Web Conference Yes, Remote Control No

Why is it that all the web conferencing service providers seem to find the need to make it difficult for their participants to feel secure about using their service. I think the use of these services can be a great utility to increase collaborative efforts for long distance multi party meetings. But why would I ever let an enterprise user base access these solutions, if there is no way that I can enforce a control to ensure remote control features are disabled.

Why yes please, I love the sound of a solution that will provide a remote desktop into the heart of my enterprise without the hassle of changing firewalls or setting up VPN and authentication for the third party. What a brilliant idea.

This ability to pass remote control of a users desktop to a third party is what I see as the biggest risk of these services. Hang on, let me engage vendor marketing spin engine for the standard answer to the problem …. “The end user has to accept before remote control is established”. So what????? Haven’t we trained end user to accept any pop up query and to click on every OK button? This is a cop out from vendors and in the end its just hurting their image when I have to deny access to their services because I have no choice but to class them as insecure.

The rational of end users is likely to go something like this. I didn’t think there was a problem with allowing a third party from controlling my enterprise desktop because if it was insecure then surely all the firewalls and gateways would have stopped it. AND THIS IS THE CORRECT ANSWER. While it would be nice for end users to consider the security of their every action, lets face it, they are not being paid to be concerned about these issues, we are.

Give me a way I can block remote control even if end users want to use it and I will happy for people to utilise these services. Oh yes, by the way, I don’t want to have to sign up to their service, or to run their agent to enforce such a policy. Give me a GPO, a registry setting, a required URL just for remote control that I can block.

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