For a long time, AV professionals did not think that the security of installed AV systems and solutions were part of their domain. If asked, they would often refer the problem to IT. Also, typically, security was a concern only for government clients.

A recent report by Infocomm, highlights how increasingly, companies are asking AV integrators to build in security into their AV solutions for collaboration spaces. And this is not just limited to Fortune 500 clients. Even midsized companies are asking for security to be built in to the AV solution.

So, is a security breach possible? Sure it is. For example, meeting organizers often write or display the enterprise Wi-Fi network’s SSID in a conference room so that presenteres can connect their laptops and tablets. However, if that conference room is on the ground floor, this practice has just made that meeting very public, along with the entire corporate network, especially if the room’s Wi-Fi is not partitioned off into a virtual LAN.

So, what is the moral of the story? Well, the fact that security is very much in AV’s area of expertise. Securing video conferencing, unified communications and other collaboration systems is particularly important. It is also particularly challenging, as modern meetings frequently involved confidential information, with multiple partners both in the room and connecting remotely.

Today, hackers can snoop into any meeting, particularly if one meeting participant works for a company with lax security policies. To prevent this, you can take some initial easy steps, such as erecting certain barriers. These could include configuring a video codec so that it answers manually rather than automatically. Or then, it can answer automatically, but only with the mic muted. Also, if collaboration spaces use wireless mics, they should use encrypted models.

There are different types and levels of encryption.While a high level of protection is necessary when servicing the government market, increasingly, it is becoming equally relevant for other verticals, such as financial services.

Why authentication with biometrics is important

There are different options when it comes to securing collaboration spaces. However, when securing collaboration spaces, authentication is very important. This can be done by using employee ID badges to authenticate people, or by using biometrics, where you use a person’s face, voice or both to determine whether she should be allowed to participate in a meeting.

Biometrics is becoming increasingly popular. There are many reasons for this. For example, when participants in a meeting have to authenticate multiple times, they may forget some part, such as their PIN. This is why clients are considering biometrics for logging into collaboration sessions. For example, you really can’t forget fingerprints, faces or voiceprints.

Also, many smartphones and tablets can be unlocked when the owner peers into their camera. This is a huge plus when these devices double as collaboration devices. So, a product with biometrics could possibly have a competitive edge where security is concerned.

Therefore, security built in into the collaboration experience is becoming increasingly important. Clients are becoming increasingly aware and savvy when it comes to asking for security solutions in the AV space. No longer is security only an IT concern, it has moved into the mainstream AV space.

So, whether you are a client or an AV integrator, do keep the security concerns of your company or clients uppermost in your mind. Here’s to an increasingly secure collaboration experience!

For more information on setting up secure AV solutions for your business, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content courtesy: www.infocomm.org and images courtesy: www.crestron.com)

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