Webex

Webex

Review date: 04/23/2020

Webex is a video call app mostly targeted to business users. It has beefed up it's free version since the pandemic hit, offering up to 100 participants per call and meetings as long as you want (before there was a 40 minute meeting limit). Webex offers the standard fare of video call app features – high quality video and audio, downloads on desktop or mobile app or access through a browser, screen sharing and recording, and the like. Webex is used by many healthcare businesses as it can be compliant with US medical privacy laws and Cisco as a company is known to be more security conscious than most. And hey, it sponsored Lady Gaga's One World: Together at Home special, so there's that.

What could happen if something goes wrong

Probably not too much. Cisco Webex seems to put a strong emphasis on security with its products. As a product that's used frequently by healthcare providers and can be HIPAA compliant, that is a good thing. Webex did have a bug in the past that allowed uninvited people to join password protected meetings, however it seems this bug was quickly fixed. The password requirement for free users is weaker than for business users, so if you're using the free version of WebEx, it's probably still wise to make your password something really long and complicated like "iMNotW3aringpAnyPanTsiNThisM33ting" or something like that.

Privacy

What is required to sign up?

An email address is required to sign up for Webex. Users don't need to sign up for a Webex account to join a meeting.

What data does it collect?

How does it use this data?

How are your recordings handled?

Webex meetings can be recorded. All Webex users can store meetings recordings in the cloud. Webex also offers an option for users to store recordings locally on their computer.

Alerts when calls are being recorded?

Yes

Webex has an option that reminds call participants every 10 - 90 seconds that the call is being recorded. By default the tone is played every 20 seconds.

Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?

Yes

Webex can be HIPAA compliant. Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure the version of Webex they use meets all the requirements.

Links to privacy information

Can I control it?

Host controls

Hosts can lock and unlock the meeting, mute and unmute all participants, let participants continue the call without its host, and play a participate count in the meeting.

Is it easy to learn and use the features?

Yes

This "yes" is more a "kind of." Webex does have an extensive help page to help users learn to use its video calling tools. The pages are densely written and without many visual aids however. The help page is at https://help.webex.com

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Webex uses encryption. Communications Webex Applications, Webex Room devices and the Cisco Webex Cloud occur over encrypted channels and end-to-end encryption is an option for Webex Meetings.

Strong password

Yes

Password requirements could be stronger for free users. Business users are required to create a passphrase with "at least 8 characters, at least one number, at least one lower case letter, at least one upper case letter, at least one special character." For free users, password requirements are only six characters minimum, with at least one number and one letter.

Security updates

Yes

Webex updates its mobile apps at least once a month.

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Webex parent company Cisco has a bug bounty program.

Privacy policy

Yes

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/legal/privacy-full.html

Updates

Medical Privacy Gets Complicated as Doctors Turn to Video Chats
Consumer Reports
Health comes first, privacy experts say, but when you have a choice, it's best to use a service that complies with HIPAA
Cisco Webex Meetings Review
PC Magazine
Video conferencing service Cisco Webex Meetings offers a generous free plan and it's dropped its price considerably in the past couple of years. However, it has some feature limitations you'll need to test carefully before committing.
The best alternatives to Zoom for videoconferencing
The Verge
If recent news has made you Zoom-hesitant, there are other apps available
Cisco Clarifies Privacy Policy for Webex Videoconferencing
Consumer Reports
Cisco is making it easier to find out what personal information the company collects and how it uses it during videoconferencing calls on its Webex platform.

Related products