August 05, 2020 | Austin Herrington

How to protect your video conferences from hackers

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Austin Herrington, Vice President of Product Management

Austin Herrington

Austin oversees Windstream Enterprise’s voice product strategy and roadmap. He and his team develop, manage and market advanced products and services. Austin holds an MBA from the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business.

As companies across the U.S. embrace remote working solutions in response to COVID-19, video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms are now the virtual office must-have. These tools allow face-to-face video conferences between users in different cities, states, countries, even continents. For employees in a mandated work-from-home environment, they offer the next best thing to actually being in a room together.

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The growth of VTC hijacking

Although these meeting-only solutions can facilitate great discussions, many of them lack the more complex security features businesses require. In particular, teleconferences are vulnerable to verbal abuse and disturbing images by outsiders. Known as “VTC hijacking” or “bombing”, these incidences have skyrocketed over the past few months—leading the FBI to issue a warning. The FBI also released a tip sheet that offered the following advice for users:

  • Keep meetings private by issuing users a password or employing the “waiting room” function, which requires the host to invite each guest individually.
  • Don’t share invitation links on social media.
  • Stay on top of any software security patches provided by VTC companies.

Integrated UC for more secure meetings

While simple steps go a long way to protect video conferences from intrusions, the surest way to secure real-time video meetings is to use an integrated collaboration platform with end-to-end encryption. A cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution that encompasses secure, high-quality video, audio/web conferencing and advanced communication features can also integrate with third-party collaboration tools—such as Microsoft Teams and Slack—as well as other widely used business applications.

Additionally, an optional, fully integrated Contact Center Services platform can queue calls and chats, while enabling contact center managers to view live and historical agent and queue activity to help manage employee performance. This approach can streamline workflows and enhance employee productivity—all while maximizing existing solutions and technology investments.

OfficeSuite HD: the features employees want, the security IT needs

To protect your meeting environment, OfficeSuite HD Meeting® comes with built-in security at both the platform and web services levels. OfficeSuite HD Meeting web services reside in redundant Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments to isolate your data from other computing resources. Additionally, Windstream Enterprise privacy policies protect data that traverses the cloud through multiple means, including AES 256-bit encryption and private MPLS network connections to AWS. We also provide a full suite of security tools that can be configured at the customer level to enable compliance and create secure meeting environments.

Try our secure, virtual team solutions free

If you and your team need secure, easy-to-deploy remote work solutions that provide the full range of available tools and integrations, we’re here to help. For a limited time, get a free trial of OfficeSuite UC® for mobility and HD Meeting for video and audio collaboration.

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Vice President of Product Management

Austin Herrington

Austin oversees Windstream Enterprise’s voice product strategy and roadmap. He and his team develop, manage and market advanced products and services. Austin holds an MBA from the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business.