Overview of Webex Security

The Webex Meetings Suite helps enable global employees and virtual teams to meet and collaborate in real time as though they were working in the same room. Businesses, institutions, and government agencies worldwide rely on Webex to simplify business processes and improve results for sales, marketing, training, project management, and support teams.

For all organizations and their users, security is a fundamental concern. Online collaboration must provide multiple levels of security; from scheduling meetings to authenticating participants to sharing content.

The Webex Meetings Suite provides a secure environment yet it can be configured as an open place to collaborate. Understanding the security features as site administrators and end users can allow you to tailor your Webex site to your business needs.

For additional information, see the Webex Security Technical Paper.

Best Practices Webex Administrators

Effective security begins with Webex site administration; which allows administrators to manage and enforce security policies for host and presenter privileges. For example, an authorized administrator can customize session configurations to disable a presenter’s ability to share applications, or to transfer files on a per-site or a per-user basis.

We absolutely recommend that you keep your number of administrators to a minimum. Fewer administrators means fewer opportunities for site setting errors.

Once you've reviewed the best practices for site administrators, be sure to review the best practices for secure meetings for hosts.

We recommend using the following features for protection of your meetings:

Telephony callback fraud can happen when someone joins one of your meetings and uses callback to call suspicious phone numbers from different countries, which cost your organization money. These suspicious phone numbers can come from anywhere in the world, however, we observed that the countries and regions that have a higher percentage of fraud originates from:

  • Belgium

  • Costa Rica

  • Ecuador

  • Egypt

  • Ethiopia

  • France

  • Moldova

  • Niger

  • Panama

  • Philippines

  • Portugal

  • Saudi Arabia

  • South Africa

  • Sri Lanka

  • Taiwan

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • United Arab Emirates

  • United Kingdom

  • Vietnam

If there are countries you don’t do business with, or if you want to prevent fraudulent or suspicious calls to your meetings from certain countries or regions, you can uncheck them from the Webex Allowed Callback Countries list.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and go to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Audio Settings.

2

In the Webex Allowed Callback Countries section, check or uncheck the check box next to a country or region to enable or disable it.


 

You must leave at least one country or region enabled for callback.

3

When you're done making changes, click Save.

Your changes can take up to 30 minutes to update in the app.

Even meeting titles can reveal sensitive information. For example, a meeting entitled “Discuss acquisition of Company A” can have financial impacts, if revealed ahead of time. Creating unlisted meetings maintains the security of sensitive information.

For listed meetings, the meeting topic and other information is displayed on your site for authenticated users as well as unauthenticated users and guests to see. Unless your organization has a specific business need to display meeting titles and information publicly, all meetings should be marked as unlisted.

1

From your Webex Administration site, select Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options.

2

Under Security Options in the Webex section:

  • Go to the Webex Meetings section, and check All meetings must be unlisted. This setting also applies to Webex Events (new).

  • Go to the Webex Events section, and check All events must be unlisted. This setting applies to Webex Events (classic).

  • Go to the Webex Training section, and check All sessions must be unlisted.

3

Select Update.

In addition to requiring passwords when users join from a meeting application (for example on Windows or Mac), you should also enforce password requirement on users joining from phone or video conferencing systems. When this option is selected, the system automatically generates an eight-digit numeric password for phone and video conferencing system attendees and adds it to the meeting invitation. This ensures that only people with an invitation can join the meeting when using a phone or video conferencing system.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and navigate to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options > Security Options.

2

In the Webex section:

  • Go to the Webex Meetings section, and check Enforce meeting password when joining by phone. This setting also applies to Webex Events (new).

  • Go to the Webex Meetings section, and check Enforce meeting password when joining by video conferencing systems. This setting also applies to Webex Events (new).

  • Go to the Webex events section, and check Enforce event password when joining by phone. This setting aplies to Webex Events (classic).

  • Go to the Webex training section, and check Enforce training password when joining by phone.


 

If any of these options aren't available, contact Webex support to enable them.

3

Select Update.

We recommend that you require all users to have an account on your Webex site if sensitive meetings, events, or training sessions are hosted there. When enabled, besides hosts, attendees are also asked for their credentials when they attempt to join a meeting, event, or training session.

In addition to requiring sign-in to your site, we recommend that you require attendees to sign-in when dialing in from a phone. This prevents anyone getting into the meeting or training session without proper credentials.


Participants who join using the Webex Meetings or Webex Training application have to authenticate, so they will not be asked for authentication when connecting to audio. Thus, this restriction impacts users who join only by phone.

Also, consider restricting video conferencing systems from dialing into a meeting that requires attendees to sign in. Since users cannot sign in from a video conferencing system, allowing video conferencing systems to join puts meetings at risk of being joined by an unauthorized user.

Keep in mind, that using this option limits your meeting, event, or session to internal attendees. This is an excellent way to keep your meetings secure, but can be limiting if the host needs to have an external guest.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and navigate to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options > Security Options.

2

To require that all users must have an account on your Webex site to host or attend Webex meetings, events, or training sessions, go to the Webex section and check Require login before site access (Webex Meetings, Webex Events, Webex Training).

3

To require sign in when joining a meeting or training session by phone:

  • Under the Webex Meetings section, check Require users to have an account when joining by phone.

  • Under the Webex Training section, check Require users to have an account when joining by phone.

When checked and the host requires sign-in, attendees must sign in from their phones. Attendees must have added a phone number and PIN to their profile settings to do so.

4

Select Update.

For all meetings, do not enable the ability for attendees to join before the host unless you fully understand the security impact and require this functionality.

Consider disabling the join before host options for your site. We recommend disabling these options for listed meetings; as external attendees could leverage the scheduled meeting for their own purposes, without the host’s knowledge or consent.

Similarly, if you allow attendees to join before host, consider not allowing them to join audio before host. If your meeting is listed on your site or is not password-protected, unauthorized users could potentially gain access and initiate expensive calls without the host's knowledge or consent.

For Personal Conference Meetings (PCN Meetings), we recommend disabling the join audio before host option. A host would then first have to dial the Webex Access number for the audio bridge, and then enter the host access code and host PIN, before attendees could join the meeting.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and navigate to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options > Security Options.

2

To prevent attendees from joining before the host, uncheck the following boxes:

  • Allow attendees or panelists to join before host (Meetings, Training and Events)

  • The first attendee to join will be the presenter (Meetings)


     

    This setting also applies to Webex Events (new).

  • Allow attendees to join the audio conference (Meetings)


     

    This setting also applies to Webex Events (new).

  • Allow attendees or panelists to join the audio conference (Training)

  • Allow attendees or panelists to join the audio conference (Events)


     

    This setting applies to Webex Events (classic).

  • Allow attendee to join the audio portion of Personal Conference before host

3

Select Update.

We recommend you enforce automatic locking of Personal Rooms after a designated time. Hosts can accept the site-level default time, or change how many minutes after a meeting starts that they want the Personal Room to lock, including zero minutes.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and navigate to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options.

2

In the Site Options section, scroll down to Enable Personal Room (When enabled, you can turn this on or off for individual users).

Ensure that this checkbox is checked.

3

Check Automatically lock Personal Rooms [x] minutes after meeting starts, and choose the number of minutes from the menu.

If you set the number of minutes to 0, your personal room is always locked.

4

Select Update.

Hiding meeting and event links within meetings deters attendees from inviting unwanted guests by making the links less convenient to copy and share. It does not prevent attendees from copying and sharing meeting links from their email invitations.

1

Sign into Webex Administration, and go to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options.

2

Scroll down to Security Options > Other and check Hide meeting link from attendee view within meetings (Meetings and Events). This option is unchecked by default.


 
When hidden, the Copy Meeting Link option is disabled for attendees in the Meeting Info window, the More Options menu, and the Meeting menu. Hosts can still share meeting links within meetings.

Everyone in your organization can join a meeting in an unlocked personal room. We recommend that you lock your Personal Room and require guests to wait in the lobby.

As the host, you can see a list of attendees waiting in the lobby. This list indicates authentication status. If you locked the room, the list shows only guests, who aren't authenticated. In either case, you can review the list and choose who to admit to your Personal Room meeting.

1

Sign in to Webex Site Administration, and navigate to Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options.

2

In the Site Options section, scroll down to Enable Personal Room (When enabled, you can turn this on or off for individual users).

Ensure that this checkbox is checked.

3

For Personal Room security settings, click here and select one of the following options:

When a meeting is unlocked,

  • Guests can join directly.

    We don't recommend this option. Anyone who has the join URL can enter Personal Rooms without any authentication.

  • Guests can wait in the lobby until the host admits them.

    This option is the minimum recommended level of security. Authenticated attendees join the meeting directly, while guests wait in the lobby. Hosts can admit individual guests who are legitimate attendees, and deny entry to the attendees who aren't.

  • Guests can't join.

    This option is the highest level of security for unauthenticated users.

4

(Optional) Click the lock icon—Automatically lock.

If you automatically lock the room, the icon turns red. Hosts can't change the lock settings for their meetings.

5

(Optional) Check Automatically lock Personal Rooms [x] minutes after meeting starts, and choose the number of minutes from the menu.

If you set the number of minutes to 0, your personal room is always locked.

6

Select one of the following options:

When a meeting is locked,

  • Everyone waits in the lobby until the host admits them.

  • No one can join the meeting.

7

Select Update.

You can customize session types to control content sharing and other Webex features like file transfers. For more information, see Create Custom Session Types for Your Cisco Webex Site in Site Administration.

If you permit content sharing at the site level, Webex meeting hosts can choose whether to allow all participants to share. If you don't enable the option, you can assign the Presenter role to select participants or attendees. For more information, see Allow Participants to Share During Meetings.

For MacOS, the use of third-party virtual cameras is enabled by default for all users on your site. Third-party virtual cameras require Webex to load their libraries to give them access to the camera. By being loaded in the Webex process, they inherit all permissions, such as microphone and screen capture that your users have granted Webex to participate in meetings. If you disable the use of third-party virtual cameras for your site, only Webex will have access to these permissions.

To increase security for meetings on your site, you can prevent third-party virtual cameras from being loaded in Webex Meetings.

To manage policy settings for all users on your site, the following features are also available in Webex Site Administration. Find these features at: Configuration > Common Site Settings > Options > Security Options.


The options marked with an asterisk (*) are only available to sites managed in Webex Site Administration that do not have single sign-on enabled.

Account Management

  • *Lock out an account after a configurable number of failed login attempts

  • Deactivate an account after a configurable number of inactive days

Account Signup

  • *Add a security check in the signup form which requires new users to type the letters or digits of a distorted image that appears on the screen

  • *Require email confirmation of new accounts

Password management

  • Require specific rules for password format, length, and reuse

  • Create a list of prohibited passwords (for example, “password”)

Password aging

  • *Force users to change password at regular intervals

  • Set a minimum time interval when users can change their password