As businesses increasingly shift towards digitalization, secure access to apps cannot be overstated. Today, data breaches and cyberattacks are a constant threat, making cloud security a critical business function. It's especially difficult with collaborative tools where in-house and external team members work on joint projects.
As a web-based interface design and prototyping tool, Figma allows teams to collaborate in real-time, making various design projects easier to manage and execute. Yet, given its collaborative nature and integration capabilities with other tools, this makes Figma's security a critical concern for these organizations.
In this article, we'll look at Figma's access security and highlight some best practices to prevent various risks.
Why is it important to secure access to Figma?
Figma, a collaborative interface design tool, has become an integral part of the work of designers and developers across industries. As a cloud-based application, Figma allows teams to co-design and manage projects easily, bringing together freelancer help and in-house employees allowing them to create, share, and edit designs in real-time. As many enterprise projects are considered confidential information, its secure access has become a growing concern.
Secure access to Figma projects is essential to ensure the integrity of the designs and limit access to protect the intellectual property of the organization or involved individuals. Therefore, its security is a crucial aspect to consider for all users.
Figma security best practices
Several key features in Figma can help organizations to edit privileges, sharing files securely. Here are some best practices that could help your team to secure their work.
1. Consider investing in a professional account
Figma's Professional plan enhances security measures to offer finer controls over file and prototype permissions. This enables effective management of teams and grants members access to specific Figma file folders and projects. The Professional account also includes unlimited version history, facilitating the tracking of modifications made to a Figma file and identifying the individuals responsible.
2. Use work email addresses for all team editors
If a team member engages in unauthorized activities, it's a good practice to use work email addresses for all team editors. It enables your company's IT or security team to promptly revoke edit privileges, maintaining the security and integrity of your organization. This creates an effective safety net against potential threats and can mitigate risks arising from unauthorized actions (i.e. a freelancer going rogue).
3. Create projects backups
Once a project reaches a significant milestone or is considered complete, consider archiving .fig files in a separate file system from Figma. This might involve exporting the final work as PDFs or prototype videos, followed by exporting source files. When the project is officially concluded, relocating these files to a yearly archive with tighter access controls makes sense. Developers can also use these files as a reference for new projects.
4. Ensure that your team owns all Figma files
The ownership of crucial Figma files should be exclusively retained within the team and not granted to external individuals, freelancer colleagues or clients. Figma files include sensitive and proprietary information, including design assets, user interface components, and collaborative work. Therefore, passing ownership to external parties could not only compromise the project's confidentiality but also pose the risk of unauthorized modifications, distribution, or misuse of the content.
5. Restrict the number of files available for non-team members
Figma offers some access controls built-in. For example, it allows sending invites at the file level. As a general guideline, it's advisable to refrain from sending invitations to external individuals at the project level unless it's absolutely necessary. Furthermore, Figma allows granting access solely to prototypes within files. This feature is a lifesaver when individuals require visibility into the prototype without access to the underlying design work. These functions combined allow careful control and protect the access of their design files, ensuring collaboration while maintaining data privacy.
6. Sharing should be invite-only
Files sharing is one of the key priorities when setting up secure access to Figma. While public share links may seem quick and easy, they often fall short of providing robust protection for sensitive information. That's why it's highly recommended that the default setting for file sharing should be set to invite only. This way, an additional layer of control and accountability is added. By curating a precise list of invited individuals, the Figma file owner can rest assured that only trusted parties can access the file’s contents.
7. Regularly review sharing permissions
Figma file owners should frequently review the individuals invited to access their files. This helps keep invite-only lists in check, keeping them consistently updated (focusing on disabling publicly available links when they're no longer needed). It not only ensures data security but also safeguards the integrity of the design process. Figma file owners can use this as a proactive measure to mitigate potential security breaches and stay up to date in terms of team access.
8. Handle shared libraries with caution
Shared libraries demand an added level of attention and consideration. It's imperative to minimize edit access permissions when it comes to critical design libraries. In most cases, this means that individuals outside the team should never have the opportunity to change your design system. By adhering to this stringent approach, you can safeguard the consistency and stability of your design libraries.
9. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
The default Figma password protection is inherently vulnerable to various risks like password reuse or exposure through data breaches. 2FA adds an extra layer of authentication beyond just a strong password. It requires the team to provide additional information, typically a one-time password (OTP) or a verification code, usually generated on a separate device. This ensures that even if someone manages to obtain or guess a user's password, they still need access to the second factor to gain entry.
10. Educate employees about phishing
Many phishing and social engineering attempts rely on tricking users into revealing sensitive information or compromising their accounts. Educating team members about these threats increases their awareness of the tactics employed by malicious actors and may help them to recognize potential attacks. As Figma accounts often contain valuable and confidential information, their hijacking could lead to data breaches or unauthorized modification to design files. Better-educated employees can protect their accounts better, use stronger passwords, and be cautious about sharing account information.
How can NordLayer help?
Figma is a modern necessity for most creatives and designers. With flexible tools to connect everyone in the design process, it helps to deliver better products and services faster. From websites, applications, and logos — Figma allows users to improve workflow and get creative. Yet, its security is a concern requiring finding a balance between security and ease of use.
Secure access to SaaS apps can be easily improved by implementing IP allowlisting with NordLayer. Our tools help to manage access securely, secure network edges, and track user actions across endpoints. Providing an encrypted and secure internet connection safeguards your team's Figma activity.
Contact us today, and discover how to combine the benefits of Figma with airtight security.