Archive for the ‘Web Conferencing’ category

How to Choose the Right Web Conferencing Provider for your needs in Seven Easy Steps

January 20th, 2018

When equipping a digital workplace, the ability to detect the right web conferencing provider for your organization is crucial, as the members of your team will necessarily have to use video conferences to work together. In order to make the choice easier for you, we have created this simple scheme articulated in seven steps

Sooner or later, any organization grows and faces the problems connected with remote working. One big problem is to choose the right web conferencing provider: today, it is difficult to think of a virtual workplace without this fundamental tool because video conferencing mergers the advantages of audio calls and video conferences in one at affordable costs. This is the reason why this service is so much in demand. But how to choose the right provider?

1 – Set your budget. There are web conferencing services available for all budgets. Small organizations should consider the free versions that many provider offer, or, alternatively, cutting-edge solutions like R-hub’s TurboMeeting servers (http://www.rhubcom.com) that combine high quality and efficiency with inexpensive prices. Scaling up to more powerful (and expensive) versions is then generally possible with almost every provider.

2 – How is your team going to use web conferencing? From webinars to demonstrations, there are multiple possible uses of web conferencing.  It is important to understand the functionalities that your team need with a glance on the future, in order to be able to choose a product that really satisfies your organization needs without having to scale up almost immediately after its installation.

3- What kind of contents are you are going to share? Audio and video are not enough. A team usually needs to perform some basic operations like the sharing of documents in several formats, from PDF to Words, and other media, typically YouTube videos. Does the provider you are choosing assure these services?

4- Find the solution that accommodates the larger number of people. Especially for organizations that offer webinars, it is important to be able to host the largest possible number of guests during their virtual events.

5-Is session recording included? Web conferencing sessions can be recorded for several purposes, for example to make webinars available on demand on your organization website, or to allow your team members to review the record of a conference later and take notices. Unfortunately, session recording is not provided for free by every provider. Therefore, you had better check for that.

6- Solutions that are independent from a specific operation system are better. Remote workers use a wide set of instruments to connect that ranges from Apple to Huawei and Windows. Multi-platform solutions are thus crucial in this kind of scenario.

7- Consider the necessary encryption requirements. Data encryption is essential to protect your data, as sensitive information and documents are often exchanged through a web conference. Choose a solution that assures a strong protection, for example the 256-bit encryption.

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How to Prevent Hackers from Spying your company’s Web Conferences

December 29th, 2017

Your video conferencing equipment can be actually used by hackers to spy your virtual meetings.  Luckily, it is quite easy to secure your systems and stop intrusions. Let’s see how

Security is that kind of issue that must never be underestimated. According to the security researchers of the team of Rapid 7 (https://blog.rapid7.com/2012/01/23/video-conferencing-and-self-selecting-targets/ ), there are some vulnerabilities in video conferencing systems that can be exploited by hackers in order to listen to participants’ conversations, read the documents that are shared during a conference, and even steal the passwords that participants would possibly digit to access a program or a file on their desktops.

Why are web conferences so vulnerable? First reason, the lack of firewall in many web connections. Second reason, your equipment is usually configured to automatically answer incoming video calls.

How to solve these two issues? First step, put andenable a firewall between the Internet and the LAN of your organization. Video conferencing solutions like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) are expressly designed to be used together with your firewalls.  If you utilize properly this kind of video conferencing tools, you should not have any problem either in terms of security or bad receptions of the calls through the net.

Another advantage of TurboMeeting servers is that they are self-installing and self-configuring, and they can be easily integrated with your existing systems. The directions given are quite simple and you should be able to follow them even if you are not an IT expert.

The second step is to properly configure your firewalls and your video conferencing equipment, so that they do not answer automatically any incoming video call. The best solution is to set your system on “mute” (not in auto- answer).

It is necessary that someone press a button to start up the reception of any incoming call that way. Special care must be devoted to the configuration of the port of the firewall that is devoted to video calls, as a mistake here can create a vulnerability that could be immediately exploited by hackers.  You’d better spend some money and call in a specialized technician to have this kind of job done, instead of trying to set the firewall port yourself. “You buy cheap, you buy twice”, they say.

Last, it is also helpful to unplug your system and cover up the cameras when they are not in use. A switched-off machine cannot be utilized by any hacker, even if its software leaks; the same consideration is applicable to covered-up cameras. This is the reason why it is better to place and keep the pcs for video-conferencing in a devoted room, and ask your team to video conference only through some few special pcs and not from their own ones. Naturally, enforcing the last suggestion implies that your team is trained to respect some few security standards and rules.

In conclusion, securing your company’s video conferences is quite easy and affordable, on the condition to use the right technology and to train your team adequately. On the other hand, affairs like Panama papers have taught us all how dangerous data leaks can be. So, learn the lesson!

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Top Recommended Best Practices for Web Conferencing Security

December 17th, 2017

What safeguards should we put in place to secure our data?

In a word where WikiLeaks has been able to break even the defenses of Pentagon, you can never be too careful, especially when working through a service of the type of web conferencing that is necessarily exposed to all the gaps and vulnerabilities of the web.

It must be also said that, unfortunately, there is no web conferencing tool that can be regarded as 100% safe; yet, it is also true that the adoption of some common sense practices can really decrease the risk of data leaks during a web conference at a very low, if not negligible, level.

So, what shall we do in order to have safe web conferences? In order of importance:

1.) Target your sensitive data.

The fewer the sensitive data you share, the better it is for you and your organization. But first, you must know what data are sensitive. Usually, the types of data that are deemed to be handled with special care are:

– Credit card numbers, passwords / credentials to access bank accounts and email accounts;

– Designs and plans of new products; industrial or commercial know-how of any kind;

– Revenues, and other relevant information for the tax man;

– Your customers’ information (like addresses and phone numbers);

– Information on someone’s state of health.

2.) Be aware of the legislation on privacy.

Especially in Europe, there is a huge set of legally binding dispositions on the storage, protection and preservation of sensitive data that impose specific measures on firms and users. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to ask a lawyer for help, as your organization could be required by the law to work out a specific code of conduct to handle with certain categories of data.

3.) Work out a code of conduct and build awareness among your team.

Human mistakes are often the real cause of dramatic data leaks, as it happened in the famous affair Panama leaks. Especially law firms, hospitals and manufactures should create awareness of the importance of keeping some types of data secret among their teams and work out a detailed policy of data security that includes all the practices that everyone has to observe when dealing with a specific category of data, especially while utilizing technologies like web conferencing, emailing and phones.

4.) Keep sensitive data secret as much as possible.

It is not necessary to disclose certain data to every member of your team. The more secret the data are, the more protected they are: organize then your data on a hierarchical structure on concentric circles where only few people can have access to the inner core that holds the most sensitive data.

5.) Technology matters.

The transfer of data through the web must be encrypted in order to avoid middle man attacks. However, this is not sufficient to sleep well at night; it is also important to set properly firewalls, computers and devices, as data can be stolen at either end of the transfer process.

If you are interested in the topic of safe data transmission and web conferencing, you are going to find other useful resources and interesting posts on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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Virtual Conferences: Which technology is the cheaper between Cloud-based Solutions and On-Premise Server based Solutions?

December 16th, 2017

Despite the common opinion, on-premise server-based technologies for virtual conferencing can be less expensive than cloud-based technologies, on the condition to choose the right product

Moving to the cloud has been the mantra of the world of virtual conferences in the last few years. Among the reasons given, we found that the prices of cloud-based virtual conferencing services are supposedly lower than the old, poor technology of on-premise servers, and, last but not least, cloud solutions are more scalable.

Is this assumption true? Not at all. Despite the cloud revolution, the producers of on-premise server-based technologies for virtual conferences are safe and sound and still on the market with innovative products that are able to outperform the cloud right now, like, just to mention one, the latest release of R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) : in the domain of real collaboration, these servers have reached the shortest  frame delays possible today in live streaming ( 3- 10 seconds). This is evidence of the vitality of the technology of on-premise servers, despite the ones that keep on announcing that the bells tolls for them.

Going deeper, clouds are not as cheap as they are usually reported in the leaflets and the advertisements. According to some experts (Brianinca, https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1413438-how-is-cloud-promoted-as-being-cheaper-than-on-premise?page=1#entry-5451300  ), the cost of them is higher in the long run.

And, even though the price of each individual cloud service may seem low, the sum of the costs of all the cloud services that your organization has to buy could be very high in the end. If it is true that clouds are easily scalable, it is also true that it comes with risks of downtime and sudden high traffic peaks that can cost you an arm and a leg.

If you hope to save money on the IT team, you are going to be disappointed: the highly complex nature of cloud products often requires paying high fees to specialized technicians. Last, clouds have their hidden costs, should they be the need of specific hardware or redundant ISP connections.

On the side of on-premise servers, producers have been able to greatly improve their products, at the point that a solution like TurboMeeting has probably no hidden costs and can be managed in total transparency, so that mangers know what they have to exactly spend for their virtual conferences. This outstanding result has been achieved by eliminating the need of maintenance and a devoted IT team. In facts, R-HUB`s servers are self-installing and self-updating machines, and their maintenance is performed by R-HUB team remotely.

In other words, they are devices fully plug-and-play, and their stupidly- easy and intuitive graphic interface that is supported by clear, step-by-step directions on both video and paper makes staff training superfluous. TurboMeeting is so easy that users could even learn to use it just one minute before their conference.

In conclusion, the race between clouds and on-premise servers is still wide open, and we may expect other surprises from the on-premise server technology in the future.

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7 Easy and Fast-to-implement Tips to improve your Virtual Conferences directly from Harvard

November 12th, 2017

Virtual meetings can be more valuable than face-to-face meetings, on the conditions of following some ground rules as the ones laid down by Keith Ferrazzi, trainer and researcher, in her article published on The Harvard Business Review (http:https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-run-a-great-virtual-meeting).

Prefer video conferencing to audio conferencing

Video is more engaging than audio only, as participants can see each other‘s emotions and reactions. Therefore, turning on your monitors is always a great idea. Today, technology offers valid and tested solutions for superb Full HD video conferences, like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com ), a suite of on-premise based web conferencing servers that ensure great telepresence and supportive-streaming with very low delay.

Prepare participants

Sending a concise list of the topics to discuss during your virtual meeting to every participant is proved to be really helpful in almost 100 % of cases. Your guests can thinking ahead of the contents and formulate some good suggestions or ideas. Another advantage is that this increases their engagement levels.

Listen to your team’s opinions before the meeting

Preparation is not a one-way road. The organizer must be prepared as well. This is the reason why it is important to get some feedbacks from the participants to your meeting even before it starts.  The agenda can be then modified, in order to cover all the points that are relevant to the main topic.

Introduce participants to one another

People feel more comfortable when they know each other, and they also perform better. This is the reason why it is important to create connections and introduce your guests to one another at the beginning of any real and virtual meeting.

Give each participant some time on the agenda

Everybody must give his contribution to the meeting, as it fosters collaboration and allows you to get input from all the team members. In this way, your guest feels also more engaged and participative.

Request your participants’ attention

Multitasking is proved to be the natural enemy of attention. Therefore, ban mute and forbid your guests to leave the meeting to go somewhere else and perform different tasks. A great way to check that every participant is attentive is to enable video, so that everybody gets visible.

Ask for questions at the end

When your meeting is going to finish, it is not a bad idea to leave some freedom to your guests. It is the time to allow questions. While you are answering who asked the question, the other participants can relax and take a break.

Are you interested in virtual conferences? You are going to find several useful resources, guidelines, articles and interesting posts on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com It is also possible to enjoy a 30 days free trial of R-HUB solutions for audio and video conferencing.

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