Many companies have replaced their live office meetings with video conferencing. It is the easiest way to get all employees together, present the latest news and updates, and effectively gather employee feedback. Whether it is for your office or your home network, properly configuring a firewall benefits video conferencing.
The recommendation for a safe and high-quality video meeting experience is that system administrators handle all video conferencing firewall configurations. But, of course, savvy users are welcome to make their changes as needed. This article walks through considerations for configuring your firewall for video conferencing.
What is a Firewall?
A firewall is a network security system that monitors both outgoing and incoming network traffic. It acts as a gatekeeper, allowing network entry to some data packets but not all based on pre-set configurations. In addition, firewalls function to protect the system from unwanted traffic, such as hackers and viruses.
Types of Firewalls
Below are some of the most applicable to video conferencing firewall configurations.
Packet-filtering firewalls check the source and designated IP address of all incoming packets in real-time. If the network configuration allows the data packet to pass, it is deemed safe and trusted to access the network.
Proxy filters are second-level traffic filters where some unwanted traffic gets through the initial firewall. A request needs approval once evaluated against a set of security rules to pass through the proxy firewall.
Network Address Translation Firewalls
Network address translation firewalls (NATs) allow multiple devices with unique and independent network addresses to use the same internal IP address while connecting to the internet.
The next-generation firewalls (NGFW) have basic firewall technology in addition to anti-virus systems, encrypted traffic inspection, and intrusion prevention systems. They also include deep packet inspections (DPIs), which examine the data within the packets and allow users to personalize their traffic.
Setting Up the Video Conferencing Firewall
Step 1: Set Firewall Rules
Configure your firewall based on your security preferences and budget. Start by creating a set of rules for your firewall to determine which packets are allowed and which are not.
Step 2: Configure the Proxy Filters and NAT
Configure your proxy filters and implement your NAT. A best practice is to name networks and their changes to know which rule applies to which network.
Step 3: Configure the Network Protocol
Configure the network protocol. Start by configuring a static NAT while enabling the H.323 inspection. H.323 is a widely used standard in videoconferencing and gives the firewall the ability to manage the setup exchanges. It also handles all traffic requests while containing the private IP and not the public one.
Step 4: Save Firewall Rules and Policies
Save the firewall rules and policies to ensure work is not lost.
Step 5: Use a VPN
Your public IP address will be visible as your NAT firewall hides only your private IP address. Use a virtual private network on company or personal computers to hide public IPs.
Scamming and phishing emails exist and typically get recognized and handled immediately. Group call spam also occurs if the network is unsafe and sensitive data leaks. You may encounter a security breach from unauthorized audio and video recording if an unknown caller is accepted.
Proper endpoint security starts with appropriate firewalls, VPNs, and anti-virus for personal computers. It is critical to establish security on both the office infrastructure and endpoints for safe video conferencing.
The time and money you invest in a video conferencing firewall configuration will protect you from unwanted data breaches and protect your information from leaving the video conference. Enjoy safe video conferencing with your employees, business partners, friends, or family members.
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