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The Future of Online Meeting Security: Trends and Predictions

Daena Skinner
April 29, 2024
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Online Meeting Security

Online meetings have exploded in popularity over the past few years, with the global video conferencing market increasing by 10% from 2022 to 2023
This growth changes the daily activities and operating procedures of employees and companies. Also, it necessitates protecting confidential information and ensuring meeting participants talk in a safe, secure space. 
Here, we consider the current state of online meeting security and look at what the future will likely hold for this ever-growing industry.

What Will the Cybersecurity Landscape of 2024 Look Like?

If the last few years are any indicator, the cybersecurity landscape will look vastly different in 2024. Here are some key predictions:

  • AI security will be extensively implemented in online meeting platforms.
  • Multifactor authentication will be the norm for meeting access.
  • End-to-end and biometric encryption will gain broader adoption, perhaps with the further integration of VPN software.
  • Threat prevention and damage control will improve exponentially.
  • Cloud storage and computing will introduce new risks to mitigate.
  • Remote workforce security training will become standard practice.
  • Regulators will enact stronger data privacy and protection laws.

While challenges remain, the future looks bright for virtual meeting security as innovations accelerate.

Several key trends are already transforming security for virtual meetings. As the industry evolves, they’ll likely continue to do so as they provide technological capabilities that directly address current vulnerabilities and risks. Primarily, these trends are artificial intelligence (AI), enhanced encryption, and stronger regulation.  

The integration of artificial intelligence will enable real-time monitoring that human security teams cannot match, allowing much earlier threat detection and quicker response. 

Strengthened encryption will eliminate unauthorized access to data that could expose confidential information, and enhanced user authentication, such as multifactor or biometric methods, will significantly tighten access controls. 

Stronger regulations on data privacy will force online meeting platforms to be more accountable for safeguarding user information properly. Finally, proactive threat monitoring will shift security from a reactive to a predictive model, staying ahead of potential attacks. 

With capabilities like these, online meeting platforms will be far better equipped to provide robust protection and prevent security breaches or incidents down the line. These key technology trends actively target core vulnerabilities, automate detection and response, and uphold data privacy – critical pillars for the future of secure virtual conferencing.

Artificial Intelligence

Of all emerging technologies, perhaps none will revolutionize online meeting security quite like artificial intelligence. According to the State of AI and C-Suite report, 77% of leaders believe that AI will give them a competitive advantage. But what exactly can AI do?

AI can:

  • Continuously monitor activity to identify potential attacks rapidly.
  • Apply machine learning to detect unusual behavior that may signal threats.
  • Use natural language processing to analyze conversations and flag risks.
  • Provide adaptive authentication by recognizing trusted users.
  • Enable real-time response to neutralize threats quickly.
  • Make predictions based on analytics to improve defenses over time.

By integrating AI, meeting platforms can become infinitely more secure, identifying risks human security teams would likely miss. 

Blockchain 

Blockchain’s decentralized, encrypted ledger system could potentially enable powerful new security capabilities. Each participant could receive a unique encrypted identity on the blockchain itself. 

  • Meeting metadata like attendees, dates, transcripts, and more could be recorded securely in blockchain format. 
  • Access credentials and encryption keys could be embedded in the blockchain for stronger protection. 
  • Tamper-proof auditing of meetings may become possible as well. 

As blockchain technology matures, it may eventually provide a quantum leap for security, transparency, and privacy.

Biometric Security Options

Used independently or together with encryption, biometric authentication can significantly strengthen access control. 

  • Facial recognition could visually confirm meeting attendees. 
  • Voice recognition could identify participants from their unique voiceprints. 
  • Integrating fingerprint or retina scanning brings physical biometrics into the equation. 

As biometric technology advances, expect more widespread adoption of access control in virtual meetings.

How to Enhance Security in Virtual Environments

Securing online meetings requires more than just cutting-edge technology alone. Here are some recommended ways organizations can proactively enhance protection for their distributed teams:

  • Provide ongoing cybersecurity and privacy training to remote staff. This builds awareness of risks and best practices.
  • Develop comprehensive cybersecurity policies and procedures specifically for virtual environments. Documented protocols help ensure consistency.
  • Perform regular risk assessments to pinpoint and address potential vulnerabilities. Staying vigilant is key.
  • Follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework. Their guidelines are considered the gold standard.
  • Harden any cloud infrastructure used for online meetings, storage, and collaboration. The cloud introduces new attack surfaces to secure.
  • Consider deploying AI-driven advanced threat monitoring systems. AI can detect risks traditional tools miss.

Advanced Encryption Techniques

Encryption will only grow more indispensable for online meeting security in the future. Some trailblazing techniques to know include:

  • End-to-end encryption – This encrypts data from sender to recipient throughout its journey. No third party can access communications.
  • Perfect forward secrecy – This uses unique encryption keys for each meeting session. Even if one key gets compromised, all others remain fully secure.
  • Biometric encryption – This ties encryption keys to users’ biological traits like fingerprints or facial recognition patterns.
  • Digital signatures – These verify a message’s authenticity and integrity. Any tampering can be easily detected.

Understanding capabilities like these can empower organizations to implement bleeding-edge encryption that secures their virtual meetings now and in the years ahead.

Robust Authentication for Airtight Security

Access control represents a crucial pillar of online meeting security. Some robust authentication options to consider include:

  • Multifactor authentication – Requiring an extra step like an SMS code, fingerprint scan, or security key markedly strengthens login processes.
  • CAPTCHA challenges – Tests determining if users are human or bots trying to gain unauthorized entry add another access control layer.
  • Device verification – Analyzing trusted device markers like IP addresses, cookies, and system configurations helps confirm identities.
  • Geolocation – Checking if a user’s login location matches their expected area can flag suspicious logins.
  • Behavioral authentication – Machine learning systems that recognize each user’s typical patterns can detect anomalies indicative of account misuse.

Combining multiple techniques enables organizations to implement virtually impenetrable authentication protocols securing every meeting attendee.

Upholding Privacy and Data Protection

For online meetings, upholding privacy while securing data remains paramount. 

Following increasingly stringent regulations earns customer trust and enhances security. However, organizations that fail to safeguard customer data properly risk severe financial penalties, along with damaged reputation and brand loyalty, if misusing personal information is found. Here are some key considerations:

  • Uphold privacy obligations inherent in online meetings where sensitive conversations transpire. Strategies like encryption and access controls are crucial for data security. However, challenges like preventing unauthorized recordings, protecting screen-sharing content, and maintaining privacy in public spaces remain. Organizations need comprehensive policies and training to address these risks.
  • Ensure compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and other global data privacy laws. These regulations also cover online meetings. To stay compliant, inform participants about data practices, gain clear consent where applicable, grant data access and deletion rights, and carefully vet third-party apps and plugins.
  • Follow best practices for secure file sharing during virtual meetings. This includes using password-protected cloud storage for confidential documents, limiting file downloading and screenshots, expiring shared links after meetings conclude, and avoiding public meeting chats for sensitive data.

Get Ahead of Risks Before They Become Threats

While robust security cannot eliminate all risks, organizations must still have proactive plans to avoid threats before they arise and address them in real-time should a breach occur. Consider these tips when developing security protocols:

  • Actively identify and mitigate emerging threats targeting online meetings, such as malware in links, credential theft via phishing, session hijacking, and exploiting software vulnerabilities (by conducting ransomware attacks). Deploy AI threat monitoring and work closely with security vendors to stay ahead of risks.
  • Watch out for phishing attempts to steal meeting login credentials, such as fake login pages, password reset emails with malware, and calendar invites pretending to come from known organizers. Training and multifactor authentication are key defenses.
  • Take a proactive approach to risk management. Maintain updated asset inventories, run continuous risk assessments to find vulnerabilities in platforms/devices/practices, and have incident response plans to contain damages quickly.
  • Enforce strong access management controls and routinely audit permissions. Prevention is ideal – but detecting misuse rapidly can hugely mitigate harm.

Building a Secure Infrastructure for the Remote Work Era

The paradigm shift towards hybrid and remote work has dramatically intensified organizations’ reliance on digital channels for communication. Building a robust infrastructure that enables secure conferencing for distributed teams is essential.

Video Calls with Remote Staff

For secure video meetings:

  • Thoroughly vet platforms on encryption, access controls, and compliance before deploying.
  • Tightly integrate video apps with existing identity management and security tools.
  • Train remote staff on best practices like avoiding public Wi-Fi for calls.
  • Continuously monitor for threats and rapidly update configurations as risks emerge.

With proper planning, video calls can be made highly secure.

The Role of VPNs

Virtual private networks (VPN) are pivotal for securely connecting remote workers to organizational systems. To balance security and usability:

  • Provide managed devices with enforced VPN usage to high-risk employees.
  • For staff with personal devices, offer a choice between an always-on VPN or a per-app VPN.
  • Develop smart policies guiding prudent VPN use for sensitive apps only.

With the right approach, VPNs can be easy for employees to use securely.

Looking Ahead

We now heavily rely on digital connectivity, and online meetings enable teams to collaborate effectively despite distance. 

However, with this opportunity comes the responsibility to safeguard data and privacy. As cyber risks grow, it’s essential to leverage emerging innovations like AI and biometrics to make virtual meetings security bulletproof. 

To keep up with the growing demands of creating secure online meeting spaces, companies and organizations must become agile and implement flexible strategies to ensure their teams and employees can evolve with the rapidly changing landscape.

Irina Maltseva is a Growth Lead at Aura, a Founder at ONSAAS, and an SEO Advisor. For the last eight years, she has been helping SaaS companies to grow their revenue with inbound marketing.

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