Key considerations when comparing cloud conferencing providers

September 28, 2020 | .

The digital transformation age has made working remotely a lot more convenient, thanks to web conferencing and online collaboration solutions that keep teams connected. This, of course, comes with risks as remote users, especially those working from home, would more likely be working through less secure networks, exposing them to data breaches and other privacy, security, and legal risks.

Your web conferencing provider plays a big role in mitigating these threats, that’s why it’s important to choose a provider with security as its key strength.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre recommends the following pointers on what you should look for when considering your web conferencing provider.

Infrastructure

Make sure that yourl web conferencing provider has an infrastructure that has a secure cloud computing environment and has the necessary accreditations, including ISO 27001 certification and Level 1 validation under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). It’s also worth asking your provider if they conduct annual audits and evaluations in compliance with government standards.

Good track record

It’s one thing to claim that a provider has a proven track record and another to have proof. Make sure to do your research on your prospects and find out their action plans for privacy and cybersecurity issues. How did they respond to past incidents and what are their plans in place to prevent these from occurring? Are they proactive rather than reactive? How quick are they to take effective action to resolve vulnerabilities in their products? Take a look at turnaround times and how actively they engage with their clients, as well as how transparent they are with disclosing issues and statuses.

Clear terms and conditions

Before signing up for any agreement, study the provider’s terms and conditions carefully. It’s best to seek privacy, security, and legal advice to make sure you have everything covered. Ask for advice on what the terms and conditions should include, particularly clauses that address your company’s privacy, security, and legal requirements. The service provider’s security claims must be clear and how your information will be used must be addressed. What happens to the conversations, content, metadata, and files that go through their web conferencing product?

Data collection and storage

In addition to knowing how your information will be used by the web conferencing service provider, you must also be aware of the types of information and metadata that they collect. This typically includes names, roles, organisations, contact details, usernames, passwords, and the device information where web conferencing product is accessed. These are sensitive information, so it’s also important to train your staff on the appropriate level of information they should disclose.

Strong encryption and security features

Does the web conferencing provider use strong encryption? Encryption protects the data that goes through the web conferencing solution both when it is being stored by the service provider and when it is being transferred between users and devices, making sure that the information will not be able to be accessed by other parties. Check if your service provider supports strong encryption, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) versions 1.2 and 1.3, as this means that they have stronger protection for data being transferred across vulnerable networks.

Aside from data encryption, what other security monitoring systems are in place? Some basic but important security features to consider include distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection and password brute-force protection, as well as secure customer access points, built-in firewalls, unique security credentials for each user, multifactor authentication, a dedicated connection, and security logs of all user activities within your account.

Reliability and scalability

Your provider must be able to meet your business requirements and support, even enhance, the unique way you do business now and as you evolve. The reliability and scalability of the web conferencing solution must be considered. Will it be able to support your needs when demand increases? Know the capability of the provider in terms of the volume of simultaneous connections it can support and how flexible it is in adjusting to your changing needs.

How resilient should your service provider be? Look into their network architecture and how many data centres they have. Do they utilise multi-tenant software? Their data centres must have multiple mirrored databases with automatic failover should there be any form of disruption.

Consider looking into providers that have their proprietary technology. This means they develop their solutions in-house and can provide you with custom-fit solutions and smooth integration with your existing systems for easier adoption. Ultimately, when considering a web conferencing provider to partner with, it’s important to get to know all about this provider and make sure that it has all that you’re looking for, in terms of both security features and contingency plans as well as their suite of solutions. Research, asking the right questions, and due diligence go a long way. Not only should it help you be secure and safe from risks and threats, but should also help your business grow.