The working environment has seen a dramatic shift in just a few months. Physical meetups and brainstorming have now adjusted to the current situation the world is experiencing. Office meetings have now moved in the video conferencing scene, made possible by technology and the internet.
As the modern workforce continues to deviate from the traditional office setting, cybersecurity threats continue to arise. While video conferencing can be beneficial given the workforce’s situation these days, it has become the favorite target of hackers and cybercriminals. Because of its vulnerabilities, it can be easy for hackers on the lookout to find any flaw that they can exploit in these virtual gatherings. Experts and authorities have also warned about the dangers that may occur in these platforms.
To strengthen this modern setup, you need to make protection and safety your top priority. You need to implore some best practices to ensure that your video conferencing meeting will not be compromised and you will be safeguarded against any possible attacks.
Security Threats For Video Conferencing
The influx of companies practicing video conferencing these days gave way to many possible security threats. Here are some of the security risks encountered by most working on the virtual landscape.
- Meeting Bombing
This type of attack includes an uninvited guest that joins a video conference meeting. This guest either listen to whatever conversation is taking place or create a disruption by sending inappropriate media to the meeting room.
Meeting bombing can happen if you do not set any password for your video conference meeting. It can also become possible when the attacker discovers your meeting ID. This incident is called war dialing. Unfortunately, there is already a war dialing software that makes it possible for attackers to find our meeting ID, meeting name, and even the meeting organizer.
- Malicious Links
Malicious links can be added into your meeting chat room that can trick participants. When these links are clicked, this will allow attackers to steal sensitive information and credentials from any participant.
Malware can be embedded in malicious links that can be automatically downloaded on your computer or laptop and infiltrate your system.
- Lost or Stolen Meeting Links
Meeting links can be reused for your convenience; however, it makes the job for hackers much easier. They can quickly steal and use these links. Make sure you do not have any unauthorized person invading your meeting. Disable the “join before host” before to help you filter who has joined the virtual meeting room.
Ways To Ensure Safe Video Conferencing
Strengthen your defenses when you do video conferencing by doing the following practices:
- Require Password
Having a password on your video conference meeting can be your initial action to secure your virtual working sessions. That will prevent meeting bombing and other possible infiltration by an unwanted guest that can do more damage in your meetings. Make passwords a mandatory requirement for all your video conferencing to tighten your security.
- Verify Attendees
If you are the meeting host, check the attendee list when sending out the meeting invitation, and review the participants’ list during the call. Remove anyone in the meeting room who is not supposed to be a part of the meeting. For meetings where confidential information is being shared, such as a company all-hands meeting, increase security by requiring participants to authenticate by logging in before joining the virtual discussion.
- Don’t Share Meeting Links Publicly
While it is easy and convenient to share info on public platforms like social media, users should avoid doing this as cybercriminals can access these meetings. It would be easy for them to find a way to infiltrate your online video conferencing room by just knowing the meeting identification info. Share it within your private group so no prying eyes can see about it.
- Utilize Your Host Controls
Most video conferencing apps like Zoom offer “host controls” to moderate your meetings if you are the host of the virtual gathering. You can manage participants, kicking out an uninvited guest, or locking your meeting room. Having all this access can be preventive when it comes to disruptions in your chat room once the meeting has officially started.
- Disable File Transfer Features
Hackers who will gain access to your meeting room can send malicious files that participant scan click unintentionally. Once clicked or downloaded, these files may infiltrate any open system or get personal logins and credentials from participants. To prevent this from happening, you can disable file transfer during the meeting. You and your colleagues can take note of all the files that you need to send through emails.
- Use VPN
Using a VPN or virtual private network while using a video conferencing platform is highly recommended. VPNs can help secure your network connection, especially if you are working with employees remotely. It can keep your private information secure by encrypting it.
To further secure your connection and your video conferencing, make sure not to use any public Wi-Fi while on the platform. Cybercriminals usually lurk in these connections, and they can infiltrate any video conferencing meeting room, especially if it does have any password or any security protection.
- Check Your Network Security
When you are going to attend a video conferencing meeting or if you are delegated to conduct one for your monthly updates, you need to make sure that your wireless internet connection is secured. You can check if your firewalls are up as it will keep uninvited guests from attending your meeting. Check also if your router is safe from any possible attacks. You can do a router reset, update on your username and password, update the firmware, and secure encryption. Taking these few steps in ensuring the security of your network connection can go a long way to prevent any possible attacks from happening.
- Know Your Webcam Do’s and Don’ts
Your webcam is an essential part of your video conferencing. However, you need to be aware of the dos and don’ts of using your webcam as it can be a gateway for hackers and cybercriminals to attack your data.
Some cybercriminals would use spyware for them to be able to spy on you with your webcam. So, it is advisable that you change your video background, making it impossible for them to view any corner of your home. When your video conferencing ends, make sure to turn off your camera. You can also turn it off if you are not the one presenting or sharing any slides unless you are required to do so. You can also cover your webcam with a piece of tape or paper or an adhesive sliding webcam cover.
- Report Suspicious Activities
Either you are the host of the meeting or a participant, it is a must that you report any suspicious activities that you see while at the meeting. Report it abruptly to your company’s IT department so they can take a look and prevent any severe damage like stealing and exposing your data online.
- Keep It Confidential
You need to ensure that confidential conversations remain private. You must also be aware that you do not accidentally give away any personal information, even by accident. If there is a need to discuss a sensitive and confidential topic, make sure that it does not appear in your meeting name. Otherwise, it will become an attractive target for hackers and other eavesdroppers.
As the world adjusts to the current situation and the thoughts of returning to the normal working state are still out on the horizon, you can expect that video conferencing will always be part of the working environment. While the rest of the workforce adjusts to these new normal, you have to ensure that hackers and cybercriminals will not find any loophole to attack and hack you. Use correct practices in the virtual working community to help keep your security reigns intact for your personal and whole organization’s benefit.