With the government shutdown, most companies are conducting their business meetings online through video conferencing platforms.
Although this is a new wave of productivity using a digital workplace, it also comes with its downsides in regards to cybersecurity. Many of these video conference platforms, like Zoom, have now become a playground for hackers and trolls, distracting the focus of attention with distasteful images and interrupting the level of professionalism needed in the virtual workplace.
Beyond mere distractions, the other issue that arises is that of the safety, privacy, and the integrity of the companies who use these services. In some cases, even vital information has been stolen by hackers and online trolls. This has become such a serious security issue that even Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson, his cabinet, and the entire British Ministry of Defense staff members were banned from holding their meetings on Zoom. As virtual work has been on the rise so has the discussion surrounding IT security and how businesses can best curb cyber threats.
With the quarantine being global, even family members and friends are using Zoom to communicate and connect with each other. Whether the meetings held online are professional or personal, the last thing that should be present or of concern are distasteful images, ads, or hackers interfering in private calls.
Instead of having to cut down on communication between employees, there are precautionary steps that you can take to keep your company’s virtual meetings safe and minimize security threats.
1. Avoid Sharing Highly Sensitive Information During Virtual Meetings
Avoid sharing company codes or highly sensitive information during virtual meetings if possible to prevent the possibility that an unwelcome visitor could be listening in. These codes should be shared through one of your secured methods of sharing private company information between employees. As the work space has been changing for many who have been going virtual, it may be time for new company policies for how sensitive information is shared among the company members. You will want to make sure that when sensitive information is shared virtually that these channels are completely secure within your organization and there is a security policy in place.
2. Password Protect your Virtual Meetings
For highly sensitive meetings, the use of single-use identification codes, or multi-factor authentication is also recommended depending on the platform. Password protecting your meetings will ensure that those who are joining have been invited to the conference. This is one easy step that can be taken to avoid intrusion and disruption as you keep your company productive during this time.
3. Monitor Attendees Joining Each Virtual Meeting
Meetings should only begin once the host is present, with new members and attendees introducing themselves for identification purposes. It also helps for the host to keep the dashboard open during the virtual conference, to see the participants of the meeting. You can monitor who is joining before starting the meeting by enabling the “Waiting Room” feature, which allows you to fully monitor who you are allowing in before the meeting kicks off.
The next precaution you can take will be to disable the “Join Before Host” feature to ensure that someone cannot enter beforehand and take over the role of the host before your meeting starts. The last precaution you can take in this area is to lock your virtual meeting after everyone has joined. This will prevent anyone new from popping in unexpectedly!
4. Disable the Chat Function of your Virtual Meeting
Whether your meeting is between five employees or 500+, consider turning off the chat function in your virtual conference call. This will help prevent sensitive company information being shared or the potential of it being leaked. Another bonus is it will help keep everyone’s focus on what is going on in the meeting and who is speaking rather than what is being said in the chat box. Although innocent, employees may share information considered sensitive during this time and increase the risk of a breach in your company’s security during your meeting time. Please encourage participants to only share sensitive information such as passwords and logins over the secured channels previously noted by your company.
5. Host Only Screen Sharing
As above, we mentioned that hackers may take over screen sharing and display distasteful images during a meeting rather than lay back quietly in hopes of the reveal of sensitive company information. In order to prevent this from happening, only limit the screen sharing in a meeting for the host. Hosts of meetings are able to mute members, prevent screen sharing, and remove individuals from meetings if needed. This is also helpful if you are using virtual meetings as a new tool in your company as some employees may be figuring out how to use the platform and accidentally share their own screen. If it is not necessary for others to share their screens, we highly recommend that you set the screen sharing only for the host of your meeting to prevent confusion and intrusion.
So what does one do if an intruder is found in a virtual company or personal meeting on today’s popular platform Zoom?
Head on over to the “manage participants” section, click on the person you’d like to remove and hit “more,” and “remove” the intruder easily from your private meeting space.
Although Zoom is a highlighted platform in which hackers and intruders navigate in order to disrupt the virtual workplace and obtain sensitive information, it is not the only. Whether your business is shifting towards a remote operation of workers working from home or if you are taking a hiatus until everyone can go back to the office, securing your computers, networks, and servers is absolutely pertinent.
How can you further secure your virtual or in-office workspace?
If you are wondering how to go about this as your work space may be changing, we are here to help! We work closely with one of our partners Cytellix which provides trusted cyber security within the US for over 25 years. With highly esteemed clients like the US government, military, NASA, etc, you know your company is in trusted hands. We work with Cytellix to ensure the protection of your data security and network security are always protected, without invading the privacy of your conference, company, or even private calls.
To set up a free consultation with us to see how we can best meet your security needs for your business, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your call!