Ever wonder what tech giants do to keep their proprietary information in house and away from other tech companies just as savvy as they are?
Microsoft is one company that has kept an eye out for this. “Microsoft has a list of online services that it forbids its workforce to use,” according to Mashable, reporting on a story originally from GeekWire. This list includes programs such as slack, Google Docs, Amazon Web Services, and any other outside web sources.
The reasoning behind this is simple. Microsoft wants to keep all the company's communication within the company. According to Mashable, Microsoft believes that “not even all of its own programs are safe, as the Microsoft-owned Github is also off limits.” Given that Microsoft is skeptical of its own programs, it most certainly would not trust outside programs from, say, Google and Amazon, with company information.
According to Mashable, “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.” Microsoft does not want to give their direct competition inside information.
Apparently, Slack does not have the proper mechanisms to keep important company information safe. According to Mashable, an internal Microsoft document provided by GeekWire regarding slack states, “Slack Free, Slack Standard, and Slack Plus versions do not provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft Intellectual Property (IP).” Slack can be useful in the workplace, but it is not secure enough for Microsoft standards.
Microsoft also prohibits their employees to use Grammarly, a tool used to correct spelling and grammar. According to Mashable, the program “logs every keystroke users make in documents and in emails.”