Is Your Video Conferencing Technology Giving Others a Look Inside Your Business?

Report Reveals Security Flaw in Video Conferencing Systems

By Jerry Olsen
Updated: January 31, 2012

Is Your Video Conferencing Technology Giving Others a Look Inside Your Business?

Much like a viral video on YouTube, video conferencing, as a popular form of communication in small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has gone viral. According to ABI Research senior analyst Subha Rama, video conferencing technology is likely to explode once Long Term Evolution (LTE) becomes more available.

Although video conferencing offers many advantages like time savings and less travel expense, however, this fairly new technology still has some security issues. The New York Times reported that a security officer for Rapid 7— a software security company—created a computer program that discovered 5,000 open video conference systems in just two hours. The security officer said he was able to call into systems made by Polycom, Cisco, Logitech LifeSize, Sony and others. He added that many organizations (including venture capital firms) do not implement even the most basic of security measures.

The advent of video conferencing in many different industries has brought on the question of how secure these systems really are. According to Mike Tuchen, CEO of Rapid 7, many companies have “dropped the ball on video conferencing security,” especially as video conferencing’s popularity continues to grow. In addition, the less-expensive systems have tendency to open the door to hackers.

Tuchen said that thousands of video conferencing systems were configured to answer incoming calls, allowing hackers to obtain a front-row seat in many corporate meetings. In other words, systems that automatically answer incoming calls can easily be turned on by an attacker without attracting the attention of people in the meeting, and at present, many systems aren’t very secure.

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