Bengt Grahn, Compodium’s Founder, reflects on taking delicate human conversations to the highest level of trust

Bengt, what made you start Compodium 23 years ago?

As an early video conference pioneer, I had worked with communications technology and hardware video system sales for many years prior to Compodium. But I realised that too often we oversold more video infrastructure hardware to customers than they actually needed. This led to the idea of starting a specialised video conference service agency.

I remember our first assignment came from the Swedish government. They wanted to conduct a series of national video conferences to analyse the Estonia disaster, which was when MS Estonia, a cruise ferry, sank in the Baltic Sea and hundreds of people died. People discussed whether the ship should be lifted from the bottom of the ocean or left as a burial ground in the sea.

Compodium was running the whole conference production and in one of those meetings, from a video studio in the far north, one tiny lady at the back of the room said she had a message for the government. The camera zoomed to her and she said, ‘I am a survivor, my husband died and from my heart I’d like to say, please keep it as it is’. People were moved and cried in the big parliament hall. I felt that it was amazing to be able to take a message from her straight into the heart of the government, to bring true democracy.

It was long before digital telephony and smart phones were commonplace and I thought, this is the technology and services I must spend the rest of my life exploring further.

Truly amazing – this was your inspiration?

Absolutely. Video communications are very democratising, and I’ve always been excited by the opportunities they offer. This experience sewed the seed for our further developments and over time, our technical video platform has grown to be one of the most complete in the field of B2B e-health and clinical telemedicine. We form links between more than a hundred hospitals and a thousand care clinics across Sweden.

We provide thousands of hours each day in meeting capacity, giving professionals the opportunity to share knowledge whilst working in another hospital in a completely different locality.

We’ve grown to be super experts in both upholding quality and knowing what’s needed for doctors and healthcare professionals. Over time, we’ve built up specialist knowledge that’s helped us build a funnel of trust with healthcare practitioners. We are so proud to be a business that provides value for mankind in this way.

How is Compodium helping to save lives?

Let me give one example. There are thirty-four maternity units in hospitals in Sweden, where babies are born daily. Statistically, a number of these will be born with suspected heart failure. There are several different causes, and doctors have to decide quickly whether urgent intervention is needed, as this could make the difference between life and death.

A less experienced doctor in a smaller hospital may consult a specialist obstetrician from one of the university hospitals over a video emergency line. Using the live clinical images being shared between them, they can make a mutual decision about whether to undertake a trauma lift of that newborn or to continue care at the local hospital.

An unclear image due to a poor quality video link would present a significant risk of incorrect diagnosis; such a situation is out of the question. It must be super good quality, so practitioners can trust that the image sent from the maternity unit’s ultrasonic device is exactly the same as the image received at the specialist’s location.

Compodium provides that dependability because it offers seamless connectivity, enabling a trusted bond between two healthcare practitioners: nobody will have a life on their conscience.

This is just one example of how our solutions for telemedicine work for practitioners every day.

What about digitisation in society in general?

As society is becoming increasingly digitised, the need has arisen for a trusting and secure solution for video consultations to take place between a doctor and his patient. For many years, our software developers have added functionality to the platform to address this need. We now call the solution Vidicue.

Vidicue is a secure multiparty video communications platform that is enabling patients and healthcare practitioners to talk to one another remotely, saving costs, time and carbon dioxide emissions. It’s very important that a doctor can legally ensure that the right patient arrives at the meeting. In the same way, it is necessary for a patient to trust that it is a legitimate doctor holding their consultation, not an unknown person dressed in a white medical coat.

Vidicue therefore supports a variety of digital authentication methods including Bank ID, to ensure the correct identity of all participants in the video meeting.

Vidicue provides a higher level of trust that allows professionals new, clever ways of organising workflow processes.


How are the changes taking place in the world right now affecting Vidicue?

The world has accelerated five years in the space of a few months.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how easy it is to share knowledge and run our working lives with digital tools. It’s still possible for many people to earn a living without going to a physical place of work, although of course not for everyone.

A major disaster is cutting across society at the moment, putting pressure on the welfare system, on schools, clinics and places of worship. People are learning to adapt their lives and video communications are at the core of this change.

Panic over the pandemic has eroded into a more sensitive discussion of how we need to communicate remotely in the best ways possible. With that comes an awareness of the need to choose a system that agrees with an organisation’s security and trust requirements.

Vidicue provides this level of security via end-to-end encryption. Beyond even that, by removing the need to travel, Vidicue brings services to the user and connects them to a digital world more securely than ever before.

I think our societies will change dramatically over the coming years. It’s possible to have many benefits of a city life in the countryside. People were spending hours commuting, at great cost, but now they’re realising productivity hasn’t been compromised as a result of working remotely.

What are your plans for Vidicue?

We are humbled by what Vidicue is helping people to do and achieve every day of their lives, and as a business we are continuing to develop the platform.

We’re now quickly moving into different sectors, and expanding internationally, based on our healthcare knowledge. Our main focus is addressing services to regulated industries, where information cannot be made publicly available due to personal and professional privacy laws.

We are an ethically motivated company, putting purpose before profit, and we are inspired by integrating the very latest technology into Vidicue to continue our customer-focussed journey.

By |2020-10-01T10:07:04+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Bengt Grahn, Compodium’s Founder, reflects on taking delicate human conversations to the highest level of trust

CASE STUDY: Södertälje municipality maintains operations with secure and confidential video meetings

The Challenge

Simon Lindgren, IT Strategist at Södertälje kommun, one of 290 municipalities in Sweden, is no stranger to using video meetings as a way of expanding support and services to individuals and to make the municipality work more efficiently. In 2018, Simon started investigating the possibilities of using video meetings with external healthcare providers, family homes, guardians and institutions, as well as directly with clients. In these meetings, highly confidential and very sensitive information is often discussed, so security and privacy have become increasingly important.

The meetings would include members from various external organisations and institutions, and in some instances also clients. It’s often the municipalities’ representatives who have to travel to, for example, external hospitals or other care providers, so potentially video meetings could save considerable travel time for the municipality employees. However, it was crucial that the security of the video meeting solution could be trusted.

There’s been an increased focus on tougher demands for security and privacy in the public sector in recent years and today public sector organisations are no longer permitted to use cloud-based solutions from countries outside of the EU. Advanced encryption and strong authentication via electronic identification such as BankID or SITHS, are now also required. All this disqualified many of the usual consumer-focused video conference solutions on the market.

The municipality initially turned to Inera, a company owned by Sweden’s municipalities and regions, working to simplify sourcing of digitalisation solutions. Inera already had a frame agreement in place with Compodium, but as the agreement at the time didn’t include authentication, which was very important to Södertälje municipality, Simon turned directly to Compodium. The frame agreement has subsequently been updated so it now also includes authentication.

Compodium’s solution was implemented in the autumn of 2019 and in the initial set-up, the municipality trained meeting hosts for 5 virtual meeting rooms.

When the Covid-19 pandemic escalated in the spring of 2020, the demand for video conferencing exploded and Simon realised he had to increase the number of meeting rooms. Use of these rooms has tripled since the solution was implemented. Today, there are 17 meeting rooms which can all be used simultaneously. The rooms are divided across Individual and Family Care/Children and Teenagers, Individual and Family Care/Work and Provision, Individual and Family Care/Adult Abuse and Social Mental Health, the Authority for Care of the Elderly and Disabled, and Student Health. The number of meeting hosts has also increased substantially, to 430.

“Compodium managed the very fast expansion during the Spring quickly and easily, and new meeting rooms were delivered the following working day,” explains Simon.

The solution

Compodiums’ service-based digital meetings can be used in three ways; via a web interface, a Windows client or a smartphone app for Android and iOS. There is no need for additional equipment because a computer with a camera, a tablet or smartphone works fine. This makes it really easy to begin and means that employees can use the solution remotely, so they’re not tied to the office.

Each meeting room has a host who will call participants into the room after they’ve logged in from the meeting room lobby.

The high level of security and authentication means that employees, external parties and clients can be confident that their meetings are confidential and can only be reached by authorised participants.

The Result

The municipality’s video meeting users have saved considerable time by not having to travel to meetings, time that instead can be used to provide increased support and service to individuals. Management are seeing great possibilities with this new technology, and they are very supportive of its future use.

And there are other advantages with video meetings as they can sometimes be more focused than face-to-face meetings, taking less time with discussions staying on point. They can also act as a complement to physical meetings and offer additional follow-up and support for individual clients.

“It was really good that we already had the solution established when Covid-19 struck. It made it easier for our operations to keep up continuity in the contact with clients and the support network around them. Virtual meetings have also helped our internal communication,” Simon said.

Simon concluded: “By using Compodium’s video meeting solution we can be sure that we comply with existing regulations and follow guidelines for managing confidential and private information. The fact the solution also saves us time and money and is simple to use, is extremely positive.”

By |2020-10-01T10:04:36+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on CASE STUDY: Södertälje municipality maintains operations with secure and confidential video meetings

REFERENSCASE: Södertälje kommun upprätthåller verksamheten med säkra och konfidentiella videomöten

Utmaningen

Simon Lindgren, IT-strateg på Södertälje kommun, en av 290 kommuner i Sverige, har jobbat länge med videomöten som ett sätt att utöka stöd och service till enskilda individer, samt effektivisera kommunens verksamhet. 2018 började han undersöka möjligheterna att använda videomöten med externa vårdgivare, familjehem, godmanskap, och institutioner samt direkt med klienter. I dessa möten hanteras konfidentiell och högst privat information, dvs känsliga personuppgifter som ska skyddas enligt GDPR.

Mötesdeltagare är representanter från flera olika organisationer och institutioner, och ibland även klienter, och det är ofta kommunens medarbetare som reser till sjukhus eller andra vårdinrättningar. Att använda videomöten skulle alltså spara mycket tid för kommunens anställda, men det var oerhört viktigt att det gick att lita på säkerheten i videokonferenslösningen.

De senaste årens ökade fokus och hårdare krav på säkerhet och integritet inom offentlig sektor, innebar att det inte längre var tillåtet att använda molntjänstbaserade lösningar från länder utanför EU. Det krävdes även avancerad kryptering och stark autentisering via exempelvis bank-ID och SITHS-kort. Allt detta diskvalificerade många av de vanliga konsumentfokuserade videokonferenslösningarna på marknaden.

Kommunen vände sig först till Inera, ett bolag ägt av kommuner och regioner och som jobbar för att förenkla upphandling av digitaliseringslösningar. Inera hade redan ett ramavtal med Compodium, men eftersom avtalet inte omfattade autentisering, vilket var viktigt för Södertälje kommun, vände sig Simon direkt till Compodium. Ramavtalet med Inera har sedermera uppdaterats och inkluderar nu även autentisering.

Compodiums lösning implementerades hösten 2019 och kommunen utbildade mötesvärdar för att hantera de fem virtuella mötesrummen man startade med.

När så Corona-pandemin drog igång våren 2020, exploderade behoven av videomöten och Simon insåg att han snabbt måste utöka antalet mötesrum.  I dag har användningen tredubblats. Det finns 17 mötesrum som alla kan användas samtidigt. De är fördelade på IFO/barn och ungdom, IFO/arbete och försörjning, IFO/Vux missbruk och socialpsykiatri, myndigheten för äldre och funktionsnedsättning samt elevhälsan. Antalet mötesvärdar har också ökat kraftigt till 430.

”Den snabba utökningen under våren gick snabbt och smidigt, och nya arbetsrum levererades redan nästa arbetsdag” berättar Simon.

Lösningen

Compodiums tjänstebaserade digitala möten kan användas på tre sätt, webbaserat, via Windowsklient eller via smartphoneapp för Android och iOS. Ingen extra utrustning behöver anskaffas, utan dator med kamera, läsplatta eller smartphone räcker utmärkt. Det gör det enkelt att komma igång och innebär även att medarbetare kan använda lösningen hemifrån, eller på resa och slipper därmed vara bundna till kontoret.

För varje möte finns en mötesvärd som bekräftar mötesdeltagarna, efter att de loggat in från mötets väntrum.

Den höga säkerhetsnivån och autentiseringslösningen innebär att medarbetare, externa deltagare och klienter kan vara säkra på att mötena är konfidentiella och bara kan nås av bekräftade deltagare.

Resultatet

Kommunens medarbetare som använt videomöten har sparat avsevärd med restid, tid som istället kan användas för att ytterligare stödja och ge service till medborgare. Ledningen ser stora fördelar med den nya teknologin och är mycket positiva till framtida användning i kommunen.

Det har också visat sig att videomöten ofta är mer fokuserade än fysiska möten och tar kortare tid. De kan dessutom fungera som ett komplement till fysiska möten och därmed ge fler tillfällen till uppföljning och konsultativt stöd för enskilda kommunmedborgare.

”Det var bra att vi hade tjänsten etablerad i kommunen när Covid-19 kom. Det underlättade för verksamheten att behålla kontinuiteten i kontakterna med klienter och stödet runt dem, men också i den interna kommunikationen har det underlättat att ha distansmöten, säger Simon.

”Genom att använda Compodiums videomöteslösning kan vi vara säkra på att vi följer de regler och riktlinjer som finns för hantering av konfidentiell och privat information. Att lösningen dessutom sparar tid och pengar och är enkel att använda är extremt positivt,” avslutar Simon.

By |2020-10-16T10:22:57+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, News, Swedish|Comments Off on REFERENSCASE: Södertälje kommun upprätthåller verksamheten med säkra och konfidentiella videomöten

Channel Chief: Hubert Da Costa, Vice President, Global Channels at Compodium

Hubert Da Costa,Vice President, Global Channels at Compodium explains his current job role and his management philosophy.

Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

I recently joined secure digital meeting spaces provider, Compodium, to build, launch and lead the channel programme in EMEA. Compodium was an early video conferencing pioneer and its technical video platform has grown to be one of the most comprehensive in the world, with use cases spanning healthcare and clinical telemedicine to public sector communications. With a strong foothold in Sweden, Compodium is now rapidly expanding globally and going forward, the company’s model will be 100% channel focused.

Now, I’m working to build relationships with the distribution partners to support this global expansion. Compodium recognises that working with the right partners can grow the business in a way that selling directly never will. In fact, it’s become increasingly difficult for businesses – even those that have been extremely successful in one or a few regions – to create opportunities for sales growth in new geographical regions and market verticals. Developing a strong distribution network provides huge economies of scale in terms of resources, operational processes, delivery and customer service.

One of the key challenges with new locations is working around different languages and cultures, so the key to success when expanding geographically is embracing local execution. This is why the distribution model works so well. Choosing the right partners can help you assimilate in-country quickly and fast tracks you through the language and cultural roadblocks you will inevitably face by running your business remotely.

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

To help secure a market-leading position in the rapid growth area of digital collaboration, Compodium is looking to appoint five partners to drive sales in the finance, healthcare, SMB enterprise, education and public sector vertical markets. We’ve recently unveiled a new channel programme – Compodium Partner Assure – which is aimed at supporting and accelerating our partners’ success across EMEA.

We’re working hard to identify and build effective relationships with the right partners, particularly those with detailed local market knowledge. I know at its core, the key to a successful distribution model is aligning strategies with your partners. So, we’re welcoming partners that know the industry well, who share our cultures and values and will help us maintain the integrity of the Compodium brand as we expand into new regions. The secret is in the name – partnership is key.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

My philosophy has always been one that centres around honest communication and a focus on long term relationships. This drives better results for everyone – it may seem like a cliché, but that’s all it takes to create a win-win situation. When working towards the same goals, you need to treat your partners as an extension of your own team – constantly thinking about how you can contribute to their success.

I read a book some years ago called ‘The Go-Giver’ that really struck a chord with me and fundamentally influenced how I approach working with partners. The book is about a young ambitious salesman going nowhere fast who realises a fundamental truth: to be successful in business you need to turn the traditional ‘What’s in it for me’ mindset on its head. Success depends on asking what you can give. Now, I focus on the value I can add – for colleagues, customers and partners.

Working hard to ensure partners have enough training and support will contribute to your joint success. You need to commit 100% to ensuring your partners’ success – and importantly, reward them fairly when they deliver this.

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

Despite the widespread disruption for many businesses, there have been numerous opportunities brought on by the rapid shift to remote working. It’s accelerated some key trends we were already seeing huge growth in – particularly the move to cloud and the need for comprehensive security. For any channel organisation with expertise in these areas, there are significant opportunities.

What is your management philosophy?

To lead from the front but also empower my team to think like a leader in everything they do. My team knows I always have their back and – providing they act with honesty and integrity with everything they do – that they are free to execute and enjoy their roles. If they make a mistake – which we all know happens – that’s OK, as long as it was made with the correct behaviour. Mistakes help us grow – as individuals and as a team. Just as it’s important for us to learn from our own mistakes and move on, any mistake your team makes is an opportunity for you to grow as a leader.

Leading from the front doesn’t mean making all of the key decisions; it’s about ensuring your vision, mission and goals are crisp and clear, and then trusting your team to deliver these. I ensure everyone in my immediate and extended teams has a mandate to deliver in the most creative, but – more importantly – honest way possible.

The same is true for channel leadership. Commit to your strategy and plans and enable your partners to execute. When your partners share your core values and you’ve helped them understand the nuances of your product, your brand and your market, let them lead you to success.

When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?

Memorable achievements come in many forms. Certainly though, the feeling of securing my first million-dollar order has stayed, as has cutting the tape at the first international office I set up from scratch in the EMEA region.

What made you think of a career in technology?

Honestly, from the age of four I’d planned to be a priest. But by about 16, I’d moved on and my love and inquisitiveness of all things tech was inspiring a clear career direction. It inspires me still to see how the world is progressing at an exponential rate, with technology touching every aspect of our lives – particularly over the recent months, as we’ve all had to adopt new ways of communicating with friends and colleagues.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2020?

For many businesses, recent events have fundamentally changed the way they operate. Home working has taken off in a way that we could never have imagined, even this time last year. Thanks to technology, we’re as productive in our own homes as we are in a traditional office environment. There’s no question as to the significance that video conferencing has played here. Indeed, the market for digital meeting spaces has exploded in recent months, with Global Market Insights predicting the video conferencing market alone will reach a valuation of US$50 billion by 2026.

However, with this growth has come the realisation by many businesses that there is a greater need for protecting the sensitive, confidential and valuable data contained in video conversations. Enterprise-grade security is a must-have and this permeates every aspect of the home office technology we’re all now relying on – from our trusty Wi-Fi router to the video conferencing platforms we’re using to communicate with clients, customers and colleagues. Catching up with friends on HouseParty is one thing – but discussing a medical diagnosis with your GP or exploring a potential M&A requires absolute confidentiality.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

By far, most of my time after work revolves around my dog – so lots of walking! I also enjoy swimming and – despite a few arguments with the road along the way – I’m still a keen cyclist. I also take every opportunity to watch Liverpool play football.

The original article is published on Intelligent Tech Channels.

By |2020-10-01T10:11:22+02:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Channel Chief: Hubert Da Costa, Vice President, Global Channels at Compodium

Video conferencing security; vital for the ‘new normal’ in financial services

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

The recent pandemic has fundamentally changed the way most businesses around the world operate.  Home working has taken off in a way that would have been unimaginable just this time last year and thanks to technology, we’re as productive in our own homes as we are in a traditional office environment.  There’s no question as to the significance that video conferencing has played here.  While not a new technology, video conferencing has boomed in recent months, with Global Market Insights predicting the video conferencing market alone will reach a valuation of $50bn by 2026.

However, with this growth has come the realisation by many businesses that there is a greater need for protecting the sensitive, confidential and valuable data contained in video conversations.  This is particularly so for banking and financial services organisations, where the issue of video security is more important than ever. 

Video conferencing security is vital in the ‘new normal’

As we move beyond the more restrictive lockdown period, many businesses are increasingly moving a limited number of employees back into physical office environments.  However, with the potential for a second wave and further national lockdowns ever present, it seems clear that remote working is here to stay.  While some organisations, such as Barclays, are looking to re-establish on-site operations as quickly as possible, others will remain – at least in some large part – remote.  Financial services organisations need to prepare for a new normal – one that caters for remote business opportunities just as effectively as those taking place face-to-face.  

There can be no doubt that video is now solidified as the primary method of remote communication.  Whether it’s a family catch up or a blue chip board meeting, wherever a physical meeting is not possible, or practical, video conferencing is now a comfortable alternative for most people.  But with more people on video than ever before, the usage surge has also brought increased security concerns.  For example, incidents of Zoom-bombing – when strangers intrude on others’ Zoom meetings – have been widely reported.  In a recent high-profile case, pranksters Zoombombed the court hearing of a man accused of July’s Twitter hack.  In a commercial setting, this activity has the potential threaten the integrity and security of confidential business information.

End-to-end encryption

Video conferencing security is now an important consideration – both for businesses operating in highly regulated industries like financial services, as well as individuals prioritising privacy.  Zoom’s recent announcement that it will backtrack on previous refusals to provide end-to-end encryption to free users of the service is a major victory for the activists and civil liberties organisations campaigning for privacy and digital protection.

Data transmission is one of the most vulnerable areas of video communication and ensuring a comprehensive level of security is paramount for those taking part in digital conversations – whether that’s a personal conversation, or in a commercial environment.  During a video conversation, data travels over multiple networks – both public and private – and end-to-end encryption is the foundation of protecting this data in transit.

Authentication: going beyond security

In finance, end-to-end encryption is not enough – in fact, it’s expected.  Finance is a high-risk, high-reward industry that requires rapid decision making and constant information exchange – all while building and maintaining crucial client relationships.  Video conferencing technology has offered a lifeline for many finance organisations focused on maintaining productivity.  However, in many organisations, security and compliance considerations as an afterthought.  Video conversations contain highly sensitive and confidential information – they must meet the same levels of security, privacy and confidentiality as in-person conversations.  In these environments, security breaches and financial fraud can lead to significant regulatory, financial and reputational damage.

Financial services organisations are the backbone of the global economy and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have the challenge of quickly delivering seamless virtual connectivity.  Under unprecedented pressure to roll out new technology, it can be easy to overlook the more fundamental requirements, in favour of rolling out new services and capabilities at speed.  New technology should not come at the cost of privacy and security.

End-to-end encryption – which is vital for privacy and security and will now soon be available via even the most basic video conferencing solutions – is not enough to meet the high standards required in financial services.  Instead, authentication is the key to ensuring the growing adoption of video conferencing in this industry meets the same high standards delivered to clients in-person.

Authentication provides a double layer of trust, ensuring both advisors and clients can be confident that they are speaking to the right person within an entirely confidential virtual space.  Only by ensuring video conversations are both end-to-end encrypted and authenticated can finance professionals provide the same level of privacy and security afforded to clients during a face-to-face consultation.  This ensures the identity of every conference participant is fully authenticated before the conference is initiated.

The new normal

The video conferencing authentication process is simple, but hugely effective and vital for the video-driven new normal in financial services.  It provides all the necessary foundations for client security and privacy and will play a vital role in the continued success of the industry.  Social distancing has forced us to rethink how we deliver client services, but it has also offered the opportunity to roll out cutting edge technology at breakneck pace.  However, while the results are already hugely positive, we need to ensure security remains the priority.

The original article is published on Global Banking & Finance Review.

By |2020-11-19T16:42:44+01:00September 11th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Video conferencing security; vital for the ‘new normal’ in financial services

Privacy and security: two must-have ingredients of an enterprise video conferencing platform

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

Every silver lining has its cloud and videoconferencing has created increased security concerns.

As many of us approach the half year mark of remote working, we’ve become accustomed to virtual working. Indeed, for many companies this has paved the way for a 180 degree shift away from the traditional office set-up. Just last month, Fujitsu announced a ‘permanent working from home policy’, and a few months earlier, tech giant Twitter, declared that its staff could work from home forever. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics said 49 percent of workers reported working from home at some point in the seven days to 14 June, up from 41 percent the previous week. It’s a trend that is set to continue.

Technology, is of course, the key enabling factor here. And of the tech at our fingertips, video conferencing has played – and will continue to play – a critical role. With video collaboration as part of a company’s communication stack, it can connect employee team members and keep them engaged and at the heart of its business. Moreover, video meetings allow firms to maintain human connections with people and support remote workers as they strive to create ‘the new normal’ of working.

The video conferencing market was worth $14 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, according to a report earlier this month from research firm Global Market Insights. “The video conferencing market is expected to witness high growth during the coronavirus outbreak,” the report said.

However, every silver lining has its cloud and this huge increase in the use of video has also brought increased security concerns. A host of security issues emerged for Zoom in early March, including controversies over encryption levels and the practice of “Zoombombing” where strangers intrude on others’ meetings. Sometimes, these intruders listen in without anyone knowing they’re there. Other times, they totally disrupt the meetings sometimes in ways that threaten the business in its entirety, integrity as well as confidential information. This prompted scrutiny from US authorities and temporary bans from schools in New York City and Singapore.

Understanding the risk

A recent study by IBM found that remote work appears to be growing on people, as more than 75 percent indicated they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally, while more than half – 54 percent – would like this to be their primary way of working. A separate study from Instant Offices found that 73 per cent of employers consider working from home to be the ‘new norm’ while 65 per cent of UK workers say they are more productive at home compared to their regular offices.

But before companies rush to embrace video conferencing, they need to understand where potential risks might lie.  And it’s rarely as simple as clicking a link and joining a video. There needs to be careful consideration to ensure privacy and security for all users, and their data.  There are good reasons that laws and regulations like GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA exist.

Here are some key considerations:

Your customers’ data must be your #1 priority

You must understand how your chosen video conferencing provider manages your data so make sure that you familiarize yourself with their policies in this area.

Know what kinds of user data are being collected. This will probably include basic information submitted by users such as a username and email address to establish a video account. But there is also the data that’s collected in the background – most likely without the user even knowing about it. This will be things like IP addresses, device types, platform operating system and called/calling party video addresses. The collection of these types of data is all pretty routine, but this leads nicely on to my next point…

You need to be aware of what’s being done with this information. There are certain things that are permissible. Using the data to enable the call itself is permissible, as is providing usage history to enable billing for example. However, it is not permissible to share the data with any unauthorized outside parties. Users of any video conferencing service should be confident that their not only data is private and secure, but should they wish to know they can ask the provider to tell them how they are using the data, where it is stored, how long it is stored for, and under what regulatory standards it handles such user data.

How is your data being handled? In addition to considering where it is stored, organizations must have a handle on who has access to the data. Even if the data is encrypted and not human-readable, there may be requirements that the data reside within a certain geography.

Security is everything

First, understand what level of security you need?  Catching up with your friends and family via HouseParty is a completely different ball-game to sensitive business negotiations.  Most organizations are going to need a secure communications channel – but how secure should it be, and to what standard?  For meetings where you cannot compromise on security ensure industry security protocols such as AES-128, AES-256, SSL and TLS are adhered to.

In addition to end to end encryption, consider other security tools such as waiting rooms that ensure only those invited can attend the call, which participants share content and the ability to eject unwanted participants.

Privacy and security critical

For many businesses, the first half of 2020 will be remembered as unusual, challenging but also transformational. Digital transformation has been a ‘must get on with’ process for CIOs the world over and indeed, many organizations are a significant way along this journey. The enforced work from home that we’ve just experienced has accelerated businesses’ need to equip teams with the tools to work effectively, efficiently, and securely. Today’s more-mobile workforce now requires greater, and more convenient, access to workplace collaboration tools than ever before – but privacy and security cannot be an afterthought – it must be built in.

Lockdown will leave a lasting digital legacy. The coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time. As the way we communicate evolves and people broaden their online horizons, we must ensure that people have a positive experience, and that they’re safe and protected.

The original article is published on ITProPortal.

By |2020-10-01T10:12:56+02:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Privacy and security: two must-have ingredients of an enterprise video conferencing platform

Making video security a priority in financial services

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

In 2016, a seemingly innocuous photograph of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, sat beside his desk at Facebook HQ, was posted to his Facebook profile.  Ostensibly, the post was celebrating the growth of Instagram, which Facebook had purchased several years earlier.  However, eagle-eyed followers soon identified what appeared to be tape covering both the camera and the microphone on Zuckerberg’s laptop.  Widespread debate ensued around the efficacy of covering webcams in this way.  However, given the individual in question is the CEO of one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world – and indeed one of the very few people to reach the status of Centi-billionaire – the overarching consensus from the security community was that “Zuckerberg is sensible to take these precautions.”

Mark Zuckerberg is undoubtedly a high-value target.  But in the modern, digital and data-driven world, a strong cybersecurity posture is vital for every type of organisation – large and small.  In high-value and heavily regulated industries like banking and financial services, the threat is even greater – covering both traditional cyber-attacks and corporate espionage.

Making video security a priority

The fervour around Mark Zuckerberg’s photo highlighted an interesting point – many of the comments were from people who had not considered video as a valuable target for an attacker.  In 2020, the issue of video security is more important than ever.  Video conferencing platforms are now in high demand, with COVID-19 forcing organisations to quickly adapt to a new way of working.  One application reported a 30-fold surge in users, whilst another clocked up more than 4.1bn meeting minutes in just one day in April, up from a daily average of 900m in early March.

As we move beyond the more restrictive social lockdowns, financial services organisations need to prepare for a new normal – one that caters for remote business opportunities just as effectively as those taking place face-to-face.  Employees across all industries are now used to working at home and while some organisations, such as Barclays, are looking to re-establish on-site operations as quickly as possible, others will remain – at least in some large part – remote.

There can be no doubt that video is now solidified as the primary method of remote communication.  Whether it’s a family catch up or a blue chip board meeting, wherever a physical meeting is not possible, or practical, video conferencing is now a comfortable alterative for most people.  But with more people on video than ever before, the usage surge has also brought increased security concerns.  For example, incidents of Zoom-bombing – when strangers intrude on others’ Zoom meetings – have been widely reported.  In these cases, intruders have been able to eavesdrop undetected, or completely disrupt meetings, often in ways that threaten the integrity and security of confidential business information.

A renewed focus on video security

As the conversation around the wider security of video meetings has grown louder, Zoom has announced it will backtrack on previous refusals to provide end-to-end encryption to free users of the service.  It’s is a major victory for the activists and civil liberties organisations campaigning for privacy and digital protection.  Data transmission is one of the most vulnerable areas of video communication and ensuring a comprehensive level of security is paramount for those taking part in digital conversations – whether that’s a personal conversation, or in a commercial environment.  During a video conversation, data travels over multiple networks – both public and private – and end-to-end encryption is the foundation of protecting this data in transit.

The recent campaign for access to encryption has placed a renewed focus on how vital security is to video communications – but this is something heavily regulated industries like banking and financial services have known for a long time.  But the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organisations to navigate a familiar landscape of uncertainty and regulatory pressure in an unfamiliar remote operational environment.  Finance is a high-risk, high-reward industry that requires rapid decision making and constant information exchange – all while building and maintaining crucial client relationships.  Video conferencing technology has offered a lifeline for many finance organisations around the world, however the rapid shift to remote operations has been drastic and unprecedented.  Maintaining productivity in the face of significant business disruption has been the key priority; security and compliance considerations have all too often been an afterthought.

In finance, end-to-end encryption is not enough – in fact, it’s expected.  Video conversations contain highly sensitive and confidential information – they must meet the same levels of security, privacy and confidentiality as in-person conversations.  In these environments, security breaches and financial fraud can lead to significant regulatory, financial and reputational damage.

End-to-end encryption is just the beginning

Financial services organisations are the backbone of the global economy and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have the challenge of quickly delivering seamless virtual connectivity.  Under unprecedented pressure to roll out new technology, it can be easy to overlook the more fundamental requirements, in favour of rolling out new services and capabilities at speed.  New technology should not come at the cost of privacy and security.

End-to-end encryption – which is vital for privacy and security and will now soon be available via even the most basic video conferencing solutions – is not enough to meet the high standards required in financial services.  Instead, authentication is the key to ensuring the growing adoption of video conferencing in this industry meets the same high standards delivered to clients in-person.

Authentication provides a double layer of trust, ensuring both advisors and clients can be confident that they are speaking to the right person within an entirely confidential virtual space.  Only by ensuring video conversations are both end-to-end encrypted and authenticated can finance professionals provide the same level of privacy and security afforded to clients during a face-to-face consultation.  This ensures the identity of every conference participant is fully authenticated before the conference is initiated.

The digital future

The video conferencing authentication process is simple, but hugely effective.  It represents the first step in a more digital, video-driven future for financial services – providing all the necessary foundations for client security and privacy.  In the future, 2020 will undoubtedly be looked at as a year that changed financial services forever – globally.  The world has been at war with a novel virus and the effects have been profound.  But as the great military, Sun Tzu, said, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”  Social distancing, lockdown and travel restrictions have forced us to rethink how we deliver client services and given us the opportunity to roll out cutting edge technology.  But while the results are already hugely positive, we need to ensure we are laying the right foundations for new innovation – making privacy and video security a priority in financial services now – not later.

The original article is published on Finance Digest.

By |2020-09-08T14:48:23+02:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: business, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Making video security a priority in financial services

Cybersecurity: in healthcare, encryption is not enough

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

End-to-end encryption technology is not enough to meet the high standards healthcare requires. Instead, authentication is the key.

The recent news that one major video conferencing provider is to backtrack on previous refusals to provide end-to-end encryption to free users is a major victory for the activists and civil liberties organisations campaigning for privacy and digital protection. Data transmission is one of the most vulnerable areas of video communication and ensuring a comprehensive level of security is paramount for those taking part in digital conversations – whether that’s personal, for business, or in a healthcare environment. During a video conversation, data travels over multiple networks – both public and private – and encryption is the foundation of protecting this data in transit.

Security is vital

The news comes at a turning point for video conferencing. As we continue to move through the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses are still navigating widespread remote working practices. Video conferencing use has skyrocketed. For many industries, this shift to remote working is unprecedented, and maintaining productivity in the face of significant disruption has been the key priority for most organisations. Security and compliance considerations have all too often been an afterthought. The recent campaign for access to encryption has highlighted how vital security is to video communications – but this is something heavily regulated industries like healthcare have known for a long time.

In healthcare, end-to-end encryption is not enough – in fact, it’s expected. Video conversations contain highly sensitive personal information and medical records – they must meet the same levels of patient confidentiality as in-person consultations. Zoom-bombing – where an unauthorised stranger intrudes on another’s Zoom conversation – may be damaging in a business meeting, or even comical during a personal conversation. In a healthcare environment, this type of security breach can lead to clinical, legal and phycological repercussions – not to mention a substantial damage of trust between doctor and patient.

Getting video right in healthcare

It’s crucial the healthcare industry gets this right. The video conferencing industry is predicted to surpass $50 billion by 2026, driven largely by growing adoption of the technology by healthcare institutions.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing technology use in healthcare was increasing exponentially, with developing use cases in remote post-discharge programs, as well as specialist consultations such as speech therapy and dentistry boosting demand. And although randomised controlled trials (RCT) into the use of video conferencing in healthcare are still limited, reviews of the studies available – particularly into patients with long term chronic conditions – suggest video conferencing adoption can enhance care and management, improve access to care, improve patient outcomes, narrow health disparities and reduce healthcare costs overall.

Travel and consultation restrictions imposed by governments globally during the COVID-19 pandemic have acted as a substantial catalyst for video conferencing adoption in healthcare. The ability for the technology to protect patients – both for those where travel is challenging or untenable due to reduced services, as well as those at particular risk of illness – is clear.

Quickly putting virtual systems in place during the pandemic has been vital in enabling even the most vulnerable in society to continue to communicate with medical professionals. At the same time, this has also ensured medical professionals have minimal physical contact with patients, reducing the potential for workplace transmission for some of the country’s most essential workers.

Going beyond encryption

Over recent months, organisations across all industries have been struggling to meet the challenge of quickly delivering seamless virtual connectivity. Under unprecedented pressure to roll out new technology, it can be easy to overlook the more fundamental requirements, in favour of rolling out new services and capabilities at speed. Enabling doctors, nurses and healthcare practitioners to meet and treat patients virtually should not come at the cost of privacy and security.

End-to-end encryption technology – which is vital for privacy and security and will now soon be available via even the most basic video conferencing solutions – is not enough to meet the high standards healthcare requires. Instead, authentication is the key to ensuring the growing adoption of video conferencing in healthcare meets the same high standards delivered to patients in-person.

Authentication provides a double layer of trust, ensuring both patient and care giver can be confident that they are speaking to the right person within an entirely confidential virtual space. Only by ensuring video conversations are both end-to-end encrypted and authenticated can healthcare professionals provide the same level of privacy and security afforded to patients during a face-to-face consultation. This ensures the identity of every conference participant – whether that’s a doctor, patient, carer, interpreter, or parent -– is fully authenticated before the conference is initiated.

Looking to the future

The authentication process is simple, but hugely effective. It represents the first step in a more digital, video-driven healthcare future – providing all the necessary foundations for patient security and privacy. In the future, 2020 will undoubtedly be looked at as a year that changed healthcare forever – globally. The world has been at war with a novel virus and the effects have been profound. But as the great military, Sun Tzu, said, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Social distancing, lockdown and travel restrictions have forced us to rethink how we deliver essential services and given us the opportunity to roll out cutting edge technology. But while the results are already hugely positive, we need to ensure we are laying the right foundations for new innovation – building security and privacy in now – not later.

The original article is published on Healthcare Global.

By |2020-09-08T14:49:20+02:00August 12th, 2020|Categories: business, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Cybersecurity: in healthcare, encryption is not enough