There isn’t much we can say about the perils of video conferencing that hasn’t been said already in the past seven months. But, IT leaders mulling permanent remote workforces should pay heed to video conferencing security and lay the groundwork to ensure corporate data and intellectual property (IP) stays secure when employees are using these apps. Here, Wire CEO Morten BrÃ¸gger says it might be a good idea to reexamine the software and ensure it has the four key elements crucial for a secure video meeting experience.Â
The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses in all industries to rapidly adapt to remote work. According to a recent study, 66% of U.S. professionals are working from home in some capacity, and 44% are working from home full-time. With analysts predicting that remote work will continue as the new normal in a post-COVID world, companies need to begin thinking more strategically about securing their networks to ensure that critical communications, consumer/corporate data, and intellectual property are protected and managed in accordance with government regulations.
Video conferencing tools are one of the primary technologies distributed teams use to stay connected while working remotely. Not only does video conferencing empower teams to communicate and collaborate effectively while working in different geographies, but it also helps stuck-at-home employees overcome feelings of isolation by enabling them to have face-to-face conversations with teammates, even if they’re virtual.Â
However, as more and more companies began running their businesses over video calls, bad actors saw their opportunity and seized it. In fact, FBI data suggests that cyberattacks have increased by a whopping 400% during the pandemic.
In the age of increasingly prevalent and exceedingly costly data breaches, businesses that are working remotely need to develop strong cybersecurity policies and protocols around all tools â€” including video conferencing solutions. By doing so, they will be able to keep their critical communications and data secure while mitigating risks and ensuring they can continue working productively in today’s evolving and unpredictable business landscape.
Key Elements for Video Conferencing SecurityÂ
As you begin developing your business’ video conferencing policies, you need to remember this: those policies won’t matter unless the solution you’re using is highly secure. After all, research suggests as much as 90% of all breaches are caused by human error; if you leave security in the hands of your employees, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
In other words, you can’t just deploy any video conferencing platform and expect that your data will be protected. Robust security Opens a new window policies are only as strong as the technology they’re built on. With that in mind, here are four features to look for in a secure video conferencing platform.
1. End-to-end Encryption
You can make sure only the right people have access to video conference data by using a system that offers end-to-end encryption. This ensures that only authorized individuals will have the necessary cryptographic keys needed to decrypt videos, data, and other assets. In the event that an attacker gains access to your systems, they won’t be able to read the data they intercept. It’s that simple.
Of course, not all end-to-end encryption is created equal. Some protocols have been proven to be more secure than others. If you have the option, choose a decentralized solution that uses double-ratchet E2EE (i.e., Proteus protocol). This way, every individual call, message, and file is separately encrypted on every device, with the keys generated from the device rather than a central server. This allows information to be protected to the smallest possible unit. The more information and messages sent, the more keys generated, and the more complex it is to decrypt and pick out specific data.
Learn More: 6 Ways to Get Virtual Events Right (Remotely)
2. Zero Trust Framework
Traditional video conferencing tools assume that traffic within an organization’s network is secure. But what happens when an attack originates from the inside?
If security is a priority, look for solutions designed with a zero-trust framework. Tools built on zero trust automatically assume that everything â€”including data, users, and apps is untrustworthy and must be checked and verified before being given access. Zero trust solutions ensure that all traffic â€” whether it originates outside the organization or within it is continuously monitored and authenticated.
In addition to securing your data, this also enables you to gain deeper visibility into your network and cloud environment, which helps you understand workflows more thoroughly and mitigate risks more effectively.
3. Access to Open Source Code
If you can’t analyze the source code of your video conferencing solution, it’s impossible to know with 100% certainty whether the privacy and security claims being made are true. By choosing an open source platform, you’re able to verify, modify, and improve the code however you want to support your organization’s unique requirements. This is one of the reasons why even large enterprises are accelerating open source adoption.
For example, imagine a vendor advertises that their solution uses end-to-end encryption to protect data and restrict access. If you are not able to examine their underlying code, there’s no way you can be completely sure that encrypted keys are only stored on user devices and nowhere else.
By having the ability to examine the source code, you can determine precisely how a platform treats data, integrations, encryption key storage, and other potential sources of security risks. If you don’t like what you see, you can either adjust the code yourself or move on to a more secure solution.
4. Security-first Infrastructure
Some companies focus on their application’s core competencies and treat security as an afterthought. In fact, one recent study found that while 94% of organizations have adopted DevOps workflows, only 28% of them have integrated tight security controls across the development lifecycle.
If your goal is keeping your video conferences secure, look for solutions engineered with a security-by-design approach to development. Companies that take such an approach build security-first infrastructure from the outset, using things like hyper-transparency, end-to-end encryption and zero-trust protocols to maximize security and keep private data confidential.
Learn More: Cloud Collaboration Tools: Risks vs. Rewards
While businesses have been forced into remote work due to the pandemic, the good news is that modern technology makes it easier than ever for remote teams to work together effectively. But at the same time, a distributed workforce presents a whole other slate of challenges â€” particularly when it comes to ensuring sensitive data is secure.
By choosing a highly secure video conferencing and collaboration solution â€” an open-source platform that delivers end-to-end encryption, zero-trust protocols, and security-first infrastructure â€” you can drastically reduce the chances your company gets hacked and makes headlines for the wrong reasons. In turn, this allows you to focus more intently on your company’s core competencies instead of putting out fires, making it that much easier to accomplish your primary goals of building great products and delighting your customers.