once upon a time, to guarantee a private conversation, all you had to do was shut the door and mind your volume. With the advent of the Internet, a firewall mirrored the service of real walls. Like the four walls of a room, a firewall served as a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and everyone else. Behind this firewall, companies built their own internal applications on their own servers in their own data centers, managed by their own personnel. Just as conversations conducted in person run the risk of eavesdroppers, so too do those behind the firewall. But you don’t avoid the conversation altogether; rather, you take the necessary precautions to maximize security — to protect your company, your colleagues, and yourself. Along came the cloud. Our affection for convenience unseated our intuition for security and we started having private conversations in public spaces. These days, it’s hard to imagine a work day absent Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, iMessage, iCloud, or Box. Cloud-based utilities are now commonplace. They allow us to do more in less time with a smaller data footprint. File-sharing has never been easier or taken up less space. Messaging is convenient, quick, and searchable. Group messaging is intuitive. If you’re not on the cloud you’re not maximizing your time, talent and dollars. But efficiency comes at the cost of security. When we transferred our business operations to the cloud, we gave a whole lot more people access to our private communications. A cloud-based collaboration approach invites the cloud-based provider into your personal space, giving Google or Apple full view of correspondence meant only for your trusted network. Hovering stealthily around these conversations are also infrastructure providers, like AWS, Microsoft, and IBM, which manage the data centers used by cloud-based providers. The sensitive information on which the success of your company rests, including private communications and client data, is no longer in your exclusive possession. Personal space, once a guarantee, has become a dangerous illusion. In this new paradigm, private conversations are taking place in public spaces. Ignoring this reality and hoping for the best — trusting that your provider prioritizes your privacy, praying they don’t get hacked, data mined, or subpoenaed — is not only naive but negligent. The only way to guarantee your company’s privacy while remaining efficient and competitive is to find a cloud-based provider who offers accessible and manageable file-sharing and messaging services but encrypts messages end to end, keeping the content of your messages out your provider’s hands.