Which videoconferencing platforms are the most secure in 2021?
Are you looking for a secure communication tool for you and your employees? The objective of this article is to help you take stock of the various videoconferencing solutions available. You can then choose the one that suits you best in terms of security.
Why securing access to your online meetings is important?
The COVID19 health crisis has affected the whole world and disrupted the labor market. This is why videoconferencing solutions became hugely popular during the year 2020. Companies have massively implemented remote working for their employees in order to continue their activities during the various confinements. For many of them, this form of work was new and was accompanied by questions regarding the privacy and security of their online meetings:
How to guarantee the identity of all your participants?
What are the risks if an intruder comes to your meetings?
Indeed, we have been able to read numerous articles relating to intrusions (ZoomBombing) during confidential videoconferences. The best example is that of the ministers of the European Union on November 20. One of the ministers had posted a photo of his office on social media with his PIN code written on a post-it and a journalist was able to enter and interrupt the meeting …
What videoconferencing solutions are we going to study?
Our selection of videoconferencing software currently available on the market:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Adobe Connect
- Cisco Webex
These platforms each have their specialties. Some offer the possibility of hosting Webinars, in other words online seminars in order to reach a large audience. Others offer meetings bringing together a small number of people for the purpose of discussing or working.
Microsoft Teams is an application integrated into the Microsoft Office suite. It is a collaborative communication tool that is dedicated for internal use in your company. Moreover, it is not strictly speaking a videoconferencing system , but an application which makes it possible to carry out videoconference meetings with your colleagues.
GotoMeeting and GoToWebinar are published by LogMeIn, one of the oldest players in online video conferencing. Their solutions are exclusively intended for businesses and offer a wide range of functionalities.
Zoom is one of the most complete solutions on the market. Already popular, the health crisis has only accentuated this popularity with the general public, in particular thanks to the free version of its software. However, the company had to deal with major security gaps (ZoomBombing). That’s why companies today are looking for more secure online meeting solutions.
Already a household name Google, which for more than twenty years has offered software of all kinds and in practically all fields of activity. To be honest, it’s no surprise that Google Meet was launched in 2017 for businesses.
Quonference is the latest in the videoconferencing world. With a team with more than 20 years of experience, it offers online meeting and Webinar solutions for companies whose watchword is security. This solution offers, among other things, access control through Biometrics and single-use PIN codes. The software is currently in the BETA test phase.
Specializing in e-learning, Adobe Connect also offers the possibility of organizing Webinars and meetings. The software is intended for businesses only. On the security side, this solution offers the same protections as those offered by Webex.
Finally, with more than 100 million customers, Webex is one of the most widely used applications in the conferencing space. This software developed by Cisco gives you the possibility to organize meetings and Webinars. In addition, Cisco Webex allows you to integrate your SSO authentication system.
What authentication methods are available on this software?
Now we’ve seen what platforms are available, let’s talk about authentication and security. For example, the facilitator of an online meeting can set the security level for his meeting room. However, it sometimes happens that the latter neglects this aspect and leaves a door open to malicious people. These can therefore disrupt your meetings, or even spy on the exchanges between your participants.
A password may therefore be required by the meeting organizer. This can be in the form of a PIN code specific to each participant, but also a password chosen by the latter must enter during each connection to the meeting room. However, if the PIN code or password are sent by email to a recipient external to your company, you have no certainty that the participant’s mailbox is secure even worse an employee could even leak the pin code or password to a third party.
Comparison of the authentication methods offered to secure access to your meeting rooms:
You will notice in the table above that we did not list the option that allows you to leave your meeting room accessible without a password. While this option is not secure, it is available on all of the platforms.
Now let’s see in detail how each authentication method works.
A PIN Code (also known Access Code) is a unique numeric code comprising of at least 4 digits. Like a password, this option is typically provided when the attendee uses a phone to join a meeting. This method is both practical and weak in terms of security.
The Password is a series of characters that can represent a single word or a series of characters whose complexity and length are crucial for security. In other words, your pet’s name is obviously not a guarantee of safety. It is an authentication method considered weak especially as studies show us that most people use the same password for all of their accounts!
SSO (Sigle Sign-on) is a single sign-on scheme that allows you to be authenticated on multiple platforms at the same time. The goal is to make it easier for you to use a software suite such as Microsoft Office without having to authenticate yourself each time you change software. On the other hand, this scheme presents a great risk, that of data access to your entire working environment (mail, chat, sensitive documents, etc.) to malicious people.
Multi-factor authentication, or double authentication, is a strong authentication method by which a user will have to prove his identity twice (example: password + code sent by SMS). This method has been used more and more in recent years by many online services.
However, this method presents a risk when you store your password in the browser of your smartphone, if it is stolen from you and its contents are accessed, the thief will have no difficulty in accessing all your information.
FIDO2, which is still little known to the general public, is a strong, multi-factor authentication process jointly developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The protocol consist of a user-controlled cryptographic authentication (such as a smartphone or a hardware security key) and a WebAuthn relying party.
Concretely, this process couples an authentication method by password with a physical security key which makes it a very secure authentication method.
Biometric authentication uses a fingerprint reader, which is used to unlock your smartphone or computer. This method is becoming more popular and is available on most current communication media. In addition, it avoids you having to remember a complicated password and offers you strong and very convenient authentication and guarantees the identity of the person.
Conclusion and ranking
Passwords and PIN codes will soon become a thing of the past due to their weak security. The use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) methods is becoming wide spread, but new methods such as FIDO2 and Biometrics can guarantee the confidentiality of your sensitive online meetings by protecting their access in the most secure manner.
Without further ado, here is the most secure videoconferencing solution available today:
Quonference sets itself apart from other platforms by being the first and only one to offer FIDO2, Biometric and one-time PIN code authentication. Therefore, this difference makes Quonference the videoconferencing platform with the highest level of security for your confidential meetings.
More secure than Multi-factor, the FIDO2 and Biometric authentication procedures will in the long term be preferred within companies concerned about the confidentiality of their communications tools.
Significant advantages of Biometric authentication:
- Guarantees the identity of the person.
- No need to change your password every 6 months.
- Your employees will no longer write their passwords down on a post-it.
- Biometric data cannot be transmitted or stolen.