Video Conferencing And Security Issues Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

As Internet video conferencing becomes more popular year after year the challenges of securing the transmissions becomes every more challenging. Internet based video conferencing has made great strides over the last ten years going from reliance upon ISDN to being fully compatible with IP. While it can be argued by many who use video conferencing versus face to face communication that it saves money on travel expenses it is not necessarily safer. Unfortunately every kind of messaging technology is or will be subject to security exploits by those who wish to gain access to private information. Even though it is costlier to have face to face meetings when those meeting must fly across the ...view middle of the document...

Attempts to implement these policies are met with cries of complaints that work will be harder to do. When an attack does occur management simply ignores the issue that a violation occurred and sensitive data could have been stolen. Furthermore they promote the person to a management position who was responsible for the breach. What is worse is that this actually happened at the company I work for and quite possibly it happens in many more organizations because of office politics. Through what can only be described as a perfect storm of events the external attackers gained access to our corporate development database server by an external secure shell port. The username was oracle and the password was oracle. Fortunately it is not believed the attackers used the system to steal data, rather they harnessed the server to attack other systems in another part of the world using network ping floods. Management chose to ignore that this ever happened and nothing has changed since then to prevent this type of attack from occurring in the future.Security IssuesAt its most basic level computer and network security is about trying to prevent something bad from happening which can include hijacking of the operating system, personal data theft, accidental deletion and external hacker attacks. At the enterprise level this becomes a bit more complicated as now we must separate workstation, server and network security. The goal of the technology department is to keep the corporate data safe from those who could use it cause the company harm, whether it be internal or external threats. The best way to encourage average users to be secure is through training but all the education in the world cannot prevent innocent mistakes from occurring or outright laziness concerning security policies. "One of Japan's top financial firms is struggling to limit enormous losses caused by one of its brokers. Mizuho Securities, the brokerage arm of Japan's second largest bank, says it will lose at least 220 million dollars because of a typing error." (BBC, 2005). Unfortunately mistakes such as this are quite common as people will always make simple mistakes; we can only hope they will not be of this magnitude.Exploiting the Security of Internet Video ConferencingPolycom is a very well known video and teleconferencing company that has been delivering great products for many years. Polycom is most famous for delivering conference phones that are placed in the middle of a table with speakers and microphone receptacles at all ends to allow for easy communication. Also in the video conferencing business Polycom, in 2002 released a product called ViewStation with many security vulnerabilities that allowed attackers to take complete control of the device, even eavesdropping on otherwise private conversations. "Even a relatively unskilled attacker can transform some video-conferencing systems into video-surveillance units, using thedevices to snoop, record or publicly broadcast...

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