Tips for Making Remote Meetings More Secure

Publication date: Jun 18, 2021

Last Published: Jul 08, 2021

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Read Time : 5 minutes

The days of in-person meetings are not numbered just yet, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made many organizations realize just how more efficient and less time-consuming remote meetings can be…

Remote meetings allow dozens and even hundreds of attendees to gather in one virtual location accessible from any internet-connected device, eliminating the need to physically travel to the office and sit inside a packed meeting room.

There are certain challenges associated with discussing important business topics over the internet, and keeping sensitive information secure and protected against bad actors is the biggest one. Let’s discuss the top 5 ways you can keep your online meeting secured and why they are a security risk.

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6 Critical Cybersecurity Policies Every Organization Must Have

Remote Meetings Are a Security Risk

Whenever a new technology becomes widely adopted, cybercriminals and other bad actors are always quick to take advantage of it.

It then shouldn’t come as a surprise that cyber-attacks on remote meetings have multiplied rapidly since the pandemic first forced employees to work from their homes.

Realizing that access to many virtual meeting rooms is granted to anyone who knows the correct ID number, some hackers quickly started experimenting with a tried-and-tested hacking strategy from the telephone booth era called “war dialing.”

This method of hacking into meetings is done by generating random meeting IDs and testing them in bulk to see if any of them leads to a live meeting.

Since remote meetings can be easily recorded, shared, and stored in the cloud, they can become a security risk a long time after the last participant has left.

The Washington Post was able to find thousands of recorded meetings containing personally identifiable information with a simple Google search, and it’s very likely that many cybercriminals have already tried the same thing.

Clearly, remote meetings are a huge security risk, so all organizations that now rely on them must take extra steps to secure them. Do you do any of these 5 tips for improved secure online meetings?

5 Tips for Keeping Meetings Secure

Cybersecurity is a holistic issue, so don’t expect the tips described below to turn your Swiss cheese-like defenses into an impenetrable fortress. They do, however, address the biggest mistakes organizations tend to make when meeting remotely, and implementing them is often as easy as clicking a button.

1. Use a Trustworthy Remote Meeting Software Tool

These days, SMBs can choose from dozens of easy-to-use remote meeting software tools. With so many options available, you don’t want to settle for a tool that doesn’t respect your privacy by sharing data with third parties, and you also don’t want to compromise your remote meeting experience by picking a tool that doesn’t have such essential features as the ability to share your screen.

That’s why we recommend you use trustworthy enterprise-grade remote meeting software like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Cisco Webex Business. Unlike consumer-grade alternatives, enterprise-grade remote meeting software can be effortlessly deployed across the entire organization and administered from a central admin panel.

2. Protect Your Meetings with Passwords

Randomly generated meeting IDs don’t reliably prevent strangers from joining meetings in progress without being noticed and leaving with a pile of sensitive information, such as the names of individual attendees and their email addresses, shared PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets, or the organization’s financial situation.

To truly protect your meetings, you must enable password authentication as the default setting for all meetings, requiring those who enter to input the correct password. To be even more secure, you can enable multi-factor authentication to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to an employee’s account using techniques such as brute-force attacks or phishing.

3. Use a Virtual Waiting Room

Most remote meeting software solutions come with a waiting room feature, allowing you to separate people who would like to join your meeting from those who have already joined. You can then decide who you want to grant or deny entry into the meeting room, which makes it extra difficult for intruders to break into and disrupt your meeting.

This practice is especially effective against the so-called “zoombombing” attacks. Such attacks are typically performed by online trolls for laughs, but they can have serious consequences because many trolls have a sizeable online audience that likes to watch what they’re doing. It goes without saying that no organization wants the whole world to watch its private meetings as if they were soccer games.

4. Avoid Recording Your Meetings if Possible

Having the ability to record meetings can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, recorded meetings can be shared with those who were not able to attend them. On the other hand, the recordings may get leaked online.

If you decide to record a meeting, make sure to store the recording securely, preferably in an encrypted format to make it impossible for anyone without the correct password to open it. The recordings should then be handled with the same care as other sensitive files.

5. Educate Employees About Remote Meeting Threats

Most attacks on remote meetings exploit the weakest link in just about any cybersecurity chain: the human factor. The fact is that most employees are not aware of the threats they face, so they can’t effectively protect themselves against them. That’s where cybersecurity awareness training comes in.

By regularly educating employees about remote meeting threats, you can turn them from your biggest weakness into the strongest element of your cybersecurity defenses, giving them the ability to protect themselves not only from attacks on remote meetings but other cyber threats as well, including phishing, ransomware, and malware.

Contact us for Secure Online Meetings and Improved Operations

At OSIbeyond, we offer cybersecurity awareness training as part of our managed security services, which also include continuous monitoring, advanced email filtering, endpoint protection, vulnerability assessments, and much more.

Get in touch with us for more information on how we can make your remote meetings more secure.

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