Tuesday 5 July 2016

Web Conferencing and Security: Hosted Services Solutions versus On Premise Server Solutions.

Security is one of the most important issues of web conferencing. Is your web conferencing service as secure as you think? Let’s have a look at the different available technologies and the security implications of each one.

How much time do you spend on thinking about the security issues of your web conferencing service? Maybe much more time than before after the Panama papers. Have a look at Wikipedia, you will discover that the countries implied in this scandal are over 60% of the planet. Scary, isn’t it? And hackers exploited only one of the thousands of vulnerabilities of the net in this case.

Panama papers are a classic example of the kind of problems that are involved in any web based technology. Unfortunately, the web is public by its nature. This is the reason why packs of hackers have been always wandering through the web. So, what to do?

First, let’s start with a simple consideration. There are only two main technologies available for web conferencing, hosted solutions and on-premise server based solutions. The latter are decisively more secure than the first ones.  In fact, hosted solutions rely on the web and are thus rather insecure by their nature. On the contrary, on-premise server based solutions are intrinsically secure, as they do not rely on the web. Simple, isn’t it? This is the reason why many businesses have adopted a kind of hybrid model, they keep on their servers the most vulnerable and strategic services, and put on the cloud the remainder.

Another problem involved with hosted services is their availability. If the service breaks down for any reason, it could be costly for customers. Darren Anstee, director of solution architects at Arbor Networks, takes stock of the situation of web conferencing security in very few and simple words: ‘When data is held internally it is within an organizations own control and they can decide on the level of security to place around that data. Once data moves to a cloud service platform this control is reduced.” [Quote taken from http://www.information-age.com/technology/security/123459135/great-it-myth-cloud-really-less-secure-premise].

So, let’s go for on-premise based web conferencing technology. Though, there are still some issues. First, this solution is not easy to implement. You need a devoted IT team. This increases the risks of human errors, not to mention costs.  In conclusion, on-premise based web conferencing solutions are safer, but expensive. The question arises spontaneously - is there another solution available? Luckily, the answer is yes.

Technologies that merge the advantages of on-premise based solutions and hosted solutions have been developed for more than ten years. One smart example is the technology developed by the Californian brand R-HUB , It is an on-premise based web conferencing solution that solves almost all the traditional issues of hosted web conferencing services. In fact, R-HUB web conferencing servers:
  • They need no IT maintenance;
  • They upgrade themselves;
  • They are self-installing and self-configuring (“plug and play”). No IT team is necessary.
In one sentence, R-HUB’s web conferencing servers do not have the traditional issues of traditional on-premise servers.  And their prices are inexpensive – One time cost only. Free Lifetime Ownership.