The world of working is changing – we are increasingly working collaboratively in teams, but members of those teams are no longer necessarily in the same office, location, or even the same organization. But all forms of collaborative work require team members to share data, and in the face of rampant data theft, secure collaboration is essential.

To remain competitive, organizations need to ensure that employees are able to communicate and exchange data easily and securely with authorized internal and external collaborators, wherever they may be in the world.

Increasingly, businesses need to find IT solutions that enable virtual collaboration and protect enterprise data with flexible access controls and protection capabilities that follow the data wherever it flows.

This typically requires close integration between collaboration platforms and workplace tools to minimize user friction, which can be further eased through interoperability with identity providers and the use of identity standards to enable things like single sign-on (SSO) and other low friction authentication options.

To enable employees in different locations to work in tandem with their fellow employees as well as partners, suppliers and even clients or customers, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to enable secure collaboration.

In today’s business world, information not only needs to be mobile, but it also needs to be secure. Organizations need to ensure protection for intellectual property, as well as other sensitive data such as personal information, health information, copyright, trade secrets, legal contracts, financial statements, etc.

Organizations need to ensure that this data can be accessed and modified only by authorized individuals, but at the same time the business requires that this kind of data is easily accessed and exchanged by all those who need it to do their jobs.

External and internal threats continue to increase, while at the same time the need to mobilize and collaborate using corporate-held information is also increasing. Therefore, securing data and information is a high-ranking priority in enterprises today. 

All organizations that depend on collaborative working, therefore, need to understand the risks and what can be done practically to enable collaboration in a secure manner.

Secure Collaboration vendors secure enterprise information for collaborative work within the enterprise and with partners, suppliers, customers, etc. while maintaining persistent protection. Solutions should facilitate easy sharing of data with the right people in the right context.

— Anne Bailey, Senior Analyst, KuppingerCole.

Because we understand the importance of secure collaboration, and because we are committed to helping your business succeed, KuppingerCole has a great deal of content available in a variety of formats.


A good place to start to find out what various vendors are offering to enable collaborative work in a secure manner, is the recently published Market Compass on Secure Collaboration that covers the secure collaborations solutions market, focusing on enabling data-centric security to facilitate virtual collaboration. You can also hear more about the report from the author, Senior Analyst Annie Bailey in this Analyst Chat.

Secure collaboration is a major use case for enterprise information protection. To find which vendors and products are active in this market, have a look at this Market Compass on Enterprise Information Protection.

Organizations must seek solutions that reduce complexity and encourage collaboration across the enterprise, a unified approach to providing services that transcend business units can encourage collaboration. To find out more, have a look at this Market Compass on Policy Based Access Management.

Learn more about how to select the right solution for secure information sharing as part of secure collaboration in this Leadership Compass on Secure Information Sharing.

Data catalogs are data and metadata management tools help in collaboration on data and in   improving data security and data transparency. To find out more, have a look at this Leadership Compass on Data Catalogs and Metadata Management.


Sharing information is an important part of secure collaboration.  This is typically enabled by extending authorization capabilities. To find out more about this, have a look at this Advisory Note on IAM Reference Architecture, with particular reference to chapter 5.8.


Learn what steps to take to build collaboration in the software development lifecycle, and how to put in place a strategy that fosters continuous improvement of the security posture by looking at this past KC Live presentation entitled: Creating a Collaborative and Secure SDLC and this panel discussion on Ensuring Efficient and Secure Collaboration on Cloud.


Collaboration is a key element of today’s topic, so have a look at this video blog outlining Five Golden Rules for Efficient Virtual Collaboration, based on the experiences of KuppingerCole Analysts in doing advisory via electronic collaboration platforms.


Secure collaboration is one of the many benefits of moving to a Zero Trust approach to security. To find out more about how to find go about adopting this security model, have a look at this Webinar on Technological Approaches to a Zero Trust Security Model.

As modern businesses across all verticals continue their rapid digitalization, the need to store, process and exchange data securely is becoming an essential factor for any company. This topic, with reference to secure collaboration, is discussed in detail in this Webinar on The Role of Data-Centric Security in the Cloud.

For further discussion on security collaboration in the cloud, have a look at this webinar entitled: The IAM Cloud Journey, that looks Identity and Access Management in the cloud, it benefits, opportunities, risks, and challenges.

2020 pushed the notion of trust to the forefront of all our lives. It made customer trust in brands acutely important to the bottom line amidst a severe economic recession. It also forced many organizations to overcome long-standing reservations about trusting their employees to work from home and placing their faith in digital channels to serve customers. Have a look at this Webinar entitled: Digital Trust: Critical to Digital Business Success to find out more about this topic.

Identity is a key element to secure collaboration. Find out how by leveraging the synergy between IAM and CIAM, businesses can achieve better secure collaboration as well as better sales opportunities, customer journeys, and privacy and compliance by having a look at this webinar entitled: Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Through Identity.

Continuing the theme of identity in the context of enabling secure collaboration, this Webinar presents A Fresh Look at the Business Value of PAM in the Work-From-Anywhere World.


Industries that have collaborate and share sensitive information must enable information protection while enabling business agility. They need to define their Information Protection Lifecycle and support with adequate technology. To find out more, have a look at this White Paper entitled: Protecting Intellectual Properties While Enabling Business Agility with R&S®Trusted Gate by Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity.

Authorization of API access is another key element of secure collaboration. This topic is referenced in this White Paper on How to Do Identity Right When Developing Digital Services.

Tech Investment

Organizations investing in technologies to secure collaboration, can have a look at some of the related technology solutions that we have evaluated: