The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of virtual meetings by remote workers. Unfortunately, an increase in 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.
We propose 10 steps to ensure the security of your virtual meetings.
10 Steps to Ensure the Security of Your Online Meetings
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 54% of the workforce regularly participated in video conferences. However, with the crisis forcing more people to work from home, that number has increased significantly. Here are 10 practices you can apply to ensure the security of these meetings in your organization.
1. Tell attendees what to do
Don’t assume attendees know what to do. Many users are new to the experience of virtual meetings or video conferencing. For this reason, they may not know how to participate in a secure manner. Consider providing all potential participants a checklist in advance regarding equipment needed, how to prepare for a meeting, how to log on securely, and how to behave during meetings.
2. Test everything prior to the meeting
Over half of all teams waste 10 minutes or more on meeting setup. All participants should test their equipment, including internet connection, to make sure it works properly before the meeting starts.
3. Establish ground rules for participants
Also, the meeting convener or team should set ground rules to help the meeting run efficiently and keep all participants focused on the issues at hand. Such rules may include things such as:
- No answering calls and no making phone calls
- Raise your hand to request permission to speak
- No multi-tasking with other apps,
- No checking emails or texts,
- Employing the mute button when one is not speaking.
- Keep videos on (perhaps useful for school-going children)
The ground rules should be shared prior to the start of the virtual meetings, and if necessary also mentioned at the beginning of meetings.
For business meetings, circulating an agenda beforehand is also recommended. This will allow attendees 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
Make sure that only invited attendees are included in your meetings. Before the meeting starts, ask all new attendees to announce themselves. The meeting convener or chosen assistant should also use the service’s dashboard to monitor attendees – and interrogate all unexpected participants.
5. Follow your company’s security policies
Meeting leaders should ensure that all of the host organization’s security policies are strictly adhered to during the virtual meeting.
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 enables time saving and, 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
Virtual 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 kept securely to avoid the meeting proceedings leaking to outsiders.
8. Disable all unnecessary features
Today’s virtual meetings include video conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, instant messaging, and more. While all of these features are nice, their use tends to introduce additional security concerns to the meetings. Evaluate which features your team really needs and consider disabling those that are of lesser value.
For instance, for educational institutions, the meeting leader may want to disable group instant messaging to ensure students are paying attention during the session.
9. Limit who can share their screens
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 MailSafi Talk that not only offers all of the collaborative features you need, but also uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that hackers and cybercriminals can’t access meeting communications, files, and other data. MailSafi Talk is included in our MailSafi Enterprise email hosting package. It allows users to have video or audio calls/conferencing, share files, and collaborate. It also supports instant messaging.
Select MailSafi Enterprise for Safe and Secure Virtual Meetings
MailSafi Enterprise is a robust and secure platform for virtual meetings and online communication. It includes end-to-end encryption for all sharing and communication. MailSafi Enterprise is quickly becoming the secure virtual meeting platform of choice – for organizations of all types.