Video Conferencing

With much of the global workforce shifting to working from home, video conferencing has become the norm. While video conferencing platforms come with built-in transcription, their reported accuracy level is less than 90%. This leads most organizations to rely on digital transcription service providers to document the discussions with utmost precision. However, one thing that continues to remain a concern when conducting video calls is security.

In January, serious security risks were reported with popular video conferencing platform Zoom and the company took quick action to address them. Reports say that working remotely may continue for some time even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Organizations need to be mindful about the security and privacy aspects of video meetings. Implementing the following best practices can help meeting hosts rein in the risks associated with video conferencing tools:

  • Set a complex password for sensitive meetings: Research from the cyber security research team at Check Point found that meeting hosts don’t use passwords (www.forbes.com). Security experts strongly recommend that those who conduct sensitive meetings use the ‘set password’ security feature of video conferencing apps. People cannot enter the call unless they know the password. Set a robust, unique password with a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols. Also, make sure you change password every time you conduct a meeting. In large meetings, it may be difficult to validate new entrants, but having a strong password can take care of this issue. Don’t share meeting passwords publicly.
  • Ensure that only intended guests can participate in the video conference: Using the waiting room feature of conferencing software will ensure that only intended people can access the call. This feature allows the host to control who can attend the meeting by placing people in a virtual waiting room. You can review the names of persons requesting entry into the meeting and grant entry only to those you want. When you are meeting with one person, you can put another person in the waiting room. You can later admit the person waiting to join the meeting. Enable “Announce When User Enters” for meetings. Best practice is to conduct a roll-call before the meeting to ensure that only intended participants are present.
  • Turn on channel moderation: This feature is meant to allow team owners to control who can start new posts and reply to posts in a particular channel. In Microsoft Teams, team members who are moderators of the channel and the team owners are responsible for managing content and context within a channel. Only moderators can start new posts in a channel for which moderation is turned on.
  • Turn off file transfer and automated screen sharing options: It’s important that your software allows you to manage activities like file transfer and screening sharing. Computer World points out that disabling file transfer features can prevent hackers from trying to spread malware. Blocking screen sharing can prevent authenticated attendees from accidentally sharing confidential information.
  • Pay attention to where information is shared: Avoid posting links to teleconferences on social media or on your company website. If the public can access the call, leveraging a registration process equipped with a CAPTCHA mechanism can help weed out potential attackers, says Security Intelligence. On the other hand, invitations to internal meeting can be sent out via email.
  • Turn on your webcam only if you need to: Background objects can give away information. To prevent this from happening, turn on only audio and use your webcam only if necessary. If you do turn on your webcam, consider what people can see on camera, says Tech Explore. For example, if an envelope with a home address is visible on camera, it can cause a security issue. The best way to avoid such concerns to use a neutral background or create a virtual backdrop when video conferencing.

Other strategies to secure video conferences include:

  • Don’t personal rooms for meetings. Disable private chat if possible
  • Lock/unlock the meeting every time a participant joins/leaves the call. Re-lock it after they return
  • Enable “mute participants on arrival”, especially in a big meeting
  • Share specific applications only in accordance with your organization’s policies
  • Monitor everything the platform allows
  • Educate your employees on how to keep video conferences secure
  • Use the latest version of the software

If you record the meeting, inform all the participants that they are being recorded. Getting the discussion transcribed by a reliable video transcription service provider will ensure secure, well-formatted, accurate documentation of the recording.