Trends

How can you secure your online meetings?

Thomas Choukroun

Thomas Choukroun

Content Manager @Yousign

Illustration: Mélusie Vilars

On October 6th, an archive of more than 100 GB containing the source code for Twitch, Amazon’s live-streaming service, was anonymously posted online.
This major data leak included stream payment details and earnings. In an increasingly digital world witnessing the advent of concepts such as “paperless collaboration” (yes, that does exist), the number of data leaks and other hacking threats, possibly even more drastic than we see now, could explode.
How can you secure your online meetings and face the challenges of today’s world? The answer is in this article.

Zoom in full swing...

Lockdowns and teleworking drove most French (and global) companies to adapt their working methods. Teleworking had become the norm for some time, which forced us to organise ourselves to digitise team meetings. Among traditional platforms like Google Meet and others like Skype, Zoom ended up being the one that rode a huge wave that propelled the California-based company into its status as an online meeting software giant. 

The figures confirm this trend:

From January to March 2020, the US company’s revenue was up 169%, close to $330 million, while generating a profit of nearly $30 million. 

Zoom’s success was due in part by a preference for this software among companies because its mosaic display allows all meeting participants to be seen. This feature was then replicated more or less well in other online meeting software. 

The Zoom app quickly became one of the symbols of the lockdown. It even held a special place in our homes, allowing people to use Zoom for online cocktail hours, yoga classes, online, school classes, and more. In short, everything was done by Zoom. 

The numbers speak for themselves. At the end of the first half of 2020, Zoom had nearly 270,000 paying customers, an increase of more than 350% from the previous year.

...and caught up in turmoil

However, the price of success soon became clear. In April 2020, while the video-conferencing app was a resounding success, skyrocketing from 10 million users to 200 million in March, a flaw that exposed the data of thousands of users was discovered. 

A report by Vice revealed that Zoom lists contacts with the same domain name in their email addresses in a single location. Members of these lists therefore have access to the photos, messages, and statuses of other users on this list. They can even call them and get in touch with them even if they don’t know them from Adam.  

A month earlier, through an analysis conducted by Motherboard, Vice discovered that the Zoom iOS app was sending data to Facebook, even if Zoom users didn’t have a Facebook account. Four days later, the Californian company updated its app so that this kind of information would no longer be shared with Facebook. 

As you can see, using video-conferencing software to organise remote meetings isn’t without risk for your data. The question is therefore worth asking: how can you secure your online meetings?

How can you secure your online meetings?

If you read the above carefully, odds are that your opinion about video-conferencing software has changed somewhat. But let’s not get too carried away either. It’s undeniable that online meetings offer many new possibilities and advantages:

  • Faster, more efficient meetings: When you consider that executives spent an average of 27 days in meetings in 2018, the saved time and increased efficiency aren’t negligeable. Basically, employees are faster and more efficient in meetings held online, which cuts down the average length of remote meetings. 
  • More efficient, more productive employees: Quantifying performance and productivity is always a very complicated endeavour. What we can say is that if employees spend less time in meetings, the reality is that they have more time to focus on tasks with high added value. 
  • Lower costs: A meeting held remotely will inevitably cost less than a face-to-face meeting, especially when the participants are scattered around the globe.

These advantages are certainly attractive, but they probably aren’t worth the risk of compromising the security of your information.
Your governance meetings and strategy sessions require a maximum level of security. Practically speaking, how can you secure your online meetings?

First of all, believe it or not: remote meetings are much more secure than in-person meetings.
In the physical world, everything gets lost, including papers. It’s not uncommon to see loose pages scattered from room to room or simply forgotten in a room, destined to never be recovered. Of course, if these pages are merely informal scribbles without anything confidential or important, forgetting them isn’t a big deal.

On the flip side, when they involve confidential contracts or strategic notes, the printed page quickly shows its limits. All it takes is to forget it in a conference room or even lose it while travelling for sensitive and confidential information to be disclosed to people who weren’t intended to read it.

From this perspective, finding a more secure solution than online meeting software would be quite an undertaking. No one can enter a meeting without an invitation, discussions are encrypted from end to end, and so on. Consequently, in its crudest nature, online meetings are more secure than in-person meetings.

Executives spent an average of 27 days in meetings in 2018

It would be quite difficult to list the multitudes of certifications and qualifications specific to video-conferencing software here. However, a few worth mentioning include ISO 27001, the SecNumCloud qualification, and the RGS qualification, among many others obviously.

Even if the data leaks seen with certain video-conferencing software obviously don’t inspire the utmost confidence, the fact remains that video-conferencing offers advantages in terms of security and convenience. No more drawn-out meetings or pages forgotten here and there. On the other hand, video-conferencing software is like an eSignature: you shouldn’t hesitate to choose the most secure, most convenient solution. For eSignature, take a guess (it’s Yousign!). For video-conferencing, though, nothing beats a thorough benchmarking of the market’s solutions so that your remote meetings go as smoothly as possible. 

Another way to optimise your time? The electronic signature! Try it for free for 14 days