News & Blog

How Secure is Your Web and Video Conferencing?

Conferencing – both Web and video – is currently among the most used mediums of collaboration for enterprises of all stripes. Businesses rely on these technologies to communicate with their remote teams and clients, as well as to avoid travel costs. But are their conferencing activities secure enough? Can there be a risk of losing critical data through conferencing? Consider the ramifications of losing sensitive data like financial details, client information, or sales/marketing plans.

Web Conferencing – Is your data at risk?

According to a recent survey by Brother International Corporation, 60 percent of organizations exchange mission-critical data over web conferences. Forty percent involve financial data, one-third private customer or patient information, and nearly one out of five deal with trade secrets.

Web conferencing is comparatively better-guarded than video conferencing. However, experts warn that it’s not entirely bereft of risks. There could be gaping holes in the system, exposing your deepest business secrets to hackers. For instance, most web conferencing services allow users to create custom URLs – also known as Vanity URLs – to join a meeting. This could serve as a window for hackers to impersonate someone else. Hackers can also get hold of the conference call-in and PIN numbers by breaking into someone’s email.

How can you keep your web conference activities well-guarded? Experts suggest the following tips:

-Use encrypted protocols

-Select a well-encrypted software

-Create strong passwords

-Use multiple layers of passwords

-Conduct regular risk assessments

-Choose a reputable service provider

The secure way to video conferencing

There are many reasons why video conferencing leaves you vulnerable to threats and data breaches.

Most video conferencing systems allow remote monitoring and management. However, some also have features to stream video and audio content to remote users. Misusing these features could allow potential hackers to gain access to secure data. Due to the same reasons, Cloud-based recording of meetings via desktop share-stream is also risky.

You can’t pin all the blame on the technology; many data breaches from video conferencing results from user missteps such as:

-Turning-off encryption

-Using non-encrypted video systems

-Connecting to devices that don’t support encryption or have their encryption turned-off

-Not using strong passwords

-Not changing passwords frequently

-Using solutions and services that don’t use robust encryption

How does VCA protect our clients?

We build security protocols for our clients from the video system manufacturer (i.e. Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize) specifications.  For example all these systems can be encrypted, but it’s up to us to work with our client and their IT staff to adhere to existing firewall/security requirements, OR help them develop such practices.  This can be as drastic as deploying a secure overlay network dedicated just for video traffic. VCA utilizes best practices for engineering standards in all our video and collaboration deployments.

It boils down to this: the larger share of responsibility in ensuring secure conferencing – be it Web or video – rests on the users. Besides choosing the right service providers, a lot depends on the use of these technologies. Utilize prescribed security measures and make sure you secure supplementary systems.

With these best practices in place, you can safely enjoy the benefits of conferencing technologies without jeopardizing your business.