6 Tips That Will Help You Set up Secure Conference Calls
Any piece of information can be valuable even if it does not look like it. Obviously, never-ending data breaches and malicious applications designed for stealing data confirm it. No one is safe as cybercriminals target not only regular users, but also various companies, and it does not matter if it is a big or a small organization. Different pieces of information may provide multiple opportunities, for example, to blackmail people, scam them, sell their data on the dark web, and so on. Conference calls are extremely popular nowadays among companies that have employees who work remotely or go on business trips. However, while it is convenient, it is important not to forget that such services could do a lot of damage if a company does not secure its conference calls. Consequently, in this blog post, we discuss how to secure a conference call to protect business information from cybercriminals.
What are the risks of having unsecured conference calls?
Unsecured conference calls could attract cybercriminals who might be interested in a company’s business information. Imagine you are discussing business strategies, new products, or problems your organization could be facing during an unsecured conference call. If a cybercriminal gets his hands on such information, it could ruin an organization. The attacker could try to sell it to the organization’s competitors or even blackmail its owners while threatening to leak the collected business secrets. Naturally, the more sensitive the data is the more troubles its exposure could bring. Therefore, having secure conference calls might be crucial if an organization deals with highly valuable information.
How to secure a conference call?
According to a survey carried out by Loopup in 2016, 70 percent of people think it is normal to discuss confidential information during a conference call. While there is nothing wrong in doing so, users should not forget that it could be risky and that there are particular safety measures to take to prevent cybercriminals from secretly joining conference calls and recording sensitive information. Here are our top 6 tips on how to secure a conference call:
1. Use only reliable conferencing software
Like any other programs you choose for your company, you should make sure the application you pick for making conference calls can be trusted. Mostly, we recommend staying away from unknown freeware tools. Before making your final decision, you should find out about the preferred program’s developers and read some user/expert reviews. Also, it is vital to learn how the application works, how it can ensure your privacy, and whether it has features needed for a secure conference call.
2. Educate your employees about the risks of using unreliable software
It is always a good idea to explain to your employees what kind of software can and cannot be installed on work computers, phones, and other devices. If there are no boundaries, they may think they can use whatever tool they like without even thinking about the consequences of doing so. Thus, if you want your business information to be protected against cyber threats, you should educate your employees so they would not use unreliable programs for work. Of course, the risks of using unreliable software is not the only subject you should inform your employees about if you want to protect your company against cyber threats. To learn about other important employee-related issues, we recommend reading here.
3. Make sure all participants are authorized
Some web conferencing applications offer Two-Factor Authentication. It means that parties invited to a particular conference call have to be verified first to be able to connect to it. Two-Factor Authentication is when a user has to provide something more besides his login name, password, or a meeting’s ID number. Usually, it is a unique passcode sent via email or mobile phone. As a result, anyone trying to hack into your conference call would be unable to do so unless they hacked one of the meeting participant’s emails or stole his mobile phone.
4. Monitor people joining your conference calls
It is best if you can see how many people joined the call and get notified when someone new connects. It is even better if you can view participants’ names and their location. In case a cybercriminal pretending to be your employee or a colleague joins a conference call, you might be able to see through it if you notice the person logged in from an unusual location, for example, a city or a country that the real person is not supposed to be at. In such a case, it would be great if you had the right to disconnect the pretender at once, to prevent him from intercepting sensitive business information.
5. Make sure you change passwords frequently
If your conferencing software allows participants to connect after submitting a particular password, you should change it from time to time. It is likely that by the time cybercriminals figure out the passcode, it will be already changed, which would prevent them from joining your conference calls and recording any information you might be discussing during them. Another thing we advise is setting up strong passwords that would be difficult to guess. The easiest way to come up with a secure passcode is to use a dedicated password manager. For example, Cyclonis Password Manager can both help you come up with long random passwords for your conferencing software and memorize them for you if you save passcodes on Private Notes.
6. Encrypt your conference calls
Lastly, another thing you should consider doing if you want to secure your conference calls is encrypting them. This way even if someone hacks into a call without an invitation, he will not be able to understand anything. Usually, encrypted content no longer makes sense; for example, an encrypted text could have lots of random characters that would hide the actual text.
All in all, you should always assume that someone out there could be after your or your company’s sensitive data and so you should take all necessary steps to protect it. Thinking no one is interested in your organization’s secrets is a number one mistake. As we said earlier, there is no such thing as worthless information. Thus, if you make conference calls from time to time, we strongly recommend making use of our provided tips on how to secure a conference call. Also, if you want to know more about how to keep sensitive business information protected, you should continue reading here.