicate over email, which can impact their overall confidence in collaborating with fellow board members.

HOW BOARD PORTALS HELP BOARDS COLLABORATE SECURELY

Board portals — or board management software — such as Boardlogic, help boards collaborate during and in between meetings, while steering clear of data risks and security breaches. They are a powerful, secure collaboration platform that help push the board’s agenda forward.

1. ONLINE, REAL-TIME COLLABORATION

Board portals typically have integrated messaging functionalities that allow board members to receive messages in real-time, practically eliminating the need for email to collaborate. Information pertaining to board matters need not get lost in crowded email inboxes or in unsecured shared drives managed by non-board members.

As a central repository for board-related files and information, board portals make it easy to locate information when you need it. Board issues are given the priority they deserve, with less distractions. Collaboration and communication can take place, securely, at any time, and from anywhere.

2. TRACK TASKS

Many board portals have task tracking features integrated into the board meeting solution. This relays the status and progress of identified action items.

With this, board members have the opportunity to remain an active participant in board-related activities, even when outside the boardroom. Board management software helps ensure your board stays engaged and in-the-loop at all times.

3. ONE-STOP ACCESS TO GOVERNANCE TOOLS

With features such as voting and approvals, board members can cast votes and affix their signatures to board documents electronically via the board portal. 

Gone are the days of physically circulating documents for board signatures, or the need to wait for board meetings to obtain consensus on board matters. Collaborating on governance matters does not have to take a back seat outside of board meetings.

4. SHARE NOTES AND INSIGHTS

Premium board portals provide the board with the ability to share notes. This allows board members to share their comments, questions, and insights on specific items within the digital board pack. By sharing notes, board members can easily collaborate and review matters that merit their attention during their board pack review in a highly secure environment.

5. GRANULAR FILE ACCESS ON A ROBUST SECURITY PLATFORM

Board portals provide fine-grained security permissions for files uploaded to the platform. Files are presented to intended board members, with assigned rights. And because the platform is a closed-loop system, disclosure of confidential information to individuals outside of the pre-vetted list of board members (or board administrators) becomes less likely.

Having said all this, it is important to note that the features mentioned above do not make sense for boards to utilise if the board portal is not built on an enterprise-grade, multi-level encryption framework. Security should underpin board management software technology. Board management solutions must work towards safeguarding your data — and privacy — at all costs. 

CONCLUSION

Boards are continuing to embrace virtual and remote solutions to get work done.

Integrated, all-in-one board collaborative solutions, such as board portals, continue to change the game when it comes to managing board activities. Boards can accomplish much more with collaborative features that offer agility, speed, security, and convenience. By using board management software, they are able to bring forth meaningful change to the organisation — with utmost confidence.