StrikeForce Takes a Swipe at Zoom, Launches Secure Videoconferencing Platform


StrikeForce, a cybersecurity company and the maker of  SafeVchat — a secure video meeting tool says despite claims for having strong security features, Zoom and other videoconferencing heavyweights have fallen short of providing sophisticated cybersecurity technology required for video conferencing solutions.

As the whole world moved to video conferencing — Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex played an outsized role in helping homebound workforces get through WFH. Though Zoom remained unbeatable in the video conferencing space in 2020, the string of security gaffes shows how security is a reactive bolt-on approach for Video as a Service (VaaS) heavyweights.

George Waller
EVP and Co-founder, StrikeForce Technologies

George WallerOpens a new window , EVP and Co-founder, StrikeForce Technologies, the company behind the newly launched SafeVchat — a secure by design video conferencing solution unpacks the complexity of the current crop of video conferencing solutions.

“The problem is these are video conferencing companies whose priority is just to allow people to clearly hear and see each other — they simply don’t understand security,” he said.

Waller warns that organizations need to realize that there are real fundamental vulnerabilities with all existing video conferencing platforms. Despite claims for having strong security features, these platforms have proven to be vulnerable to hackers and cyber-attacks.

“As an example, if they’re client-based, malware can latch on to the client and allow hackers to eavesdrop on the video conference and steal the video, the microphone, the audio-out, keystrokes, your clipboard and even screen scrape your desktop,” he added.

See Also: Wire Takes On Video Conferencing Rivals With a Next-Gen Meeting Solution

(Un)Secure Videoconferencing in the Age of Pandemic

Amid the global shift to remote work, the explosive growth of video conferencing platforms created a focal point for hackers looking to steal sensitive data. As a result, video conferencing has become one of the biggest risks to national security and business security.

“This is exactly why earlier this year the FBI and DOJ alerted the public about hackers going after video conferences, yet none of these platforms rely on strong authentication tools or anti-malware to safeguard users against threats,” Waller told Toolbox.

And couple that with the lack of two-factor authentication protocols and encryption, as well as the increased vulnerabilities caused by a newly remote workforce, and you have a recipe for disaster. For Zoom, disaster struck multiple times. Around half a million Zoom account credentials went on sale on the dark web; the video conferencing heavyweight also came under scrutiny over its data routing policies. Oh, and then it also gained notoriety for suppressing free speech and surveilling users. Other platforms too have proven to be vulnerable to breaches.

Despite being plagued by security issues, Zoom hasn’t ceded market leadership to rivals and the company is pegged to continue its torrid streak in 2021 as well. But as it picks up the slack, we’re seeing a new breed of secure video conferencing solutions that offer safeguards against data and privacy vulnerabilities.

Recently, the New Jersey-headquartered endpoint protection vendor StrikeForce Technologies launched SafeVChat platform as the first secure alternative that leverages cybersecurity and keystroke protection technology to protect the end user’s cameras, microphones, speakers, keyboards, clipboards, and even prevent unwanted screenshots.

See Also: 4 Key Elements of a Secure Video Conferencing Infrastructure

Inside SafeVchat — A Secure By Design Solution

SafeVchat is not the first on the secure video meeting block — Switzerland-based Wire, another collaboration player, has found pockets of growth in markets that are underserved by competitors (think heavily regulated industries).

Video conferencing solutions have become critical enablers for school districts, healthcare, and government worldwide. And SafeVchat is aimed squarely at heavily compliant industries like telemedicine, school districts, insurance companies, governments, and corporations that are all looking to protect intellectual property, PII & PHI data, financial & banking data, corporate/customer data, and government/military secrets.

WallerOpens a new window believes platforms like Zoom and WebEx have had years to incorporate strong cybersecurity into their platforms, yet they’ve fallen short because they are not cybersecurity companies and lack a deep understanding of the security elements that could affect a computer. To plug the security gaps, the company rolled out a platform with more security features than all of the other services combined in just nine months, he claims.

So, while malware can take root in a client-based solution and allow hackers to log users’ keystrokes, eavesdrop on audio, take unwanted screenshots and steal sensitive documents, SafeVchat, a completely browser-based solution — meaning it is clientless and works with every browser (so, there’s no client to attack) provides cutting-edge privacy and data protection technology. For instance, the solution allows only authorized and authenticated guests to join that meeting and packs strong multi-factor authentication.  

Here are some of its key features:

Endpoint Protection: Protects the camera, microphone, audio-out speakers, keyboard & clipboard from malicious actors. SafeVchat’s technology works at a low-level in the operating system’s kernel (OS), thus enabling the platform to deny access requests from malicious applications trying to connect to devices, i.e., camera, microphone & audio-out speakers. The platform features anti-hooking technology, an alternate communication stack which protects keystrokes and clipboard and disables unwanted screen capturing.

Authentication: Offers multi-factor authentication, which allows only authorized and authenticated guests to join a particular meeting. The platform requires the meeting host to list users as guests for them to be able to join, thereby eliminating the risk of admitting anyone in the meeting.

Deployment: SafeVchat is available as a cloud-delivered solution as well as an on-premise deployment.  

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