SMS Helps Enterprises Sleep at Night

By Andy Shirey, Senior Product Manager, OpenMarket for Information Security Buzz

As earnestly as IT and security organizations try, system outages and even security breaches are inevitable. But this doesn’t mean that IT and security teams should lose sleep, worrying that an incident may snowball into a catastrophe—with losses in revenue and customer satisfaction.

Enterprises that have endured major incidents will attest that fast and accurate communications are essential to managing incidents effectively and maintaining business continuity. By minimizing human latency and rapidly getting the right information to the right people, IT and security teams can make good decisions quickly, decisions that lead to faster resolution and minimal impact on workforce productivity, customer service and brand reputation.

The key to fast and accurate communications is preparation and planning—and using the best technologies. SMS messaging is a critical part of the solution. Research shows that over 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. As a technology that is now virtually ubiquitous around the world, and that enables automation and reliable two-way communications, SMS plays a leading role in incident management and business continuity. To illustrate how and why, let’s look at some common enterprise IT and security use cases.

System, network and emergency alerts
SMS can be utilized for a variety of communications, including:

  • Alerting IT first-responders to system and network outages
  • Automatically escalating incidents to back up responders or managers
  • Notifying staff before, during or after emergency situations via one- or two-way messaging

Process management and information tracking
SMS can be used to trigger and track events and help manage resources, such as:

  • Ticket life-cycle management: awareness, ownership, updates, conditional escalation, and closure
  • Staff appointment reminders and shift or on-call change notifications
  • System health notifications
  • IT customer surveys and feedback

Data security
76% of network intrusions exploited weak or stolen credentials, which makes providing an extra layer of security vital. SMS provides solutions here as well, including:

  • Two-factor authentication with one-time PIN
  • Password change reminders and reset notifications
  • Password change notifications and fraud alerts

Today, the number and type of enterprises adopting SMS into their IT, security, human resources, and emergency communications strategies is rising. For professionals responsible for mission-critical operations in their organizations, now is the time to identify outdated or ineffective communications and workflows, and mobilize them for more efficient operations, lower business risk—and a better night’s sleep.