Article from Akhil Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technologies

November 20, 2014

The Connected World in a Disconnected Situation

“Beep. Good Morning, everyone. Beep. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule and logging in from various parts of the world to participate in this discussion. Beep. Beep. As most of you are aware, we are in the middle of a very large RFP process and we wanted to review the final proposal with you before it goes out to the customer. Steve, why don’t you walk us through the key financials first.”

Sounds familiar? Every organization has these types of calls every day where people log in to review proposals, updates, issues, strategies. Many of the calls are pre-scheduled with published conference numbers, moderator and user passcodes, participant names etc. This makes it difficult to control who joins the call, potentially enabling call access by unauthorized parties.

In this connected world with smart devices replacing desktops; what happens when somebody is disconnected? When an employee leaves the organization, the smart devices also leave with him and so does your dial in numbers, conference call passwords.

These individuals or someone who gets hold of these smart devices can dial in into your conference calls as a silent listener and acquire enough information to be dangerous. Having Back-to-back or Recurring Meetings, sharing conferencing details within the team and with third party suppliers/contractors leads to additional security risk concerns.

There are many organizations that focus quite a bit on all other aspects of securing old data in case of an exit but forget to take care of this critical piece that can expose all future confidential information.

Speak with Confidence

It is imperative to take adequate security measures for your conference calls. The most important step is to check the security features delivered by the service provider.

Host and Participants codes allocated should be unique to prevent anyone else from accessing a virtual meeting room uninvited. In the case of conference calls of a highly sensitive nature, the host should be able to generate a “once only” set of codes. The host should have the provision to replay a recording of the name, organisation and other requested details of the participants, and check for any unauthorized participation.

The participant count should be available at any given point in time in the call. Once the participants have all been authenticated, the host should be able to ‘lock’ the conference to prevent any unauthorized participants joining. There should be a provision to force quit a participant.