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Securing your Video Conferences: how to Minimize Risks of Hacking

Businesses large and small have discovered the added benefits of incorporating video conferencing into wider enterprise communications. According to Frost & Sullivan, the North American video conferencing services market is expected to reach $594.1 million by 2016, driven primarily by an across-the-board recognition of video as a key enabler of greater enterprise collaboration and increased employee productivity, costs savings due to travel replacement and environmental stewardship. Despite significant advances in video conferencing technology and increased market adoption, gaping holes still exist in the security surrounding many virtual meeting systems, exposing corporations to hacking. Fortunately, a combination of secure meeting access, technology features and platform hosting can reduce system vulnerabilities and provide superior security.

As with all enterprise communication, restricting access is central to securing any virtual meeting environment. As video conferencing technology has become more advanced and less complicated, businesses have started running video conferencing on public IPs without a firewall for convenience and to easily connect with conference participants within and outside of their corporate networks. Many new systems also feature automatic inbound call accepting to enable hosts to conveniently skip clicking “accept” for every caller. While indeed convenient, virtual meeting solutions that run outside network firewalls and feature automatic-answering essentially allow anyone, including malicious voyeurs, to dial in to your virtual meetings and look around unfettered and often times unnoticed.

Here are a few things to be aware of when selecting a video conferencing technology and service provider in order to maximize meeting security and minimize risks of hacking:

1. Secure access:

You can greatly limit who is able to access your virtual meetings by ensuring that your technology provider is able to integrate a few key features, including PIN codes – a layer of credentialing for participants – room lock, which enables the host to “close” meetings at a certain time to any new callers wishing to join, and URL refresh, which replaces moderators’ private meeting URL with a new one to avoid previous guests joining future video conferences. Secured portal access (HTTPS) also provides additional security to further protect the transmission of information.

2. Secure technology:

Technology providers like Vidyo rely on proprietary video conferencing platforms and are therefore better able to maintain virtual meeting security via advanced video communication protocols. Vidyo has also implemented encryption for all of the password data stored in the database on the VidyoPortal as well as at the end point.

3. Secure platform:

Everyone should consider the security capabilities of the platform and network hosting their video conferencing solution, particularly financial and legal firms and other businesses with high information confidentiality requirements. Ideally, the service provider network is a private cloud platform managed around the clock, housed in top-of-the-line data centers and protected by additional firewalls to prevent hacking. Architecture and network equipment redundancy is also important to ensuring security as well as service continuity.

The bottom line is that virtual meeting security shouldn’t be an afterthought but rather a top priority along with the image definition, quality of service and the performance of your video conferencing solution. And, luckily, businesses today don’t have to choose between convenience and security as long as they know what features to look for when seeking out a video conferencing service provider and solution.

Related: (Even) If it’s not Broke, Fix it: Four Signs it’s Time to Upgrade your Video Conferencing System

About the author

Stéphane Seigneurin is Arkadin's Vice President of Product Management, heading up the company's Audio, Web, Mobility and Video product lines. He works at both a strategic and project level to define Arkadin's product roadmaps and to develop an overall vision for innovation and future solution integration requirements. Stéphane has targeted expertise in Video, Web and Audio Conferencing, VoIP, SaaS and Unified Communications, and was instrumental in the development of Arkadin's global Cloud Collaboration Platform for Audio collaboration services. In addition to having worked in the conferencing industry for more than 15 years, Stéphane has also managed a variety of international projects in the video broadcasting arena.

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