While businesses have invested in network security to keep their data safe from hackers and other threats, how much thought have you given to conference call security?
A few years ago, Research Now conducted a survey that revealed a serious security concern surrounding conference calls.
A whopping 99 percent of respondents had admitted that they had hosted conference calls where they weren’t sure about who was on the call.
Meanwhile 93 percent had said that they have shared confidential information on a call.
It’s hard to imagine anyone joining a conference call uninvited, but it can happen. For example, the FBI estimates corporate espionage costs businesses tens of billions of dollars each year.
Oftentimes, outgoing employees will steal data before they leave, either uploading it to a remote server, emailing it to a personal account, or walking out with it on a USB drive.
What if those same former employees had continuous access to your trade secrets via your regular conference calls? What if a vendor you’ve used in the past could listen in to your conference calls, hear your latest business strategies, and share those with your competitors?
These scenarios could certainly play out if you never change your conference call passcodes.
With these thoughts in mind, here are a few tips to improve your conference call security:
• Mind your passcodes — Change your passcodes periodically, and especially after an employee leaves or a vendor relationship ends. While passcodes are meant to be shared, be careful about sharing them publicly on websites and social media. After all, anyone can grab and use those credentials. For public conference calls, consider a registration process before revealing the call credentials. After the call, change the passcode.
• Update your email distribution lists — Do you use email distribution lists when announcing your conference calls? Though handy, they could be outdated! You could be sending conference call details to previous employees, suppliers you no longer use, and others who have no business (but may be interested in) attending your conference call.
• Update your group dial-out list — Automated group dial out is a convenient way to join attendees into a conference call on demand. However, you’ll want to make sure to update your list whenever someone leaves the company or business relationships have changed. This will help prevent accidentally including someone you don’t want on your conference call.
• Use the roll call feature — Roll call is a feature that audibly announces each participant as they join or leave the conference. If a former employee joins the conference call, you’ll know right away!
• Lock your calls — Did you know you can lock the conference call once all attendees have joined? This prevents others from joining once the call is locked.
• Use the live event viewer — The live event viewer displays a list of everyone on the call, giving you a quick and easy way to verify attendance and disconnect unauthorized participants.
• Review your call attendance reports — At the end of every conference call, you’ll receive an attendance report. Double check it to be sure that only authorized participants attended. If you see attendees who don’t belong, change your passcodes immediately.
Using the security tools available, you should be able to speak freely with confidence that only authorized attendees are on your next conference call.