8 Security Best Practices for Private Video Conferencing

Hayley Cannon, Aug 31, 2023

Want to know the best practices for secure private video conferencing? Read our tips on protecting privacy, data, and sensitive information from cyber-attacks.

Key takeaways:

  • Video conferencing poses many risks including data breaches, viruses, identity spoofing, and more.
  • End-to-end encryption plays an important role in securing video meetings, as does choosing the right video conferencing platform.
  • Reputable video meeting platforms for security include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and more.
  • Neat video collaboration devices have a range of security features.

8 strategies for secure video conferencing

The rapid adoption of video conferencing across industries has revolutionized communication but also introduced privacy vulnerabilities. To ensure privacy during video conferences, consider implementing these strategies:

  1. Use waiting rooms: Employ waiting rooms to scrutinize and admit participants, curbing unauthorized access effectively.
  2. Embrace random meeting IDs: Generate and secure random meeting IDs with passwords to guarantee exclusive access.
  3. Leverage virtual backgrounds: Employ virtual backgrounds to shield surroundings, particularly in professional contexts where confidentiality is paramount.
  4. Exercise restraint on social media: Preserve privacy by refraining from publicizing conferences on social media platforms, which can inadvertently reveal meeting IDs to unauthorized individuals.
  5. Screen sharing with diligence: Prior to screen sharing, review displayed content for any sensitive information, and ensure hosts retain control over the process.
  6. Stay vigilant with software updates: Regularly update video conferencing applications to promptly address any identified security vulnerabilities, and always download from trusted sources.
  7. Fortify device and network security: Bolster the security of your system by utilizing reputable antivirus software, prioritizing encrypted Wi-Fi connections, and possibly implementing a VPN for added protection.
  8. Report suspicious behavior: If you observe unusual or questionable behavior during a video conference, promptly notify the meeting organizer to uphold collective vigilance and mitigate the possibility of uninvited participants.

By adhering to these measures, you can more confidently enjoy the benefits of video conferencing while safeguarding the privacy and security of your interactions.

Why is security so important in video conferencing?

Security risks in video conferencing

Insecure private video conferencing poses diverse risks for individuals and organizations. Here are key hazards tied to the use of vulnerable video conferencing platforms:

  • Unauthorized Access: Insufficient security measures may grant unauthorized entry to your video conferences, potentially revealing sensitive information to malicious parties.
  • Data Breaches: Insecure platforms become susceptible to data breaches, allowing unauthorized access to personal details, financial data, intellectual property, and confidential discussions.
  • Eavesdropping: Weak security can lead to eavesdropping, enabling third parties to intercept and listen to conversations, and risking the exposure of private information.
  • Malware and Viruses: Usage of unsecure platforms exposes participants to malware, viruses, or malicious software that compromises device and network security.
  • Phishing Attacks: Cybercriminals exploit video conferencing for phishing, deceiving participants into sharing sensitive data or downloading malware by posing as legitimate organizers or attendees.
  • Encryption Absence: Inadequate encryption enables unauthorized interception and viewing of video conference content. End-to-end encryption is vital to ensure that only authorized participants can access the content.
  • Replay Attacks: Insecure conferencing permits attackers to record and replay conferences, potentially disclosing sensitive information or confidential discussions.
  • Unsecured Data Storage: Poorly stored meeting recordings or data on the platform can result in leaks or unauthorized access.
  • Identity Spoofing: Weak authentication can allow individuals to impersonate others and access confidential meetings.
  • Lack of Accountability: Inadequate security makes it challenging to track participants or actions in meetings, hampering accountability for individuals’ actions.
  • Platform Vulnerabilities: Vulnerable video conferencing platforms are exploitable by hackers to gain control, disrupt meetings, or access sensitive data.
  • Legal and Compliance Issues: Insufficient security may lead to non-compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR or HIPAA, resulting in legal and financial repercussions.

The role of end-to-end encryption in video conferencing

End-to-end encryption serves a vital role in upholding the confidentiality and security of video conferencing communications. Common encryption methods include end-to-end encryption, where data is encrypted at the sender’s end and decrypted at the recipient’s end. This prevents unauthorized access and eavesdropping during transmission. Additionally, Transport Layer Security (TLS) is used to encrypt data while in transit, enhancing communication security.

3 main benefits:

  • A secure communication conduit that mitigates the threat of cybercriminals or malicious entities intercepting and exploiting valuable data. 
  • Upholds conversation integrity, as encrypted content remains unaltered and untampered with during transmission. 
  • Fosters a sense of trust among participants, affirming that their dialogues remain confidential and impervious to unauthorized entry. 

While end-to-end encryption is a potent security measure, users must opt for video conferencing platforms that adeptly implement it to fully harness its protective capabilities.

Choosing the right video conferencing platform for security

Selecting an appropriate video conferencing platform with robust security entails considering several key elements:

Encryption and privacy

  • Prioritize platforms with end-to-end encryption to prevent unauthorized access and eavesdropping.
  • Review privacy policies to ensure they align with your privacy expectations and regulations.

Authentication and access

  • Choose platforms with strong authentication methods like multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Look for platforms that offer effective access control features for managing meeting participants.

Vendor and security

  • Opt for reputable vendors known for their security emphasis, based on industry reviews and assessments.
  • Ensure the platform has a history of timely security updates and a commitment to addressing vulnerabilities.

Data and storage

  • Determine where data and recordings are stored, considering the potential legal implications of foreign server storage.
  • Verify that the platform employs secure hosting and cloud services for a reliable foundation.

Technical features

  • Familiarize yourself with encryption protocols such as TLS for data in transit and AES for data at rest.
  • Seek platforms that grant users control over settings like screen sharing and participant management.

Additional security measures

  • Assess third-party integration security to prevent external vulnerabilities.
  • Look for platforms with security features like waiting rooms, password protection, and the ability to lock meetings.

Support and compliance

  • Ensure the platform offers reliable customer support, especially for security-related inquiries.
  • If compliance with specific regulations is required (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR), confirm the platform’s capabilities in meeting these requirements.

Testing and assurance

  • Consider platforms that undergo regular security testing, audits, and assessments, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining strong security standards.

By considering these grouped factors, you can confidently make an informed decision when choosing a secure video conferencing platform.

Reputable video conferencing platforms

Several well-regarded video conferencing platforms have prioritized security. Notable options include Zoom for Business and Enterprise, which has improved security features including end-to-end encryption; Cisco Webex, offering encryption, compliance, and role-based access controls; Microsoft Teams, with end-to-end encryption for messages and secure meeting encryption; Google Meet, providing encryption for data in transit and Google’s secure infrastructure; GoToMeeting, featuring encryption, multi-factor authentication, and meeting locks; BlueJeans by Verizon, offering encryption, role-based access, and SOC 2 compliance; Signal, known for end-to-end encryption in its messaging and calls; and Jitsi, an open-source solution with end-to-end encryption and self-hosting options. 

Platforms evolve all the time. Do your own research to verify current security practices, and choose one that best aligns with your specific security needs and compliance requirements.

Neat’s secure video conferencing solutions

Neat’s all-in-one video collaboration devices were designed to deliver the highest quality, native Microsoft Teams and Zoom experiences, in addition to supporting other 3rd party video conferencing platforms. Security is of paramount importance to us, so we have integrated in-depth security and data privacy controls directly into the operating system of all of ourdevices. We also regularly release device updates, to continually optimize security, as well as general performance. Third-party testing of our devices also helps keep Neat on top of any new and emerging threats.

Watch ouron-demand webinar:Neat CISO Steve Odegaard and other Neaters discuss current security trends and how Neat integrates security and data privacy controls into its device portfolio.