Videoconferencing over the open Internet has gone mainstream, giving businesses of all sizes flexibility in the way they conduct meetings and conferences. The high-quality technology available cuts costs while minimizing travel time, bringing distributed teams together, and improving communication between both staff and customers.
Because of this, high definition (HD) videoconferencing is increasingly trusted to share important and even sensitive information—but you need to protect your information, and built-in security features may not be enough. Imagine the privacy implications if confidential company data leaked: The stakes are very high.
Securing Your Videoconferencing is a Necessity
Not every organization needs dedicated local or wide area networks (LAN or WAN) or military-grade security—solutions that have traditionally kept videoconferences secure. Using the open Internet for videoconferences can save an organization as much as 40 percent when compared to a private LAN or WAN.
Built-in security features, like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption—the same standard used for online banking—and specialty firewalls can keep your video environment secure. However, there’s still a risk that accidents or user error could leave your organization vulnerable. Understanding the settings available means extra protection for your system.
Taking Additional Security Measures
- Have a video policy in place that clearly describes when video conferences are appropriate and the type of information that can—or can’t—be discussed.
- Protect any confidential meetings or virtual rooms that can be accessed outside your organization by using a personal identification number (PIN). Any PINs used on an ongoing basis (i.e. for standing meetings) should be frequently changed—ideally for every session.
- Turn on the built-in video encryption at all video “endpoints”—the software or hardware installed on each user’s computer. It’s also best to use the vendor’s firewall traversals, which allow data to be exchanged smoothly across a firewall, for a seamless video experience.
- Make sure the auto-answer setting is turned off on all endpoints, too—especially any located in executive offices, boardrooms, or other sensitive areas.
- Disable remote camera control and file exchange when the system isn’t in use.
- For every meeting, assign a meeting administrator who can invite attendees to join, then lock it once everyone is present.
- When a meeting has a lot of participants, keep an eye on the meeting’s “bridge,” or multipoint control unit (MCU). This is the hub that connects multiple participants to a video conference. If you see anyone you don’t recognize, you can disconnect them.
Once your protocols are in place, provide training to your employees to minimize inadvertent breaches.
A Final Thought
Videoconferencing is changing the way we do business, and the ability to have secure communication through the Internet offers significant benefits. Confidentiality is possible with modern videoconferencing solutions—you just need to take the right security measures.