Security Considerations for Telework

So your business is teleworking now. Your employees are spending a lot of time in conference calls, virtual meetings and chats using teleconference applications and software. Maybe the team’s even using these applications for the ever-popular virtual office happy hour, which is gaining popularity every day. Now is good time to ask if these platforms are safe—especially given the recent reporting and concerns raised by Attorneys General and online security experts around the country.

Programs like Teams and Zoom have become staples during these uncertain and unprecedented times—and thank goodness for that. With schools closed and millions of people working from home, the need for remote collaboration tools has grown exponentially. Just this week, Zoom said 200 million people used the app on a daily basis in March, up from just 10 million in December.

That rapid growth should grab your attention. Such a big increase in popularity is normally followed withadditional scrutiny and the wrong kind of attention – from cybercriminals and other threatening actors looking for an avenue into your data and systems.

“Zoombombing,” a new type of intrusion in which hackers hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography on video and chats, is picking up. NPR detailed the growth of these new intrusions in a story this week and publicized a recent FBI warning about the vulnerabilities of doing homeschooling and commercial business over Zoom.

Tweet from @FBIBoston

The same story highlighted that New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to Zoom asking about its security and privacy protections, asking the company to increase security given the expanded use. Zoom apologized on Thursday for falling short on privacy and security, and outlined its plans to improve  going forward. The company wasn’t ready for the surge in usage, CEO Eric Yuan wrote in a blog.

The basic fact is that many of these applications were designed to prioritize things other than privacy and security. With a few weeks of experience operating away from the office, now is the ideal time to ensure your team is working on a platform with the right functionality to meet your team’s needs…and security to counter threats. Microsoft Teams, part of Microsoft 365, is backed by Microsoft’s world-class security apparatus, which is publishing guidance on how to protect yourself from coronavirus themed attacks.

Understanding your options and choosing a well-secured and well defended environment now will likely save you head aches and lost productivity in the future, when you have to retrain your workforce on a secure platform. This concern is especially high if you are required to follow regulatory guidelines such as NIST 800-171, HIPAA, or GDPR, and should matter to everyone seeking to minimize opportunities for cyber threats to spread.

If you are looking for professional-grade virtual collaboration systems that are secure and defended, contact Ardalyst for a free planning session. We will help you to understand your options, make budget and security-conscious choices, and ensure your investment in teleworking is good for the long haul.

We’re here to help.

Check us out at, on LinkedIn and on Twitter (@ardalyst).  Stay Safe.

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