Because of social distancing and work-from-home mandates, videoconferencing has seen a growth period like few other communications have since the advent of voice over internet protocol (VoIP). In any crisis, malicious actors eagerly take advantage of potential security breaches, and today’s pandemic is no exception.
There are many stories of hackers “Zoom Bombing” videoconferencing meetings, “crashing” sessions, and inserting inappropriate content. While the benefits of videoconferencing far outweigh the potential damage inflicted by hacking, businesses have to ensure that their infrastructure maintains the highest level of security. And as trusted advisors for those businesses, channel partners have to give customers the tools to protect themselves.
Here are a few key things channel partners can do to help strengthen their customers’ cybersecurity and ensure videoconferencing consistently goes off without a hitch:
Establish Best Practices for Security and Training
Because of the sudden rush into remote environments, many businesses had little to no time to develop official policies on how to securely conduct videoconferencing. Many organizations simply didn’t have the time to implement training sessions, written guidelines, or “Dos and Don’ts” to make employees aware of videoconferencing best practices.
Effective guidance from a trusted advisor can make a world of difference here. By outlining the features and functionalities that provide essential security – such as password-protected meetings and two-factor authentication – partners can help transition customers into long-term remote operations and ensure that virtual workforces operate responsibly and securely.
One of the simplest ways a channel partner can bolster their customers’ security? Make sure they’re using passwords while videoconferencing. According to security expert Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity, “a crazy number of meetings at major corporations” were not password protected in the early weeks of the pandemic. Sure enough, this led to a huge spike in breaches. In an article in Computerworld, he noted that a software tool called zWarDial was able to call up to 100 videoconference meetings per hour. For each of these 100 hits, the software has a 14% chance of identifying an “open” meeting with no password.
Password-protected sessions are undetectable by zWarDial. That simple safeguard makes a huge difference in a hacker’s ability to gain access to a videoconferencing session.
Ensure Customers Are Leveraging Their Videoconferencing Tools
A great majority of the workforce has developed an enhanced comfort level with videoconferencing, and there’s no reason for usage not to expand. It’s been incredibly helpful to businesses for delivering an experience that’s closer to face-to-face interaction. Visual communication fosters greater camaraderie – reducing the sense of isolation that strains remote environments. We can all collaborate with less risk of disruption or breach by making security a videoconferencing priority.
Part of that expansion – and an area where an experienced channel partner can help – is leveraging the full feature-set of a videoconferencing solution. Most solutions have robust security tools in place — some of which customers might not even know about.
For instance, most videoconferencing solutions now allow coordinators to manually admit participants from a “waiting room” – a convention borrowed from unified communications – so only invited parties can enter. This should be the default setting of any business videoconferencing platform. Similarly, managers should preclude participants from screen-sharing without permission so the host can cede the floor only to designated staffers as needed. Effective platforms also let the host mute and unmute individuals or drop them should their behavior become inappropriate.
Offer Your Customers Integrated Unified Communications Solutions
One of the most important ways that a company can better secure their videoconferencing is by opting for a more sophisticated, business-oriented platform that is integrated with their existing unified communications system. Versatile, robust unified communications solutions have been providing videoconferencing tools that let users communicate through secure “rooms,” including advanced settings to manage participants and limit entry.
An integrated videoconferencing solution presents a more private, less vulnerable environment. Outside entities are less likely to penetrate an organization’s UC platform on a proprietary, firewall-protected business network as opposed to hacking a stand-alone system that was designed for more public use.
This presents a huge opportunity for channel partners – both for identifying new opportunities within their customer base as well as for strengthening relationships and deepening trust within existing UC customers. By helping customers fully embrace unified communications, partners can not only enhance security for their customers but also streamline processes, eliminate redundancies, and create a more efficient work environment – whether that environment is online or in the office.
To learn more about the benefits of cloud communications – and how to become the trusted advisor for your customers by offering unified communications – download our exclusive guide.