Secure video conferencing Header

If you have video meetings, then security is one of the biggest features to be aware of whether you’re looking at different video conferencing services or possibly upgrading your existing software.

    Cybersecurity has only become more challenging as more companies are moving toward a distributed or work hybrid work model—but not to fret.

    In this post, we’ll look at what you should pay attention to when considering a video conferencing solution (beyond the high-quality video and fancy meeting recording features) and other security considerations when it comes to online meetings. Skip ahead if you like:

    • 2 things other that'll help with security (other than your video conferencing tool)
    • Video conferencing encryption and other features to look for
    • 5 secure video conferencing options to consider
    • 5 tips for more secure video conferencing

    2 things other than your video conferencing solution that’ll help with security

    Yes, having robust security features in your video calling tool is important, but before we get to that, there are some other non-techy security standards to be aware of.

    1. Employee vigilance

    Sometimes, the best security feature isn’t in your video conferencing solution—it’s in your employees habits and security training.

    If your team can make sure their own systems are secure and know not to take undue risks, it can go a long way to protecting your company’s and customers’ data. It may be tempting to slack on the security training if you’re a small business, but this is one of your best first defences when it comes to cybersecurity.

    2. Working in public places

    Thanks to mobile devices, working in public places has become a lot more accessible (who doesn’t like working at a coffee shop from time to time), but it still carries its own risks.

    If you’re using a public internet connection or open Wi-Fi network in public, that’s already a no-no. These may seem convenient since you can log on without having to enter a password, but they’re inherently less secure than private networks.

    🔒 Dialpad tip: It’s worth including a Wi-Fi policy in your staff handbook. If your employees are logging onto your network or joining video conferences from public places, it’s far safer for them to use their own encrypted cellular data or combine this with a VPN (virtual pinnacle network).

    There’s also the potential for eavesdroppers in public places. It may seem like a harmless threat—it’s unlikely anything that someone at the table next to you can zoom in on your screen over your shoulder or hear what’s happening in your video call.

    But it just isn’t worth the risk. It takes only one piece of sensitive information from one video call to threaten your company’s security. Don’t risk it.

    A quick note on video conferencing encryption (and other features to look for)

    As you shop for video conferencing solutions, you might come across the phrase “end-to-end encryption,” or E2EE, at some point. (Also applicable to other types of tools like messaging apps.)

    E2EE is not the same as standard encryption or “full encryption”—it’s a specific type of encryption. The vast majority of video conferencing tools won't have end-to-end encryption, but as long as you're not reciting bank account numbers on video meetings, standard encryption is likely good enough.

    🔒 Sidenote: Even though E2EE is more secure than standard encryption, your endpoints still have to be secure. (Meaning if someone hacks into your computer or phone—which are endpoints—they can still access your information.

    Ideally, your video conferencing tool would also have additional security measures in place. Let’s look at Dialpad as an example.

    Any calls you make in Dialpad, including in-transit web requests, are encrypted using TLS and application data that is permanently stored at rest uses AES 256-bit within Google Cloud Platform. Dialpad is also SOC2® Type II compliant and adheres to GDPR regulation for data protection of EU citizens and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

    And then there are the actual features within a video conference call that help protect your virtual meetings from unwanted guests:

    Meeting lock

    Once everyone’s joined the video conference, the host can lock the meeting so that other uninvited guests can’t randomly join:

    locking a video conference call in dialpad

    Muting participants

    The host can also meet all participants, either fior security or as a courtesy to whoever is presenting or speaking.

    Ability to boot out participants

    If you don’t recognize someone who’s somehow joined the conference line, you can swiftly remove them—and any other participant—with a single click.

    Password or PIN

    With Dialpad, you have the option of sharing a meeting link with your attendees so they can join easily, or you can require a PIN to give the conference call a security boost:

    requiring a PIN to join dialpad meeting

    The potential dangers of having video calls on insecure software

    The biggest risk is, of course, exposing all your company’s sensitive information and customer data.

    Companies that compromise their employee and customer data are potentially breaking confidentiality laws. And depending on the industry you’re in, the consequences can be fatal for a business. (Think healthcare, schools, and governments.)

    🔒 Sidenote: One of the biggest examples of a cybersecurity breach can be found in the Atlanta ransomware attack of 2018. It’s unknown whether this was because of a video call, a downloaded dodgy email, or another source entirely, but the scale was huge. The cost of the security breach was estimated to be about $2.7 million, but was likely as high as $17 million. Public transport, healthcare, and many other areas were impacted.

    5 secure video conferencing options to consider

    So, what’s the best and most secure video conferencing software out there?

    Not only do these tools allow businesses to work from anywhere—a growing trend following the pandemic—but they’re far more secure and reliable than ever before.

    Let’s take a look at five of the best software platforms below.

    1. Dialpad: Get started with the free plan

    dialpad video conferencing and all in one communications platform

    Dialpad is a complete communications platform that includes not only video calls but also messaging, phone calls, and conference calling.

    As I mentioned earlier, in addition to encryption, Dialpad has many other security features for online meetings like allowing you to lock meetings, mute participants, and more.

    In addition to security features, Dialpad is just a robust and versatile video conferencing platform overall. It integrates with existing software and tools like Salesforce and Hubspot—and you also have the option to create something more custom with APIs (open-source application programming interfaces).

    There’s also a very thorough Help Center in case you want to find answers or troubleshoot on your own:

    dialpad help center

    Security features:

    • Fully encrypted using WebRTC technology

    • Can be used compliantly by healthcare industry organizations once a Business Associate Agreement has been signed

    • Member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and SOC2® Type II compliant

    • Adheres to GDPR for data protection of EU citizens and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

    • PIN / password protection

    • Option to mute all participants

    • Meeting lock option

    Other key features:

    • Works on PC and Mac computers, and Android and Apple mobile devices (and also web browsers)

    • Other communication channels beyond video chat like phone and conference calls, instant messaging, SMS, and more (on a paid plan):business messaging in dialpad

    • Integrations with popular tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Slack—even on the free plan

    • Real-time transcription (on paid plans)

    • HD-quality video

    • Screen sharing:
      screen sharing in dialpad
    • Easy to set up and scale up (or down) users

    • In-app messaging / chat

    • Browser-based meetings—no need to download the app to join or host calls

    Pricing: Free or $15 per month

    2. ClickMeeting

    ClickMeeting has a pretty simple setup for video conferencing and what sets it apart is that it’s a product more geared toward webinars.

    You can also do screen sharing and whiteboarding, and like Dialpad, it is GDPR-compliant and has a PIN code option for joining meetings. It was a tough choice between putting this and Bluejeans on the list, but ClickMeeting eventually won out because it at least has a free trial plan for you to try it out, whereas Bluejeans doesn't.

    Security features:

    • Standard encryption

    • Remove unwanted attendees in a single click

    • Virus and malware file-sharing scans

    Other key features:

    • Up to 25 attendees in free trial plan

    • 30 minutes of recording storage on the free plan

    • Screen sharing

    Pricing: $25 to $40 per user per month, plus custom packages

    3. Signal

    Signal is growing in popularity as a messaging app, given its free pricing, ad-free approach, and security measures.

    You can see a list of every connected participant, and the app asks permission to use both your microphone and video camera. However, group calls are extremely limited, allowing no more than five users at once.

    As a free app, Signal is maybe best used as a messaging solution, but given its size capabilities, it’s designed more for peer-to-peer calls (much like Facetime) rather than business or work-related video calls.

    Security features:

    • End-to-end encryption for calls and account info

    • Camera & microphone permissions

    • Optional registration lock pin

    Other key features:

    • Messaging

    • Audio and video calls

    Pricing: Free

    4. Jitsi Meet

    Jitsi is another free app that lets you do video conferencing. As well as being open-source and account-free (you don’t need to sign up for anything), you can also integrate the app into your own website, which is pretty unique.

    The big downside to Jitsi is that it has no customer support or file-sharing, so it’s not the best for collaboration.

    Security features:

    • “Fully encrypted”

    • No account required

    • Moderation control options

    Key features:

    • Completely open source and developer-friendly

    • You can embed a Jitsi Meet call into a website

    Pricing: Free

    5. FreeConferenceCall

    FreeConferenceCalls offers an online meeting service for free (unsurprisingly)—but the free plan has audio-only conferencing, no video.

    Like Dialpad, it integrates with Google Calendar and also has a call recording option. The free option does include 1GB of storage (whereas Dialpad has unlimited call recordings).

    Note that FreeConferenceCall isn’t HIPAA-compliant and there are no options to share call recordings or transcriptions with other participants though. This can be a dealbreaker if you have lots of conference calls where participants would benefit from being able to review those meetings.

    In general, the free plan isn’t as robust as Dialpad’s free plan, and even the paid plans don’t quite stack up to other video conferencing software’s similarly priced plans. It’s comparable to (maybe a tiny step up from) using Skype or Google Hangouts.

    Security features:

    • Encryption—though they don’t specify whether this is standard encryption or not

    • PIN entry-code option

    Other key features:

    • Breakout meeting rooms

    • Easy set-up and functionality

    • Meeting recordings

    Pricing: Free, up to “Custom Conferencing” plan for additional services

    5 tips for more secure video conferencing

    Beyond choosing the right tools, here are a few more ways to secure your video conferencing calls.

    1. Examine your industry’s video conferencing needs

    Sure, there’s no “perfect” video conferencing tool for every single company, but looking at the needs of your industry is a great place to start when you’re shopping around for software.

    Certain professions have their own data protection acts that you need to be aware of. For example, Dialpad is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is the standard for sensitive patient data protection within healthcare and human-related services.

    Other regulated industries like finance or insurance likely have their own regulations. Be aware of the ones in your industry!

    2. Be the keymaster

    We mentioned encryption earlier on in this piece, but it’s worth repeating: when it comes to video conferencing, both your software and hardware should feature 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protection.

    Logically unbreakable, 128-bit encryption is a security measure that enables video conferencing systems to use a 128-bit key to encrypt and decrypt all video calls between systems.

    The keys are automatically generated at the beginning of each video session, and according to research, are so strong it would take a supercomputer one “billion-billion” years to breach a 128-bit AES key.

    3. Have SSO set up

    Most security-minded video conferencing systems use single sign-on (SSO) for user authentication because it greatly reduces the risk of user credentials being lost, stolen, or compromised.

    A convenient win-win for both IT and users, SSO requires you to keep track of only one set of credentials, while IT can easily track and control access to all video conferencing accounts in their system.

    Because SSO credentials are tied to a user’s authorization and profile, IT can track where, when, and how credentials are used.

    Better still, on the off-chance that someone’s credentials are compromised, IT can quickly determine which accounts were breached, what occurred during the breach, and lock the account for faster damage control.

    4. Have a video conferencing policy in place

    Much like a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, a video conferencing policy enables you to set clear boundaries and expectations for everyone.

    In addition to outlining user permissions for conducting video conferences in-house, rules should take into account teammates who will be connecting remotely.

    If you work at a company or organization that’s entrusted with especially sensitive information, like hospitals and financial institutions, you’ll want to be especially specific about who people can connect with via video conference (such as pre-approved vendors and clients).

    A few guidelines that a good video conferencing policy should include or consider:

    • Users must get permission to record a video conference from everyone on the call.

    • Personal mobile devices, whether Android or iOS, shouldn’t be used to record video conferences.

    • Sensitive information should be discussed in designated video conference rooms and not in public places or open office spaces.

    • Video conferences conducted at a user’s desk should train the camera to focus on the users’ face, and any visible confidential data should be removed from camera view.

    How will you keep your video conferencing secure?

    If you’re looking for a more secure way to connect with teammates around the world, Dialpad’s HD video conferencing platform lets you connect quickly, easily, and most importantly, through secure video conferencing.

    Featuring encryption, single sign-on access, and more, Dialpad makes sure your video conferences are equipped with best-in-class security.

    Need a secure video conferencing platform? Dialpad has a free plan that comes with security and compliance features included.

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