• COVID-19 exposes passwords as weak link in video conferencing

        • Business tool Zoom has seen a 20-fold increase in users recently, as COVID-19 forces millions to work from home. However, reported problems with privacy and security have sparked concern about using video conferencing tools amongst governments and businesses worldwide.

          The app’s unprecedented surge in popularity inevitably attracted the attention of malicious actors and exposed unforeseen weaknesses. ‘Zoom bombings’ in which hackers enter chat rooms persist and cybercriminals are targeting user passwords. The company has also faced a string of privacy concerns after user data was being sent to third parties and used for targeted advertising.

          Online conferencing tools’ compliance with global privacy regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – which mandates disclosure on data collection, third party access and breaches – has now come under intense scrutiny. 

          James Stickland, CEO of authentication platform Veridium, highlights that companies using video conferencing tools now face the real risk of breaking data privacy laws, and warns that enforcing passwords greatly increases the risk of cyber-attacks.

          He said, “the COVID-19 crisis has forced a number of firms into taking dangerous shortcuts on security, as well as falling foul of regulations such as GDPR – placing them at greater risk of fines and data breaches. This is an inevitable consequence of companies who have been pressured into adopting technology in order to stay afloat, without conducting the usual rigorous assessments. Businesses must be transparent about who has access to sensitive, personal employee and client data on video conferences, especially when using screen sharing or recording tools. This is imperative considering the escalation of cybercrime, in which funded attacks on passwords worldwide have risen 667 per cent. This situation demonstrates that businesses cannot rest on their laurels, waiting for the next data breach – but always plan for the worst-case scenario.

          “Video conferencing tools must take accountability and change how they handle data, which is the perfect opportunity to enhance outdated, password-based security systems. Easily compromised passwords, which are susceptible to phishing and malware attacks, are responsible for over 80 per cent of all data breaches. Transitioning to a passwordless approach through biometric authentication will not only enhance security and streamline the user experience, but also alleviate the challenges posed by data privacy regulations – such as providing proof of identity for legal non-repudiation and a record of every access attempt. Mobile-based biometric authentication, which leverages widespread smartphone adoption, can help facilitate safe home working at this critical time without sacrificing the platform’s much-loved seamless user experience.

          “It is critical users know how and where their data is being stored, which can be increasingly unclear. The right mobile multi-factor authentication solution will minimise the risk of exposing personal data to the wrong parties, improve the traceability of data processing, and keep costs to a minimum. Any concerns the public has over the storage of sensitive biometric data can be alleviated by techniques such as the distributed data model, which encrypts biometric data in multiple places, rendering it useless to a hacker.”

        • Stay up to date - Click here and register for FREE OEN online membership and enjoy unlimited access to a host of benefits including the exclusive members area of the website, downloadable business tools, current and back issues archive, priority breaking news alerts, weekly e news summary and the OEN app

        • Related Articles

        • Making school safety a priority with smart technology

          Making school safety a priority with smart technology

          Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021 by clareb
          With pupils set to go back to school on 8th March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools broug...Read More...
          Omnichannel contact centre needs further transformation post-pandemic

          Omnichannel contact centre needs further transformation post-pandemic

          Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021 by clareb
          For organisations operating contact centres, now is the time to plan for a more settled future where consumer and worker habits are permanently changed from how they were before. This is according to TelcoSwitch, a provider of unified communications ...Read More...
          Over 1/3 UK consumers cease purchasing EU goods post-Brexit

          Over 1/3 UK consumers cease purchasing EU goods post-Brexit

          Friday 19th Feb 2021 by clareb
          Eskenzi PR & Marketing, a voice in the cybersecurity public relations industry has announced the results of a survey which found that over a third (34%) of UK consumers have stopped purchasing goods and services from the European Union since...Read More...
                • About Us

                  OEN is the leading source of business news and information for buyers of office equipment, supplies and services within mid tier and up sized organisations. Our multi-platform approach delivers relevant, engaging and focussed content via our main printed magazine, bespoke guides and supplements, website, digital editions, apps, and newsletters with an unrivalled reach across the industry. A highly trusted and respected brand for many years, the print version of OEN last year celebrated its Diamond anniversary.

                  For our latest Media packs and more details on our range of services click here

                • View Latest Issue