Securing your ZOOM Meetings

A few tips to protect your virtual space.

Keeping control of your Zoom Meetings

As we previously wrote about in Zoom’s failing security, there have been a barrage of headlines that have surfaced over Zoom’s security policies and privacy during the COVID-19 telework boom.  The barrage of criticism over the company’s security policies and privacy practices has been so bad that New York City has officially banned the use of Zoom is schools.  City officials released a statement saying that “providing a safe and secure remote learning experience for our students is essential, and upon further review of security concerns, schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible”.  We agreeThis is why we strongly recommend that organizations use Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom. 

Still want to use Zoom? Here are some tips to stay safe…

Some of the security and privacy shortcomings are due to bad “backend configurations” or bad service policies. These types of security risks will ultimately require Zoom to create and rollout patches or service updates and even changes to their service policies to resolve them. This is particularly true for the end-to-end encryption issue, the unknowing sharing of data with Facebook, the exposing of cloud recordings on the web because of the way they name them, or the fact that video calls made in North America were mistakenly routed through China. Simply put, Zoom must step up their security game to address these issues.

With that said, there are some Zoom settings and features that can be enabled to protect your virtual space and video meetings. Here is quick list:

Use Meeting Passwords. For and added layer of security we recommend that you require a password to access your video meeting. Passwords can be set at the individual meeting level or can be enabled at the user, group, or account level for all meetings and webinars. Detailed instructions can be found here.

Use the Waiting Room. One of the best ways to keep unwanted guests from accessing your meeting is to use the Waiting Room feature. The Waiting Room is virtual staging area that stops your guests from joining until you’re ready for them and approve their access. This is great way to screen who’s trying to enter your event and keep unwanted guests out. If you want to learn more about Waiting Rooms and how you can configure them we recommend this video.

Disable Screen Sharing. Don’t give up control of your screen. You do not want random people in your public event taking control of the screen and sharing unwanted content with the group. You can restrict screen sharing and prevent participants from screen sharing during a call. In the host Controls Bar at the bottom of the screen, click the arrow next to Share Screen and select Advanced Sharing Options. Under “Who can share?” choose “Only Host” and close the window. You can also lock the Screen Share by default for all your meetings in your web settings.

Allow only signed-in users to join. When enabling this feature a participant can only join a meeting when they log into Zoom with the email they were invited through. This is useful to prevent random strangers from joining your video call. To allow this security feature you have to enable what is called Authentication Profiles. This can be done at the user level, account level, or group level. If you want details and guidelines to do this we recommend this resource.

Lock the Meeting. When your meeting starts, you can lock the meeting to prevent access. When you lock a meeting that has already started no new participants can join even if they have the meeting ID and password. To do this in the meeting click Participants and the bottom of the window and click the button that says Lock Meeting.

Turn off File Transfer. File transfer allows people to share files through the in-meeting chat. Turn this off to prevent people from flooding the chat with pictures, GIFs, and other undesirable content. File Transfer settings can be changed at the user level, account level, or group level. Details can be found here.

Disable Private Chat. You can prevent attendees from receiving unwanted messages during the meeting. To do this you must restrict participants’ ability to chat amongst themselves. You can disable the Private Chat feature in the Settings sections of the Zoom web portal. Click the Chat and Private Chat toggles to disable in-meeting chat.

Secure Cloud Recordings. There are several things you can do to secure your meeting recordings. We recommend that you Restrict viewing of recordings to authenticated users. To restrict viewing, enable “Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings” from the Zoom recording settings page. When this setting is enabled, users must have the proper Zoom ID to view the recording. We also recommend that you password protect the recording. To set password protection, enable “Require password to access shared cloud recordings” from the Zoom recording settings page. Lastly, we also recommend that you Disable downloads of recordings. This feature can be enabled in the Zoom recording page.

Collaborate better.

Designing, implementing and supporting Modern Workplace technology is what FSi Strategies specializes in. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses implement modern security strategies in support of their missions. We invite you to discover how together, we can leverage the intelligent Cloud for the security and privacy needs of your business.