When it comes to the question of security for video conferencing, one often comes across two extreme and opposing attitudes among managers. A lot of them truly undervalue the importance of secure video conferencing and believe that their business is too mundane and far beyond the scope of anyone outside their organization’s interest. This type of manager would not hesitate to use Skype or regular chat to hold meetings and share confidential company information.
On the other hand, one just as often meets managers who are paranoid about conducting meetings of any importance online, who are afraid of their research and industry insights leaking and reaching their competitors or others who shouldn’t be privy to this information. This type of manager will go to extreme lengths, often wasting resources, to ensure that meetings are for the most part face-to-face affairs. Both approaches are often catastrophic and reflect a lack of appreciation for today’s reality. Secure video conferencing programs, like the one offered by Blue Jeans, are solutions designed specifically for organizations that need to hold virtual meetings and who need these meetings to be secure. Here’s why you should use a secure video conferencing program, as well as a closer look at how one should operate.
It might seem a little too Hollywood to consider that someone is secretly listening in on your most important business meetings. However, a New York Times article details the experience of a chief security officer who did just that. He discovered that to accommodate individual participants, many large organizations set up their conference call meeting outside of protected firewall. Even further, many set their systems to automatically answer calls, rather than have participants enter a password to join in. Whether it is likely that someone is spying on your meetings, it is important to know whether that potential exists and to prevent others from gaining access to proprietary information, financial records, and other top-level information.
Video Conferencing Security is Real
It is not surprising to come across people who honestly think that the security levels provided by different services, whether it is a chat window in your email or a paid video conferencing program, are the same. These people believe that if a hacker was interested enough in accessing a conversation, they would experience more or less the same difficulty getting in. This could not be further from the truth. Understanding how video conferencing security works can help you better gauge the advantages of using a secure video conferencing program. The security of data stored and transmitted depends upon the security protocols set up, encryptions, network security, level of data radiation, and so on. A secure video conferencing program takes into account the limitations of other services with lower security levels, and it far outdoes these on all security parameters. The security of Skype conversations depends almost completely on user access passwords. This program and others like it should not be treated as a viable video conferencing option because of this and other security-related issues. In contrast, a service that specializes in providing businesses with secure solutions will use cutting-edge technology to fulfil its promises.
There are two main types of security that are used in enterprise-level video conferencing:
- 128-bit AES encryption is standard. According to EE Times, this is the type of encryption used by government organizations. It has a total number of solutions that is calculated as 3.4×10^38. The article calculates the amount of time it would take to try each of these possible solutions. Simply put, it would take an impractical number of years to crack such a code.
- Firewall and NAT traversal are also used. It uses internet protocol connections between network address translation (NAT) gateways. This leaves no method for traffic to be intercepted by a third party.
Combining these two security features makes penetrating a security system practically impossible. Often the only reason this type of security fails is due to not updating necessary software or not using high quality passwords. Additionally, these systems can be turned off, so it is important to verify that they are active prior to beginning a meeting.
Freely Share Confidential Information
Using a secure video conferencing program will change your whole approach to video conferencing. No longer will you feel obliged to carefully filter through information you would like to share, making sure to delete anything confidential where a security mishap could cost you big time. With a great secure video conferencing program, you will find sharing data to be easy and safe. From simple presentations and videos to confidential reports and sheets, you can freely share them all. This can only improve business, even as greater transparency is introduced together with a greater willingness to discuss what’s most important. Information on each individual device should also be secured. Typically this is done through the use of password protected files, folders, or drives. This prevents an individual who is participating in the exchange from accessing unnecessary files on another’s device. When a meeting is held over a cloud-based system, the administrator can designate which files are available to others.
Save Time, Energy and Money
If you’ve been one to prioritize face-to-face meetings when it comes to sensitive information or data, you will find that using a secure video conferencing program will save you a great amount of time, energy and money. Travel costs and time taken off regular work won’t be things you have to think about anymore. Knowing you’re using a secure service will allow you to better schedule your meetings and conferences, replacing many “real” conferences with video conferences. Having the option to host a video conference wherever you are and at any time will help you to optimize your resources, ensuring that neither you nor the participants of your conference are anywhere other than where they need to be.
Video conferencing services like Blue Jeans offer far more than just greater security. While having the freedom to securely hold meetings and video conferences when conducting business may be the reason why you’re considering a video conferencing program, you will find that features like multi-device interoperability, seamless conferencing services for large numbers, rich content sharing, and fast video sharing will improve the quality of your conferences. Since these services cater primarily to businesses, they provide a platform perfectly suited to your purposes. After using a great program, you will find everything else you used before primitive and simply not up to the mark.
One of the key benefits to using an enterprise-level video conferencing service that is cloud-based is that is can be used on almost any device. Users are connected to the meeting through any device that has both video capabilities and internet access. This includes desktop and mobile devices, as well as the most popular operating systems: Windows, Linux, and Mac. The video conferencing program takes care of security for all information transmitted during the meeting. Your company can designate a specific number of individuals admitted to any meeting. To increase capacity, the only steps necessary are to add additional licenses to your software and to designate allowed virtual ports.
Additional Security Concerns
For businesses with video conferencing security concerns, there are additional elements to take into consideration. Although your video conferencing program will provide exceptional security for your meetings and protect all transmitted data, this does not ensure against other types of security breaches, such as to your data storage systems. A closer inspection of your other security protocols may also protect vital information from hackers or leaks. Computer security is essential on all levels. Your communications network through which your conference calls are conducted will be secured by a combination of firewalls, a virtual private network (VPN), and similar technology. Data transmitted during the calls will be protected through encryption, ensuring only those with direct access can find the information. Each individual’s device must also have appropriate security protocols in place. Some companies provide devices for employees to use; others may prefer to verify that each device is identified by the system and is updated with the latest security software to prevent viruses and the like. You may also require users to provide a security code or additional login information to access meetings. It is important that your company has existing policies that dictate when and how this information is made available. Finally, there must be security on a physical level. Meeting rooms may only be accessed by key card, sensitive files may be stored under lock, and visitors to your facilities may need to pass through security and have access to only designated areas. Securing your video conferencing meetings is only successful when all other potential breach areas are also secured.
Using a secure video conferencing service can change your life. Knowing that this service really does provide you with maximum security will allow you to more openly discuss the intricacies of your business during video conferences without fear of hackers or leaks. By benefitting from a host of additional features, you will find video conferencing a very real and cost-effective alternative to holding conferences at a physical location.