Businesses are moving more functionality to cloud-based applications every day, many on a quest to streamline processes and boost efficiencies. This is more than an observation of today’s digital business culture—it’s a fact backed by data. Consider the following statistic: Today, 64 percent of SMBs say they utilize an average of three apps based in the cloud. In the next two to three years, that percentage is expected to rise to 78 percent.
What’s helping to lead the charge? Part of it is the rise of video as a service (VaaS)—also called video conferencing as a service (VCaaS). Again, this is data-backed: The compound annual growth rate for the cloud video conferencing market is projected to be nearly 40 percent by 2019.
Those companies that expect to succeed with their VaaS initiatives must of course analyze the potential ROI associated with these investments, but there’s an elephant in the room that should be looked at first and foremost: Security, security, security.
A Breakdown of VaaS
To really understand the security implications of VaaS, first we must break down precisely what it is and why businesses are flocking toward it at such a high rate. In essence, VaaS uses cloud-based servers to store and manage data associated with real time audio and video.
The popularity of VaaS can be attributed to a number of potential benefits:
• Companies can avoid expensive hardware or infrastructure investments typically associated with other large-scale AV upgrades (like immersive telepresence).
• At its core, cloud is inherently accessible to all, regardless of location. This feature is especially conducive to videoconferencing, which is meant to connect those remotely located.
• Company efficiency and meaningful collaboration rates are often increased for companies who take to cloud videoconferencing. Conversely, travel expenses can decline substantially.
• Today’s bring your own device (BYOD) society is ripe for applications with mobile capabilities (which are included in many VaaS solutions).
VaaS and Security: What Businesses Need to Know
Security is vital in all areas of business IT—nobody would argue that point. Some might argue, though, that it’s especially vital when it comes to VaaS for SMBs or enterprise companies. Why? Data loss resulting from malware attacks or unfortified network connections can be exponentially worse if they involve sensitive or proprietary conversations or images on video.
Here’s what businesses can do to avoid security breaches:
• Ask potential VaaS providers detailed questions about past incidents, any potential guarantees or warranties they offer, and the details of their security policies.
• If mobile VaaS is in the picture, make sure there’s a BYOD program that hits a good balance of user-friendliness and security features.
• Search periodically for unfamiliar logins and suspicious spikes in traffic, and always compare videoconferencing guest lists to live log-ins before starting important meetings.
• Gate any videoconferences that will cover sensitive information with access codes that can only be used once.
At the end of the day, it’s virtually impossible to create a cloud-based platform completely free of threats. True or not, it’s still the responsibility of cloud service providers (as well as their customers) today to offer the most robust security programs possible.
Businesses in the market for VaaS solutions are likely aiming to improve efficiency and workflow; they can do that and keep their data secure if they closely vet providers and keep security top of mind.