Tips for choosing the most secure video conferencing solution
Security has been a key concern about video conferencing services since their inception. It was even a hot topic in pieces of popular culture, such as the groundbreaking film “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the animated series “The Jetsons,” that were released before video calling technology was commercially available.
For example, in “The Jetsons,” which is about a family living in the futuristic space age, the characters make extensive use of on-demand video conference software, but are sometimes conscious of how its presence in their homes and workplaces raises the stakes for security and privacy. They use masks and decoys in some episodes to hide their real appearance from the viewers on the other side of the screen.
Today, in the real world, the stakes for video conferencing security are even higher. An unsecured video conferencing solution not only opens up the possibility of meetings being listened in on, it also likely indicates a compromised network, vulnerable to any number of cyberattacks.
As video conferencing services become more popular, security must remain a priority. We’ve compiled a few things you should focus on when shopping for a high-quality solution.
Encrypted video conferencing is the best way to ensure any sensitive discussions and materials don’t fall into the wrong hands. As such, it’s a key requirement in many audits for highly regulated industries including finance, law, and healthcare.
With Webex, organizations in these sectors and others can meet high bars for security while supporting seamless collaboration between their increasingly mobile and remote teams. All communications between Webex clients such as phones or desktops and the cloud are encrypted using strong ciphers and current industry-standard protocols.
Your security team may control and manage Webex encryption keys if needed, configure end-to-end encryption, and safely store some meetings and user data locally. In the latter situation, Webex Meetings will encrypt all passwords with SHA-2 hashing and salting and also Network Based Recordings at both the file and volume level.
Security breaches are costly. One estimate from the Ponemon Institute pegged the average cost per incident between $2.1 million and $5.7 million, depending on the number of records affected. Data loss prevention (DLP) tools have long been the first line of defense against the actions that often precipitate breaches, such as the unusual movement of sensitive files.
But traditional approaches to DLP are now struggling with cloud services that make it relatively straightforward to send data beyond the corporate firewall and to bypass company-owned endpoints altogether. In 2016, Gartner predicted that by 2020 one-third of cyberattacks against enterprises would involve unauthorized shadow IT devices. That would only further confirm the limitations of conventional measures, which are often cumbersome and difficult to scale.
Effective DLP, and by extension overall security compliance, now requires tight integration with modern tools, including video conferencing and cloud-based team collaboration software. Webex empowers compliance managers to integrate their existing DLP policies, in order to secure content sharing with people outside the organization. Integrations are available with Cisco Cloudlock and third-party services, too.
Security options for administrators
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all for video conferencing. Even in the “The Jetsons,” different occasions merited the use of different setups for video calling, such as the specialized Visaphone booth that was utilized instead of a smaller monitor in several episodes. For security purposes, it’s likewise good to have a variety of options at your fingertips, such as configurable security settings.
In Webex, administrators can take actions such as:
- Applying strong password rules to Webex Access Anywhere.
- Requiring authentication for all hosts and attendees wanting to access the site.
- Allowing hosts to customize meeting access security within predefined parameters.
- Letting any meeting be unlisted from calendars.
- Making meetings automatically end after a certain time or if only one attended remains.
- Mandating attendees have a Webex account on the site to join.
- Permitting users to store their email addresses and names to easily join in the future.
- Enforcing various lock controls for Webex Personal Rooms.
The flexibility of Webex means that you can make sure each meeting is done the right way, with appropriate security settings for safe and productive collaboration.
The road to more secure collaboration
Secure collaboration is a balancing act, between meeting end-user expectations for a convenient experience that makes it easy to connect with colleagues, partners, and clients while also satisfying high-stakes requirements for security and compliance.
Webex provides a fully secure collaboration platform that does not compromise on essential features such as content sharing and search. Try Cisco Webex for free today!
Oct 16, 2020 — Nishchala Singhal, Kathryn Parkes, & Mani Pande
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