5 Best Practices to Secure Virtual Meetings


Ben HartwigWeb Operations Director at InfoTracer

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is having a widespread impact on business operations globally. Many organizations have been forced to make adjustments in the way they communicate, now that more people than ever before are working from home and company meetings have gone virtual.

Article 5 Minutes
5 Best Practices to Secure Virtual Meetings

Like with most trends, the increase in remote workers has come with a range of issues. Fraudsters have hacked into private video calls, exposing private details and leaking information.

This has brought up a huge security issue around virtual meetings. There are a number of factors that pertain to this, including the behavior of participants and the security controls of the meeting host.

It also includes the infrastructure of the meeting application. Those dynamics determine how susceptible a virtual meeting is to external threats.

Here’s a guide on virtual meeting security and how to select the most suitable form of virtual communication for your business.

What security should a virtual meeting platform have?

When selecting a meeting solution, assess how secure the application is in itself. Opt for solutions that offer end-to-end encryption. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the service provider to access or view the data

You also need to ensure that the application complies with regulations such as CCPA and GDPR. What you need is an application that has vigorous security controls, including options for single-sign-on and password-protected meetings.

After you select the provider, assess your infrastructure to ensure it's safe against software threats. Try to ensure that the videoconferencing and cloud infrastructure is compliant with security standards like FedRAMO, 27001 and ISO.

It’s imperative that only company-issued devices are used for online meetings. Where this isn’t possible, employees should take great caution and implement security measures on their   personal devices. Remove other meeting clients from the device, install endpoint protection and use a complex login password.

Ensure that application settings are configured by IT admins for maximum security. There should be a requirement that users sign in before joining meetings and “Guest” logins should be disallowed. For extra security, there’s also the option to use a VPN service, which is a remote access application. However, this often isn’t optimal for performance. A viable alternative could be requiring workers to sign in via an SSO solution, which would circumvent the need for a certificate-based device binding.

Another measure is to require that all meetings be set by a host/leader passcode. We know by now that passcodes should be complex, containing a minimum of 6 alphanumeric characters. Try to randomize meeting IDs, as opposed to having them fixed. This is a great way to prevent access to hackers.

The above illustrates measures for monitoring your identity when accessing virtual meetings, a vital underlying theme of protecting your virtual meetings. Any software application that stores information on people is a security risk, as personal data storage goes to the heart of people’s online identities.

From the moment of signing up right up to password creation, personal ID markers are captured electronically. On the flip side, hackers also adopt methods for monitoring your identity for fraudulent purposes. If you don’t monitor your own identity, you open yourself up to attacks. Part of protecting access to your identity involves making it very difficult for hackers to get access in the first place.

Security issues don’t only arise out of technical faults within the application. There are also best practices that apply to hosts and users.

Selecting a form of virtual communication

The choice of virtual communication depends on a number of factors:

  1. Cost: Every business has a budget, but it may be worth making it a priority to get a decent quality system that has the minimum security features.
  2. Security: Remote interactions entail the sending and receiving of communications. This is done between people in different locations, so it’s important to consider how secure each location is.
  3. Utility: Companies need to assess whether a form of communication will be conducive to the work at hand. For example, sometimes it’s better to have a web-based or face to face meeting if documents have to be poured over in great detail. In this situation, a teleconference wouldn’t work as well.
  4. Support: Some systems are just more complicated than others. Think about to what extent technical support will be available. Also, remember that some team members may be in places where they cannot access support.
  5. Access: Will the form of communication be accessible to everyone? In some situations, team members working out of their homes may not have video conferencing technology. However, most people have at least a mobile phone, so often the form of communication depends on prevalent limitations and allowances.
  6. Training: If you’re inclined to choose a complex system, one workaround is to train team members on it. You have to determine to what extent this is possible. Other considerations entail the type and length of training that will be required.

5 best practices to secure virtual meetings

With virtual meetings becoming so common, many best practices have developed around issues of security:

  1. There should be no unnecessary recordings, as these can potentially be accessed by hackers at a later time.
  2. If you’re having a video web-meeting, disable unnecessary features.
  3. Avoid reusing access codes. The longer you use the same code the higher the chance you’re not the only one who knows it.
  4. Use meeting identifier codes or one-time PINS when dealing with sensitive topics. In fact, you can go as far as to use multi-factor authentication
  5. Prior to screen-sharing, remind team members not to share sensitive information that isn’t intended for the meeting.

The world of the traditional business meeting really is evolving. While the virtual meeting existed long before the pandemic, widespread lockdowns have led us into unchartered, unprecedented territory. It may very well be the case that virtual meetings are here to stay.

This is all the more reason to evaluate the systems that facilitate those meetings. Security has always been an issue in the online world, and hackers now have another target for their illegal activities. Adopting the above best practices will go a long way in securing your business activities for the future.

Ben Hartwig

Ben Hartwig is a web operations director at InfoTracer. He authors guides on marketing and entire cybersecurity posture and enjoys sharing the best practices.


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