Best Practices in Conference Call Security
With the constant threat of a breach in digital security, ensuring one’s own digital security has become the first priority for many organisations and individuals. Bizarrely, very little attention is paid to conference call security, where archaic, outdated security measures still reign supreme.
At 247meeting, we’ve encountered and used virtually every security measure that exists with conference calls. Below are what we believe to be the best practices in conference call security that you can easily implement in your own business.
Basic Security Features
Each conference call account has two levels of PIN code, Host and Guest. Every Guest to be included on the conference call is given a PIN code. They simply enter the PIN code when they wish to join the call. Until the Host dials-in, each Guest is placed on-hold. This is to ensure that no sensitive information is discussed before the Host is present.
This basic level of security is well known among regular conference call attendees. Here are some additional security features to consider when using this format.
- Do assign accounts to individual named users. As well as being easier to track in reports, end-users are more likely to safeguard personalised details than a shared or generic accounts.
- Do assign separate accounts to users even if they only want to hold a single conference call. There’s typically no cost associated with this and it can be done online or through customer service.
- Don’t share a generic account within a department or group. This is similar to sharing a PC login or email account. It runs the additional risk of two separate groups scheduling conflicting conference calls at the same time or former employees still using the codes for their own interest.
- Don’t give out your Host code to anyone else. This could allow anyone else to use your account whenever they want without your knowledge.
People can often be slow to change PIN codes and dial-in numbers, something that requires regular attention but often doesn’t receive any at all. If anyone has access to a PIN code and a dial-in number, they can join in a conference call without permission. This allows for the potential of unscrupulous third parties to eavesdrop on a call and harvest sensitive information. This can easily be avoided by utilising the advanced security features mentioned next.
Advanced Security Features
The following are more advanced configurations and features that can be used before or during your conference call to ensure security:
- Entry tone – this plays a discreet tone when callers enter, to let everyone know another caller has joined, e.g. the Host can ask who has joined.
- Name on Entry or Exit – callers are prompted to record their name as they enter the conference, e.g. “Mary has entered the conference”, identifying each one positively.
- Lock Conference – If this feature is configured on your account you can use *7 to lock your conference call, meaning no further callers can join.
- Roll Call – The Host can initiate an automatic Roll Call by pressing *8. If Name on Entry is configured a list of names is read to the Host, if not a count of total callers is read to the Host.
- Host Hang-up – Press ## (hash key twice) and all callers are played a message then disconnected. A Host might want to use this at the end of a conference call to ensure that there are no Guests left on the call accidentally or otherwise. It can also be used when one caller has put their line on Hold and is playing Hold Music into the entire conference.
- Automatic Host Hang-up – If this is enabled when the Host hangs up, all callers are disconnected without any message. This ensures maximum security but could be frustrating in the event that the Host is disconnected accidentally e.g. if the signal is poor.
247meeting provides security features like ‘disposable conference calls’ that make use of ‘once-off’ PIN codes and a Secure Name Record that rejects any callers who do not state their name.
247meeting Mobile App
Many of the security features listed above are overlooked for many reasons, typically for lack of convenience. In ensuring the best practices in conference call security, check out the 247meeting Mobile App. Additional features include:
- A dialling-out format. Instead of waiting for each guest to dial-in to the call, the Host simply selects who they want to include and dials-out. This means putting the Host in control of the call and no one can dial-in without their permission.
- A platform that shows you exactly who is on the call. To ensure confidentiality, it simply can’t be taken for granted how many people are on your conference call. With 247meeting Mobile App, the Host simply glances at their screen and easily see who exactly is on the line.