Is Your Collaboration Platform Reliable and Secure?

If we took a time machine back to February 29th and asked most people to describe Zoom, many might reference a kid’s show from the 1970’s. Remember, “We’re going to zoom-zoom-zoom-a-zoom?” Given the current Covid-19 climate, Zoom has quickly become the collaboration and conferencing platform of choice for many organizations as well as people looking to replace Friday happy hour at the local pub with virtual cocktails over video. While a “shaken not stirred” homemade martini may not be as tasty, you cannot argue with the price of the bar bill, or lack thereof.

Zoom and other platforms offer “free-ware” versions and are simple to use, but recent privacy issues have raised concerns whether these platforms are really the best option for business class video conferencing and collaboration.

The FBI recently released a warning about “Zoombombing” where uninvited attendees hijack a conversation with inappropriate content. Singapore has banned teachers from using Zoom after hackers posted obscene images targeting students. Additionally, both the US Senate and Google have also banned the use of Zoom for remote meetings and collaborative sessions. While Zoom works great for some virtual meetings, it may not be the most suitable platform for all video collaboration.

Whatever your virtual platform, there are three key considerations that can help determine if it is the best fit – security, reliability and flexibility.

Security – Does the platform have the appropriate level of security for your company?

It goes without saying that security is essential for a video conferencing platform. You need to ensure calls are private and can’t be hacked by outsiders. The solution should provide end-to-end encryption of calls and compliance with data protection policies. In addition, make sure you have reviewed the security settings and have added password protection to your sessions.

One way to determine if a solution has the level of security you need is to see if it is ISO/IEC 27001 certified. This is an internationally recognized information security and compliance standard that ensures the company undertakes genuine security practices in the development, operations and maintenance of the platform. Only Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams and StarLeaf are ISO/IEC 27001 certified, Skype for Business and Zoom are not.

Reliability – Does your platform always function properly?

Zoom and others certainly face several security issues, but performance can also be an ongoing concern as well. Due to the increase in usage, many users have dealt with busy signals, dropped calls and more. Nothing is more frustrating than a technology failure while trying to connect a meeting.

When evaluating platform options, consider their performance metrics. For example, can they guarantee uptime? Can the platform handle large calls with hundreds of users or does it only work for a certain number of participants? Consider the types of meetings your company will need to conduct remotely to help determine what solution will work best.

Flexibility – Will it work with both desktop and in-room conference systems?

A conferencing platform and collaborative solution are very different use cases. The platform may allow for desktop video, audio and content sharing for remote attendees, but will it seamlessly allow for both conference room and remote attendees to schedule, launch and share content from a variety of devices? Can the entire solution deliver a consistent and exceptional experience with physical and virtual meetings alike? Not all platforms provide this level of flexibility. Though your platform might function for remote employees, you may deal with an increased level of frustration once they return to the workplace and it doesn’t work as well as expected.

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There is more to remote video collaboration then just the technology, it is essential that the solution empowers groups to work together effectively, and not hinder their ability to collaborate due to fears over privacy or lack of functionality.

No matter what platform you select, here are few tips to make sure all your meetings are private and secure:

  • Do not make the meeting public
  • Do not share a link to the meeting on publicly available social media posts
  • During the meeting, change screen sharing to host only
  • Use the latest version of the platform (Zoom has stated they are making updates to address security concerns)

Most importantly, you should always start with defining the business objectives and use cases first. This will help develop a list of criteria that can measure the overall success of your investment. Remember, you are never going to hit a target unless you know what it is. Evaluate several collaborative solutions to see what will work best for your defined use cases, or check out our UC Collaboration Platform Comparison Chart to compare and contrast a few of the top options available.

Cenero can help you navigate the different options available and develop an appropriate solution that meets your defined success criteria. Just reach out for a tech evaluation.

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By Rob Gilfillan, President of Cenero

As President of Cenero, Rob oversees all customer facing aspects of the business and helps shape overall market strategy. By focusing on the customer and integrating technology to streamline business processes, Rob has created a unique business model that produces cost effective solutions for customers while also delivering specific applications that will improve overall value to an organization. Rob has been integral in developing a discovery and design philosophy that addresses criteria typically missed by other integrators. He has been an integral part of designing, deploying and supporting thousands of collaborative solutions for education, corporate and non-profit institutions.

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