The Covid-19 pandemic has, within the space of just a few months, had far-reaching effects on the way we communicate with one another. Working from home, it appears, is the 'new normal' and something we're all going to have to get used to. But despite all the disruption, collaboration in the workplace continues apace, albeit via teleconferencing rather than in person. With governments around the world having imposed stringent restrictions on freedom of movement, we’re seeing for ourselves that necessity really is the mother of invention.
Video conferencing is one way in which businesses (as well as individuals) have continued to communicate through the ongoing pandemic. It was already growing in popularity before the virus struck, but in current circumstances, it's risen to a new level of prominence in our everyday lives. However, there's more to video conferencing than just choosing the most convenient video call app. We also need to take network security into account, as video conferences could potentially be vulnerable to hackers. This could put confidential information at risk, which in turn could, in turn, do huge reputational damage to your business.
Here, we’ll take a look at six of the most important features you need to ensure secure video conferencing. That’s both during the current pandemic and into the long-term future.
1) Restrict access
When you’re organizing an online video conference, you must ensure that only people who need access to the meeting have it. Video conferencing platforms generally allow meeting organizers to restrict access to certain email addresses. In this way, you can ensure that only the people you invite to the call are able to join it.
You should also be able to set a unique, one-time meeting password. As long as this is restricted only to the relevant people, it should help you keep prying eyes out. Other features, such as virtual waiting rooms, can be used to restrict access to any given meeting. Organizers can keep people in these waiting rooms until it’s appropriate to admit them to the call. This all helps to ensure confidentiality.
2) File and link sharing
When organizing a video conference, you should be vigilant about which files are shared between participants. If malware and viruses are shared and downloaded in a remote online conference, the consequences could be severe. In order to reduce the risk of such an occurrence, you can limit the types of files which are shared on any call.
So, for example, you can prevent attendees from sharing executable (.exe) files, as these are commonly used to spread malware. Likewise, you should be very careful about which links are shared during the conference. Advise attendees not to click any unverified links as this could easily lead to a security breach.
3) Configure security controls properly
Whichever software you’re using, it should come with a variety of security controls. It’s important to understand just how these work. Take the time to familiarize yourself with them before any video conference. The ongoing SaaS development process of recent years has seen a new generation of security solutions emerge. Many offer robust and innovative security solutions
For example, there are some which can automatically detect files containing personal information and prevent them from being shared. Ensure that your security controls are configured so that they safeguard confidential information in any way possible.
4) Video and screen sharing
If you don’t need to use video on a conference call, you don’t have to. In fact, audio-only discussions use up less bandwidth, so the quality and reliability of the call might be enhanced. That can be helpful if you’re having trouble with your connection.
If you do prefer to use video when conferencing, however, you might want to limit the ability to screen share. This will help to prevent sensitive information getting displayed by mistake. Where possible, it’s best if only the host of the call can share their screen.
5) Report suspicious activity
If you do encounter any suspicious activity while you’re taking part in a video conference, you should report it as soon as possible. By informing your IT team about potential security breaches, they’ll be better placed to take the appropriate action.
New security threats are appearing all the time, and video conferences are becoming increasingly important targets for hackers. Keep your organization’s IT specialists informed so that they can act and take any necessary preventative measures. Instruct all members of your team to do the same.
6) Training and education
Perhaps the best way to ensure reliable security is to provide everyone on your team with the appropriate training and education. Make sure they know how to use the tools they have, such as contact center software, properly and securely. More and more customer services are also being provided virtually - including through SMS customer support - so safe use of these kinds of channels is also crucial. Not least due to its importance to customer confidence.