When choosing a conferencing platform it’s important to look at the tools available, such as chat features, document sharing options, meeting spaces, etc.. Platform components – reporting and analytics options, ease of access for participants, branding and customization opportunities – are also important. But, increasingly, security is becoming a major issue.
Web conferencing platforms are susceptible to several major security threats:
- bombing: the disruption of meetings with disturbing images and videos;
- snooping: the ability of an outside unauthorized party to listen in and potentially exploit your business’s or organization’s information;
- compromise of sensitive information: personal information shared over web conferences is vulnerable to internal and external leaks or theft; and,
- hacking: most web conferencing platforms store the information of participants and users for a period of time. Personal information and company files can become at risk.
Federal privacy regulations must also be addressed. The healthcare industry is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – which makes it criminal to not appropriately secure patient information. The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act’s (GLBA) Financial Privacy rule requires businesses in the financial sector to protect consumers’ information.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed standards specific for web conferencing security and cloud systems. If your virtual conferencing platform holds the FedRAMP Agency Authorization title you can consider it secure.
However, there are still some steps you can take that will help ensure your organization’s virtual meetings will remain secure while employees connect and collaborate through these platforms:
- only download a virtual conferencing application from a reputable source – not a third party;
- NEVER share sensitive or regulated data during virtual conference meetings;
- always run the newest version of the conferencing client;
- password protect each meeting with a unique and complex password; and,
- do not share your meeting link in public forums or on social media – require registration for anyone who may log in.