The current coronavirus crisis is accelerating the use of virtual meetings by remote attendees. Unfortunately, increasing the use of virtual meetings also increases an organization’s security risks. Virtual meetings can be prone to unauthorized eavesdropping, corporate espionage, real-time harassment, and even sabotage and data theft.
10 Steps to Ensure the Security of Your Virtual Meetings
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 54% of the workforce regularly participated in video conferences. With the crisis forcing more people to work from home, that number is increasing significantly. To ensure the security of these meetings, an organization should adhere to the following practices.
1. Don’t Assume Users Know What They’re Doing
Many users are new to the experience of virtual meetings and may not know how to participate in a secure fashion. Make sure you provide all participants with a checklist regarding equipment needed, how to prepare for a meeting, how to log on securely, and how to behave during meetings.
2. Test Everything in Advance
More than half of all teams waste 10 minutes or more on meeting setup. Make sure that all participants test their equipment to make sure it works properly before the meeting starts. Everyone should also check the speed, security, and reliability of their Internet connections.
3. Establish Ground Rules
The team or team leader should set ground rules to help the meeting run more efficiently and keep all attendees focused on the issues at hand. Those rules might include things such as no multi-tasking with videos or other apps, no checking emails or texts, and employing the mute button when one is not speaking. The ground rules should be stated at the start of the virtual meetings.
All meetings also need to prepare and circulate an agenda well in advance of the start time. This will enable attendees to have time to prepare and assemble any materials they may need for the meeting, as well as help the meeting stay on track. Studies show that following a prepared agenda can reduce the length of meetings by as much as 80%.
4. Confirm All Attendees
You need to make sure that only invited attendees are included in your meetings. To this end, ask all new attendees to announce themselves. The team leader should also use the service’s dashboard to monitor attendees – and question all unexpected participants. In fact, AWS Wickr has a user verification. You can verify the identity of any user in your contacts list by clicking their avatar which brings up the user’s information, and then clicking the “Security Verification” from their profile screen. You share a unique security verification code with all other Wickr users.
5. Follow Your Organization’s Security Policies
It should go without saying that all meeting leaders should ensure that the host organization’s security policies are strictly followed during the virtual meeting. If an organization does not have appropriate security policies, it needs to create them.
6. Create Specific Rooms
Whether you have recurring or one-time meetings, creating specific rooms for each can be helpful so that you already have the right participants added to each of the necessary rooms. This is, again, is great when it comes to ensuring the right people are included in each conversation and can also make collaboration seamless.
7. Don’t Record the Meeting
Meetings should literally be “live” events – which means they shouldn’t be recorded unless absolutely necessary for future reference. If you do record a meeting, make sure that the video or link to the video is not shared publicly.
8. Disable All Unnecessary Features
Today’s virtual meetings include video conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, text chats, and more. All of these features are nice, but their use tends to introduce additional security risks to the proceedings. Evaluate which features your team really needs and consider disabling those that are of lesser value.
9. Limit Who Can Share Their Screens
Speaking of screen sharing, it can be embarrassing when participants accidentally share what is on their screens during a group meeting. Limit who can share what to minimize unexpected surprises – including the inadvertent sharing of sensitive information that may be on their screens.
10. Choose the Right Virtual Meeting Platform
The most important thing you can do to ensure maximum security is to choose a secure meeting platform. Look for a platform, such as AWS Wickr, that not only offers all of the collaborative features you need, but also uses end-to-end encryption and burn-on-read technology to ensure that hackers and cybercriminals can’t access meeting communications, files, and other data.
Select AWS Wickr for Safe and Secure Virtual Meetings
AWS Wickr is a robust and secure platform for virtual meetings and online communication. It includes end-to-end encryption for all sharing and communication, and offers an optional Smart VPN for more secure connections from public hotspots. AWS Wickr is quickly becoming the secure virtual meeting platform of choice – for organizations of all types.