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Big Brother Can't Watch You in the Cloud
By Adam Kaiser
Recently the New York Times ran a story regarding the security of video conferencing systems, highlighting a hacker who was able to connect to open video networks of major organizations. This "hacker" was actually a security chief tasked with finding the holes in his clients' network security. What he found was that while companies have spent billions fortifying their network security, many have ignored securing their video systems. Simply put, he was able to tour multiple conference rooms and facilities, even control the cameras. What a nightmare!
Many of these systems were set up outside of a company's firewalls to make connectivity to remote sites and partners easier. But with 1080p high definition video and audio that allows users to hear a pin drop, this type of vulnerability cannot stand.
There is a simple solution to this problem; cloud-based video services. As IT organizations continue to be taxed with additional responsibilities, the move to the cloud has been a significant trend. The benefits of cloud services are significant; reduction in upfront capital expenses, redundancy, the ability to have the latest and greatest technology, SECURITY, and much more. Placing video conferencing technology and infrastructure in the cloud helps to eliminate the security issue. As an example, cloud-based video services such as IVCi's Managed Video Experience are built around a private cloud approach. MVE's network is powered by a global MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network. So what does that actually mean?
- Each organization's video infrastructure and endpoints are secured behind their own private cloud network.
- There is no communication between IVCi's clients' clouds.
- Communication is only allowed between clients for the purposes of gated, B2B communications. This is accomplished through a series of highly secure and gated firewall systems.
In addition, solutions that accommodate external clients (tablets, Skype, Google Talk, etc) such as IVCi's Mobility Experience only allow for outbound dialing, therefore no device or person is connecting INTO the secure infrastructure. This outbound connection is controlled by an authorized operator and only occurs when required by the meeting's users.
It is probably safe to say that the organizations that were vulnerable to these intrusions have limited experience in deploying and managing video conferencing systems. IT departments are incredibly adept at managing network, servers, processes, and internal applications. They know their business and the needs associated with it. However, in certain circumstances deploying video conferencing can require an organization to act more like a service provider, rather than an IT department. IT departments are rarely experienced in video conferencing implementations and are forced to learn while doing.
IVCi has over ten years of production environment experience within our customers' video deployments. That means we run the day-to-day operations and truly understand the challenges, technical requirements, and the needed processes and resources to make video successful. In ten years of providing this service, IVCi has never experienced a network intrusion. Add 99.9% call reliability and some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the industry and IVCi's cloud solution makes total sense!
For additional information regarding IVCi's MVE, or to speak to a representative, please contact IVCi at 800-224-7083, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.
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