Work and Life Week

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

With National Work Life Week taking place in the UK between 12th-16th October, it’s a time for everybody to focus on wellbeing and work life balance.

Mental Health UK (with the help of YouGov) have found that 51% of people feel they’re more prone to extreme stress levels this year compared with last year.

Finding harmony between the different aspects of life is central to our happiness and wellbeing.

Sadly we’re still living with uncertainty, so prioritising wellbeing is more important than ever to avoid burnout, a state of exhaustion that the WHO recognised as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ in 2019.
 

Remote working

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many people working remotely and relying on video communication platforms to keep in touch with their colleagues.

Openness and honesty about the challenges and joys this brings are essential. It’s important to recognise that people are often balancing work with parenting or caring commitments.

Home-working has become a familiar and relatable situation, often injecting humour into our days, with pets and children making guest appearances or a knock at the door mid-meeting.

In many ways, our working lives have become more informal and personable, which I think is a positive change as it’s helping to break down barriers.

Video communication

With social distancing requirements likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, it’s important that we continue using video communication technology to make our lives easier.

Video calls give people the ability to check in with their colleagues as well as engaging more formally for meetings. Keeping in touch is helpful for wellbeing as it’s a time to reflect on how things are going, resolve any issues or just to talk.

We’re all navigating our way through challenging times, and people are sharing innovative and resourceful ways to help us make the most of this unprecedented era.

Finding the balance

Many health and fitness practitioners are using video communication technology to continue their teaching, with classes on everything from yoga to karate happening in living rooms far and wide.

Online workouts with Joe Wicks became a daily routine for many during the national lockdown, seeing him awarded with a Guinness World Record and an MBE.

Work colleagues are also using virtual meetings to keep in touch socially with one another, engaging in virtual quizzes and after work drinks. And organisations are providing online wellbeing talks and activities to help people with their mental health during the pandemic.

Whilst the new normal is still as much a goal as a reality, video communication is making the difference to people’s lives, helping us to find the balance between all the aspects of our lives.

It’s exciting to consider how this will evolve over the coming months and years as people find ever more innovative ways of harnessing the opportunities it brings.

By |2020-10-15T10:54:27+02:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Work and Life Week

From lectern to laptop: privacy and data protection best practice in the video conferencing era

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

recent report by @Ofcom found that more than seven in ten of us now take part in a video conference at least once every week. That’s a significant increase from just six months ago. And we’re all familiar with the reasons why. As universities welcome students back for the start of another academic year, video conferencing will continue to play a significant part in their lives as the laptop becomes the digital lectern. And with the latest statistics showing a sharp rise in cases of Covid-19 throughout a number of UK universities, video conferencing will become an essential link not only to their studies, but to friends and families too.

However, a word of caution. Just as video conferencing tools are now a vital communication tool, the adoption of these platforms can pose a significant threat to the privacy and security of our communications if not implemented properly. Who can have failed to read about the Zoom-bombing incidents earlier this year. And just last month, Zoom’s video conferencing platform crashed coinciding with US schools returning after the summer vacation, leaving hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and workers unable to connect. Fortunately the outage lasted only a few hours, but both these incidents illustrate the importance of utilising a video conferencing platform that’s ‘fit for purpose’ – one that is not only robust and scalable, but puts users privacy and security at its core.

Enhanced security features and technical advancements are being added to video conferencing platforms all the time to help minimise the risk of succumbing to a security incident. But in addition, there are also some straightforward steps that organisations and users alike can take to ensure privacy and security concerns are minimised.

For organisations these include:

  • Data Protection – the arms of data protection regulation are long and complicated. Having come into play in 2018, many organisations have found themselves on the wrong side of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed some considerable fines. All organisations should consider whether information being shared or recorded will have a data protection impact. If you’re unsure, you should conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment to help determine the best way forward to remain within the scope of regulations such as the GDPR.
  • Reading and understanding the various privacy policies – users should be able to trust that companies will respect and protect their privacy and security.  Many of these policies draw on the Digital Standard, a set of benchmarks that can be used by organisations to design digital products that are respectful of consumer privacy rights. Policies vary but they should include information for assessing how secure the tool will be, including whether communications will be end-to-end encrypted or not.
  • Create user guidelines – users should be provided with an organisation’s policy on the use of video conferencing technology so that they are aware of the measures that have been implemented to protect their personal data as well as the rules governing usage.

For users:

  • Familiarise yourself with the platform’s functionality – most platforms have options that enable users to improve security. This could be configuring controls to enable the waiting room option, the screen share option or even simple steps like using a background image to prevent personal data being visible during a call.
  • Read the user guidelines and privacy policy – if you have not been given this, ask to see it. It’s important to understand the policies and parameters that are in place relating to the use of video conferencing tools, specifically relating to security and privacy concerns.
  • For students working from home, or private rental properties, they should ensure their home router is not using the default administrator password and IP address. Changing the administrative password on the router is a good idea. Sometimes it comes with a complex password which is good, but it’s even better when it’s something only you know.

Although 2020 will likely be remembered as a year of disrupted education, cancelled holidays, postponed celebrations and more, the silver lining is that we have access to technology that enables us to carry on, regardless. Video conferencing tools have been the saving grace for many of us, and so long as we secure communications and maintain privacy by implementing sensible precautions most aspects of our lives can continue to operate relatively normally, despite the global pandemic in our midst. At the heart of this is having a video conferencing policy which outlines the expectations and requirements from both the organisation and its users.

The original article is published on FE News.

By |2020-10-08T12:20:37+02:00October 8th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News, Swedish|Comments Off on From lectern to laptop: privacy and data protection best practice in the video conferencing era

Compodium® makes confidential virtual spaces a reality with encrypted and authenticated video collaboration

  • Award-winning unified communications company launches new military grade, enterprise-class, secure video collaboration solution
  • Dual authentication ensures compliance with data and privacy regulations when sharing private, sensitive or regulated information externally over video

London, U.K, 1st October 2020 – Compodium International AB, the leading provider of secure and reliable digital meeting spaces, today announced the launch of Vidicue®, a video collaboration solution that helps organisations secure and authenticate external communications with customers.  Available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Vidicue, unlike other video conferencing solutions, offers complete end-to-end encryption and full authentication for all participants, bringing a new level of trust, security, and innovation to digital video conversations.

Designed to meet the needs of regulated industries, such as healthcare, financial services, legal, and education, as well as any large enterprise or public sector organisation, Vidicue fills a stark gap in the market for secure, encrypted and fully authenticated video conferencing.  Vidicue enables organisations to reliably and securely communicate with external parties over video, even when conversations involve private, sensitive or regulated information.  The solution provides seamless call flow functionality and virtual waiting rooms, while significantly minimising the risk of financial, legal, and reputational damage associated with a violation of privacy laws and data regulations.

With Vidicue, the identity of every video call participant – whether that’s a doctor, patient, carer, interpreter, customer service advisor, or corporate board member – is fully authenticated before the video call is initiated.  The process is simple, and authentication is from both sides – for example, for the doctor and patient – providing a dual layer of trust.  A customer is sent a link, which prompts them to download the Vidicue Meeting App.  Once authenticated, the customer is directed to a virtual waiting room ready for the host (e.g. care giver) to call them into the meeting room, which exists only for the duration of the conversation.

A rapidly growing market

Compodium International AB has grown rapidly in 2020, accelerating the launch of Vidicue at a time of significant international expansion for the company and driving investment across Sweden, Nordics, U.K, Europe, Middle East and Africa, with key management, sales, and technical resources scheduled for onboarding throughout 2020 and 2021.

This move is supported by rapid growth in the market for video conferencing.  Worth $8bn in March 2019, the market was predicted to grow 12% to $14bn by 2023*.  However, widespread adoption of video conferencing by both businesses and consumers over the COVID-19 crisis has shifted this dramatically – the total addressable market is now expected to reach $43bn by 2022**.

“The global pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and highlighted a clear need for a new type of video conferencing solution – one that provides the kind of military grade, enterprise-class encryption required by heavily regulated industries and large organisations that prioritise security,” said Amit Walia, EVP, Managing Partner at Compodium.  “There can be no doubt that we have swiftly entered a new digital meeting age in 2020 and many organisations are realising that conventional video conferencing solutions do not meet the business requirements or safety expectations of their customers” continued Walia.

As a platform agnostic and easily integrated solution, Vidicue enables any organisation to make a seamless shift to secure, encrypted and authenticated virtual video meetings.  The Vidicue SaaS solution includes a control and monitoring centre, queue and call flow management, and payment system integration.  The solution is available to use on any computer or mobile device and can be accessed through a web browser or the dedicated Vidicue Mobile App.  While applications for secure, encrypted and fully authenticated video conferencing are broad and diverse, key use cases include:

  • Medical, legal and financial consultations
  • Customer service enquiries
  • Virtual board meetings
  • Public consultations with government departments

“We have seen a huge rise in demand for unified communications and collaboration tools in recent months, but the diverse and fragmented market means many organisations are now facing significant challenges with compatibility, quality of service, balancing the high costs of video conferencing infrastructure costs with the surge in usage capacity, and – most importantly – security,” continued Walia.  “Vidicue solves the problem of interoperability and cost-effectiveness, while ensuring complete security and authentication for digital video meetings,” concluded Walia.

To find out more, please visit www.vidicue.com

-ENDS-

*Frost &Sullivan, Global Video Conferencing Market Analysis, Forecast to 2023, January 2019

**IDC, Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration Forecast, 2020–2024, May 2020

About Compodium

Founded in 1997, Compodium’s mission is to deliver reliable solutions for effective online collaboration to organisations, businesses and governments.  This includes Compodium’s flagship product, Vidicue® – a secure, encrypted and authenticated video conferencing platform – as well as global video production and streaming services.  Headquartered in Sweden, with global operations in the U.K, U.S, Netherlands, Greece, UAE, and South Africa, Compodium provides reliable and secure enterprise unified communications solutions that help businesses and governmental organisations ensure effective collaboration and higher productivity.  Offering first class customer service and drawing from more than twenty years of experience, Compodium helps its customers – which include some of the largest healthcare, technology, public sector and financial services organisations – create a meeting culture that agrees with both people and the environment.  Compodium offers 24/7 support, with multiple support centres globally offering technical support in 9 languages.

For more information, please visit www.compodium.com .

Media Contact

Anette Ericsson, Marketing Manager, Compodium
Phone: +46 (0) 70 294 22 51

Email: anette.ericsson@compodium.com

Ben Ralph, PR Consultant, Vincere Simul
Phone: +44 (0) 7746 548 214
Email: bralph@vinceresimul.co.uk

By |2020-10-01T10:03:21+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: business, English, News, Press release|Comments Off on Compodium® makes confidential virtual spaces a reality with encrypted and authenticated video collaboration

Martijn Voorhoeve: Vidicue’s double layer of trust

Hi Martin, please could you explain more about Vidicue?

Vidicue is a secure, authenticated video communications solution that brings two or more people together in a virtual meeting room.

Organisations only have to share a web link to a lobby and can organise their call flow into lobbies with virtual waiting rooms. Virtual meeting rooms are uniquely created for every meeting and will be removed when it ends.

We’re currently using Vidicue across Sweden for patients and healthcare practitioners to communicate with one another.


What’s particularly special about Vidicue?

A double layer of trust. Ease of use. No implementation needed.

Patients and healthcare practitioners can each trust that the person they’re speaking to is who they say they are, because they have to authenticate their identity before the meeting can start. This is also helpful when individuals haven’t met each other before.

It’s vital for patients to know they’re in the virtual room with a qualified and legitimate practitioner. We’ve all heard horror stories about people pretending to be doctors, but with Vidicue only authenticated people can enter the room, making it highly secure.

For the practitioners themselves, their license to practice could be on the line if they give advice or prescribe medications to the wrong patient due to mistaken identity. After all, the patient hasn’t checked in at a reception desk on their way.

Healthcare is high stakes. No one wants errors to be made, which is why minimising risk is so important.

Organisations need to ensure they’ve done everything in their power to prevent problems arising, and Vidicue provides that reassurance. Privacy laws are stringent.


That’s great, so how’s Vidicue working in practice?

Vidicue isn’t just for community clinics.

We’re saving lives with Vidicue; bringing specialists into operating theatres, maternity units and hospital departments where every second counts. In complex and unpredictable situations, such as a breech delivery in obstetrics, practitioners can jointly make timely and potentially life-changing decisions.

Outside hospitals, we’re making healthcare more accessible than ever before by removing the need to travel. Vidicue empowers patients, especially those who live rurally or have more complex needs, because it enables them to speak to a healthcare practitioner without leaving their home or having to rely on someone else to transport them.

Vidicue also supports a holistic approach to care by providing the opportunity for additional people to join a consultation, by invitation. Interpreters, for example, can be present in the virtual room, which is fundamental for people who rely on sign language, or where there are spoken language barriers.

Where requested or required, family members can also join consultations. This is ideal when one family member is a carer for another, or where there are children involved.

Equally, team members from other specialities can join meetings, speeding up decision-making and improving the standard of care.

Vidicue is a highly flexible solution.

Amazing, but is Vidicue easy to use?

 Vidicue is very easy to integrate into an organisation as only the meeting link to the lobby needs to be shared with the patient or customer, so their existing booking system can be used. To enable ad hoc meetings the link can also be shared on the organisation’s website.

We customise Vidicue to suit each setting. What works in a hospital won’t necessarily be right for a doctor’s surgery. We talk it all through with our customers to start with, to make sure we’re giving them what they need.

Before a virtual meeting can take place, individual users have to authenticate their identity. There are different ways of doing this depending on where you are in the world. In Sweden for example, people use their BankID or SITHS, an identification card.

After the authentications, the meeting participant(s) end up in the virtual waiting room of a lobby. The healthcare practitioner will select the participant(s) from the queue and start the meeting. The address to the meeting room is therefore not known at all before the meeting starts, improving security from third parties joining.

Could you see Vidicue working in sectors other than healthcare? 

Absolutely. In fact, any regulated industry where security is important, such as legal, banking and finance, education and government departments.

Video conferencing is a commodity nowadays, but when unauthenticated meetings take place, information can be accessed by third parties and shared inappropriately, destroying trust. For organisations, it could also result in fines and negative media coverage.


Martin, what’s your role within Compodium?

I’m the Head of Business, Worldwide Operations and Business Development. I live in the Hague, in the Netherlands and each day looks different. One day I can be supporting our partners and the next looking at new ways to take Vidicue to the next level.

Right now, we’re expanding internationally at pace, moving into the Middle East, the Netherlands and the UK.

We’re an ethically motivated company; we want to help people and make our customers’ lives easier whilst holding true to our high standards.

By |2020-10-01T10:15:44+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Martijn Voorhoeve: Vidicue’s double layer 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

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 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 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 |2020-10-01T10:12:17+02:00September 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