The Danger of Free Conferencing Apps

We probably don’t need more proof of how important it is to have a secure communications platform when it comes to web-, video- and teleconferencing. But, then again, because this is all so new to many businesses trying to fully operationalize remotely, there is a great deal of information to wade through.

This is our third blog devoted to secure remote communications in the past few weeks. Security is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts because security has long been a central tenant of the services Momentum offers.

Today, we’re going to dive into free conferencing apps and why these may work just fine for yoga studios and having evening cocktails with friends while still adhering to “shelter in place” guidelines during the pandemic, but pose very real risks to businesses.

Recently, one of the world’s most popular video conferencing apps announced that those who use the video platform for free will no longer have encrypted calls. The reasoning is to support law enforcement agencies in the event the platform is used for malicious reasons. Interestingly, if you pay to upgrade, then encryption is included, so the motivation here is interesting and seemingly complex. But the net result is if you don’t pay, your data will not be encrypted.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is an algorithm that ensures data can only be read by specific recipients, and not accessed by random people, or other algorithms. End-to-End Encryption is the strongest form of encryption available.

If your data isn’t encrypted, someone could pull it off a Wi-Fi network with relative ease. This should concern everyone, particularly businesses exchanging information with clients.

This is the reason many government agencies, institutions, and earlier this year, businesses around the world abandoned popular free conferencing apps as quickly as they adopted them when the COVID crisis began.

Zoom, Google Hangouts, cell phones, and Skype calls do not feature end to end encryption. While it is unlikely the average person would need this level of security, when you consider classified government information or corporate strategies, you want to use a more secure platform. Here is a great article that summarizes Zoom’s ongoing struggles with security data integrity.

So, what are your options if you are looking for a conferencing platform that will meet your business’s security needs?

The most secure platforms are Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams. Both effectively serve businesses, educational and health institutions, and government agencies worldwide.

Webex has a reputation for maintaining robust cybersecurity and offers a shopping list of security features, including the option of establishing E2EE in media streams for businesses that require this added layer of data security.

Microsoft has an internal rating system for the security of its products and has designated Teams to be Tier-D compliant, which means that it can adhere to the strictest government and industry security standards and legal requirements.

If you want to know more, Momentum Conferencing offers a range of collaboration tools including Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams. Our team takes pride in working with clients to find the right collaboration tools to help businesses remain productive.

Let us know how we can help assure your business stays on track.

We are standing by and ready to assist @ 1-888-551-5925 x2 or

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