NSA Releases Security Criteria for Meeting Platforms

The U.S. National Security Agency has published a security assessment of 13 popular communication and collaboration platforms.

NSA Releases Security Criteria for Meeting Platforms

Washington — Large parts of the United States are essentially running on virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans and others thanks to the coronavirus forcing organizations to quickly shift to remote work.

As with any new technology, organizations must take steps to ensure that it is secure and safe from malicious actors and cybercriminals. That’s especially true for government and military entities.

To help those agencies make a decision on which platform to use, the U.S. National Security Agency published a security assessment of 13 popular communication platforms.

While the document is intended to help government and military agencies select a communication and collaboration platform that is secure enough for their needs, organizations of all sizes can benefit from learning about the security features of their platform of choice.

The NSA weighed nine criteria, including:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Encryption standard quality
  • Mutli-factor authentication
  • Meeting invitation control
  • Privacy policy
  • Secure deletion of data
  • Open-sourced code
  • Security certification
  • Country of origin

Judging by the NSA’s table below, some more popular platforms like Zoom, Teams, G Suite, GoToMeeting and Slack didn’t meet some criteria. Despite security concerns, many of those platforms are reporting a surge in users since the lockdown went into effect.

The NSA also advises users to use communication and collaboration platforms securely by following these steps:

  • Use secure government-furnished equipment that is managed and intended for government use only.
  • Only download platforms from official sources.
  • Make sure encryption is enabled before starting a meeting.
  • Keep meeting invites private and secure.
  • Verify that only invited attendees are in the meeting before and during the start.
  • Share only information intended for the participants when screen sharing.
  • Be aware of your physical surrounding and make sure only authorized individuals can see the screen or hear the audio.

Read the entire NSA document.

This article originally appeared in CS sister publication My Tech Decisions. Zachary Comeau is TD’s web editor. 

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